News Dates Facts
Open Online Conference on International Recovery of Maintenance by Public Bodies on May 15th, 2024 2-5pm CEST
The Child Support forum is pleased to invite every interested stakeholder to an open conference deepening the topic of cross-border maintenance recovery by public bodies.
Due to the increase in international mobility of families, the need for immediate child support in case of default of maintenance payment is growing. This support often consists of advance maintenance payments granted by public authorities, which then must be reimbursed by the debtor. The enormous sums of money that states spend on these benefits make the cross-border enforcement of maintenance by public bodies an important political issue.
The first three meetings of the Child Support Forum showed that there is a great need for exchange between the public bodies. On the one hand, they face different hurdles in enforcing their claims due to the diversity of the maintenance support systems. On the other hand, common problems were also identified. The results of this work will be presented.
In a future perspective, it is clear that the tension between the need for more support for children, for an effective recovery of maintenance against debtors, and debtor protection is growing. It will be interesting to discuss to what extent the States make the grant of benefits dependent on the legal possibilities for reimbursement. For example, in the light of the text of the 2007 Convention and of the EU-Maintenance Regulation, public bodies currently have less support from Central Authorities when they seek reimbursement of maintenance support than children do when they claim child maintenance. Thus, the question arises as to whether debtor protection still justifies this legal situation and how maintenance debtors can be protected from double claims when it is no longer the child alone but a public body that seeks the recovery of maintenance payments.
The conference will mark the end of a series of three seminars on the topic of maintenance recovery by public bodies and is intended to provide insight into its socio-political and legal aspects as well as a unique opportunity for exchange with experts from different fields (academics, central authorities, public bodies from different countries).
HCCH 2007 Child Support Convention applicable in Ontario and Manitoba from February 1st, 2024 and in British Columbia from 1st March 2024
On October 27th, 2023, Canada deposited its Instrument of Ratification to the HCCH 2007 Child Support Convention. At the time, Canada declared that the application of the Convention would extend to the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. On November 27th, 2023, Canada made another Declaration to extend, in addition, the application of the Convention to the province of British Columbia. As a result, the Convention will enter into force for Canada on February 1st, 2024. The application of the Convention will first extend to Manitoba and Ontario on February 1st, 2024 and then to British Columbia on March 1st, 2024.
Study on the application of the EU-Maintenance Regulation
13 years after the entry into force of the European Maintenance Regulation (Regulation EC No. 4/2009), the European Commission has published a study on its application. This is based on an analysis of case law, Articles published by academic and practitioners, as well as a survey realized under relevant stakeholders of the cross border recovery of maintenance. According to the study, positive effects are noted, such as the significant simplification of enforcement procedures after the abolition of exequatur or the very generous provisions on exemption of costs, especially for minor children. However, the work with the extensive forms, the assertion of claims by public institutions and the fact that it is still difficult for maintenance creditors to obtain information are highlighted as challenges. The study can be downloaded here.
Georgia signs the HCCH 2007 Child Support Convention and its Protocol
On May 25th, 2023, representatives of the Republic of Georgia signed the HCCH 2007 Child Support Convention and the HCCH 2007 Maintenance Obligations Protocol. These instruments will enter into force for Georgia after the deposit of their instruments of ratification. Further developments can be checked here.
HCCH 2007 Child Support Convention applicable in Azerbaijan from 28.02.2024
On 17.02.2023, the Republic of Azerbaijan deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH 2007 Child Support Convention. The Convention will only apply between Azerbaijan and those Contracting Parties which have not raised an objection to its accession before 28.02.2024.
Azerbaijan has made the following (main) declarations and reservations:
- Applications for recognition and enforcement of a maintenance arrangement shall only be made through the Central Authority of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- Any application and related documents of the requesting Contracting Parties accompanied by a duly certified translation into the Azerbaijani language shall be accepted for processing in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
- The Republic of Azerbaijan shall apply the Convention to maintenance obligations arising from a parent-child relationship towards children up to the age of 18 years.
