After initially rejecting proposed legislation dealing with international child support and enforcement over fears that it opened up the possibility of having to adhere to Sharia law, Idaho legislators voted to approve a bill that is expected to be signed into law by the governor. Idaho's reversal removes another obstacle for the country's full participation in an international treaty intended to make it easier to collect child support payments from parents who live abroad. California parents who are in this situation likely know how frustrating enforcement of these obligations can be.
The international treaty allows participating countries to more easily collect child support payments from noncustodial parents that live in other countries. International child support orders total more than $600 million. Full implementation of the treaty, which resulted from negotiations that concluded in 2007, requires the individual approval of each state's legislature.
In addition to jeopardizing the country's participation in the international treaty, Idaho's refusal would have cost the state about $46 million in federal funds as well as access to payment processing systems that allow for order enforcement and child support collection. The legislature rejected the proposal originally out of fears that the treaty would subject the state to Islamic law, but the legislation as approved contains language that would not allow that.
A custodial parent living in the United States might wish to consult an attorney if the other parent who is obligated to pay support moves out of the country. A lawyer can offer guidance on the laws that govern international collection of child support payments and provide advice on how to proceed if the noncustodial parent does not comply with the court-ordered obligations.
Source: Fox News, "Legislators pass child support bill that had been nixed over Islamic law", Associated Press, May 18, 2015