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Australia and US sign new child support treaty.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP

NEWS RELEASE

12 December 2002 02/141

AUSTRALIA AND US SIGN NEW CHILD SUPPORT TREATY

Australia and the United States have entered into a treaty for reciprocal recognition and enforcement of child support maintenance arrangements.

Today, I signed an Agreement for the Enforcement of Maintenance (Support) Obligations with the US Ambassador to Australia, Tom Schieffer.

Australia has had non-treaty arrangements with most US states since 1984. But these required a court order or court-registered agreement before maintenance or child support could be collected in one country for a payee in the other.

This new treaty allows administrative assessments made under the Australian Child Support Scheme to be recognised and enforced in the United States.

Another advantage of the treaty is that each country will have a central authority which will take responsibility for coordinating all agencies involved in a case. In Australia’s case, that central authority will be the Child Support Registrar.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties has considered the treaty and recommended that Australia enter into the agreement. I thank the Committee for their assistance in this process.

This is the third such treaty Australia has entered into since 1994. The two others are with New Zealand and a multilateral agreement with 20 European countries.

This followed a recommendation by the Joint Select Committee on Certain Family Law Issues that Australia expand its international arrangements for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of child support obligations.

Media Contact: Jennifer Grove (02) 6277 7300/ 0407 467 870

www.law.gov.au/ag

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