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Shariah law ruling jeopardizes child support treaty

Texas residents may be surprised to learn that fears over Shariah law influencing American courts have jeopardized the efforts of dozens of nations working to negotiate an international treaty. The decade-long diplomatic effort to simplify the rules regarding international child support has been led by the United States, but the decision by an Idaho legislator to reject the proposed agreement has become a major stumbling block.

The goal of the treaty is to make it easier for parents to collect child support from noncustodial parents overseas. Idaho was able to block the proposal because states rather than the federal government are responsible for child support. This means that the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support must be approved state by state.

The vote was thought to be based upon fears that some of the countries covered by the treaty have recognized Shariah courts, but government officials are quick to point out that the treaty contains wording that would prevent this from happening in the U.S. A May 17 legislative session has been scheduled by Idaho lawmakers to address the issue, and they will have more than legal fine points to consider. If the decision is not reversed, approximately $46 million in federal funding could be lost, and Idaho would no longer have access to the systems used to process child support payments through payroll deductions.

Many custodial parents rely on child support to make ends meet, and they often face severe difficulties when these payments are not received in a timely manner. A family law attorney with experience in this area may be able to help those in this situation by bringing a legal action against noncustodial parents who are not fulfilling their obligations. This kind of legal action could aim to place a lien against the noncustodial parent's property in addition to seeking a wage garnishment.

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