The designated Central Authority will be the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Third online meeting of the Child Support Forum
Under the auspices of DIJuF, the working group of the international network Child Support Worldwide met on 28 June 2023. This time, representatives of public bodies from six countries (Belgium, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and the Czech Republic) as well as the HCCH, the German and Norwegian central authorities, NCSEA, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and Prof. Dr. Dieter Martiny attended the meeting. After a presentation of the Norwegian maintenance advance system given by Siri Risnes (Senior Advisor, Family Section, Directorate of Labour and Welfare), the meeting was mainly dedicated to deepening topics that had emerged as crucial in the previous meetings (cross-border obtaining of information on the debtor, cooperation with central authorities, currency issues and international money transfers). An overview of the topics was given by Julia Schelcher, head of the cross-border maintenance unit of the German central authority (Federal Office of Justice), Floor de Jongh Bekkali, head of the cross-border maintenance unit of the Norwegian central authority (NAV Family Benefits and Pensions Support) and Maren Stranger of the Norwegian Enforcement Agency (the collection agency of the labour and welfare administration). This was followed by a lively discussion, which will be summarised and published on this website under “Forum” in the coming weeks.
Report on the second Child Support Forum now available
The results of the second Child Support Forums have been summarized in a report and are available here. The topic of the meeting was Challenges of the international maintenance recovery by public bodies.
EU-Commission proposes new rules for the recognition of parenthood between member states
The proposal is focused on the best interests and the rights of the child. It will provide legal clarity for all types of families, who find themselves in a cross-border situation within the EU, be it because they move from one Member State to another to travel or reside, or because they have family members or property in another Member State. One of the key aspects of the proposal is that the parenthood established in a Member State of the EU should be recognised in all the other Member States, without any special procedure.
The proposal allows children in cross border situations to benefit from the rights derived from parenthood under national law, among others in matters in maintenance matters.
The proposal can be downloaded here.
2007 Hague Convention will enter into force for Botswana on 16 November 2023
On 14 November 2022, the Republic of Botswana deposited its instrument of accession to the 2007 Hague Convention. Following this accession, 45 States and the European Union are bound by the Child Support Convention.
2007 Hague Protocol entered into force for Ukraine on 1 December 2022
On 29 August 2022, Ukraine ratified the 2007 Hague Protocol. The Protocol is now applicable in Ukraine as of 1 December 2022. Ukraine is the 32nd Contracting Party to this instrument, which harmonizes the law applicable on maintenance obligations.
Child Support Forum on 23 November 2022
The second Child Support Forum took place on 23.11.2022. This time, representatives of child support agencies from seven different EU countries met online to report on the "Challenges of cross-border maintenance recourse" in their respective practices. Prof. em. Dr. Dieter Martiny introduced the topic. Representatives of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the German Federal Office of Justice, the American association NCSEA and the Universities of Verona and Bergamo also took part. A report on the results of the lively discussions will follow shortly. The findings of the first meeting (presentation on the maintenance advance systems) are already available on the Child Support Worldwide network website (Child Support Forum - Child Support Worldwide (childsupport-worldwide.org)).
The next Child Support Forum will take place on 28.06.2023.
2007 Hague Convention applicable in the Philippines from 1 October 2022
On 1 October 2022, the 2007 Child Support Convention entered into force in the Philippines.
Child Support Forum on 1 June 2022
The first Child Support Forum took place on 1 June 2022. On the initiative of the German Institute for Youth Services and Family Law (DIJuF), representatives of maintenance agencies from nine different EU states met online and presented their various child support and recovery systems. Representatives of the HCCH, the German Federal Office of Justice, NCSEA and the Universities of Verona and Bergamo also attended the meeting. The Child Support Forum aims to promote exchange between stakeholders in the international recovery of maintenance and their networking within the Child Support Worldwide network. A detailed report will be available on this website within the next few weeks. The discussions will continue in a second meeting in autumn with a focus on "challenges in cross-border maintenance recovery by public bodies".
