Legislature passes bill allowing international child support enforcement
The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill that would amend state child support laws to match provisions provided under a 2007 international treaty the U.S. signed and enacted, ensuring the continued receipt of $64 million for Alaska’s child support and aid programs.
Gov. Bill Walker introduced HB 106 to the House in February. The bill would add child support enforcement for parents in 33 countries, including the U.S. The bill would expand statutes under Alaska’s Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, which prevents parents from avoiding paying child support by moving out of the state.
“These amendments would benefit Alaska families by ensuring stable and predictable enforcement of Alaska child support orders in other states and abroad,” Walker wrote in his sponsor statement for HB 106. “Additionally, it would ensure that residents of this state would be able to enforce support orders in this state, regardless of where they originated.”
The changes are part of a plan to bring the entirety of the U.S. into compliance with the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, which began assisting international child support efforts between countries in 2007.
Congress passed legislation in September of 2014 that made compliance with the treaty a condition of continued federal funding for state child support programs, prompting Alaska other states to introduce their own legislation to add the provisions to state statutes. After receiving the governor’s signature, the bill would add Alaska to a list of 11 states already in compliance with the treaty, according to Walker’s sponsor statement, ensuring $64 million for Alaska’s child support and Alaska’s Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) programs.
The bill passed the House with a vote of 27-13. It was passed in the Senate Monday, 14-6, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
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