First Meeting of the Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the 2007 Child Support Convention and 2007 Maintenance Obligations Protocol
From 17 to 19 May 2022, the First Meeting of the Special Commission on the 2007 Child Support Convention and 2007 Maintenance Obligations Protocol was held in The Hague. A short report is available here.
CJUE, C-644/20 of 12.05.2022: Habitual residence of a child after a wrongful removal
For the purposes of identifying the applicable law under Article 3 of the Hague Protocol, it is only in the context of assessing all the circumstances of the case that the national court seized may have to take account of the possibly wrongful nature of the removal or retention of the child. In order to determine whether the change in the habitual residence of the child, the maintenance creditor, has in fact taken place, it must take due account of the best interests of the child, but also of other factors likely to demonstrate or refute that the presence of the child in the State to which he or she has been moved provides a sufficient degree of stability, taking into account his or her family and social environment. (Para. 73)
There are no grounds for interpreting Article 3 of the Hague Protocol in the light of, or by reference to, the provisions of Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (para. 71).
New Zealand ratifies the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention
As a result of the ratification, the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention entered into force for New Zealand on 1 November 2021. In relation to the participating States, it replaces the Commonwealth Scheme and the 1956 UN Convention on the Recovery of Maintenance Abroad. With regard to non-Convention Parties, existing Reciprocal Agreements like for example with Australia continue to apply.
European Platform for Access to Personal and Familial Rights (EPAPFR)
The European Platform for Access to Personal and Family Rights (www.epapfr.com) was inaugurated with two live-online seminars on 19 February and 26 February 2021, attended by an audience of over 300 people. The Platform aims to inform and connect practitioners and families by compiling technical information and a cartography of governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the various fields of international family law, with the ultimate goal of providing increasingly effective support to families in the international context. Any structure interested in being listed on the platform is welcome to contact the coordinator. In addition to the presentation of the English- and French-language platform itself, the seminars provided an interesting overview of the most current topics in international family law, such as unaccompanied minors and the 1996 Hague Convention, Kafala, surrogacy, international mediation, international child abduction and child maintenance. The presentations of the speakers can be accessed on the platform. The comparative report, which will soon be available under the heading "resources", contains an experience report on the application of the European Maintenance Regulation EC No. 4/2009. In his presentation on maintenance law, Prof. Dr. Dieter Martiny emphasized not only the significant improvement in the chances of cross-border maintenance enforcement in the EU through Regulation EC No. 4/2009 (EuUnthVO), but also the continuing need for information for the people concerned, as well as for further training and networking of practitioners in this area. Both the EPAPFR platform and the child support worldwide network successfully contribute to the fulfilment of these goals with different approaches.
European Platform for Access to Personal and Familial Rights (EPAPFR)
The EPAPFR closing conference will take place in form of two online-trainings on 19/02/2021 (in English) and 26/02/2021 (in French) offering a presentation of the new EPAPFR-Website and discussions in international family law issues like child abduction, recovery of maintenance or unaccompanied minors. Participation is free of charge. You can join both online-trainings via the following links::
Seminar on February 19th 2021 (in English) - program
Seminar on 26th 2021 (in French) - program
After several postponements due to the Corona restrictions, the project is going to be completed at the beginning of March 2021. In the next few days, the new information platform will be operative providing, amongst other things, a mapping of the services offered to citizens and practitioners in all fields of international family law conflicts as well as different information tools. The platform is already present on Facebook.
On 16 September 2020, the Republic of Serbia signed the HCCH 2007 Convention. It was ratified on 23 October 2020 and is applicable from 1 February 2021. Serbia has already been a party to the 2007 Hague Protocol since August 2013.
From January 2021, the European Maintenance Regulation (EC No.°4/2009) is no longer applicable in the UK. However, by virtue of its membership to the EU, the UK became bound by the HCCH 2007 Convention on 1 August 2014 and has submitted the instrument of ratification. Therefore, from January 2021, the recognition and enforcement of child maintenance orders as well as the administrative cooperation between Central Authorities relating to EU Member States and the UK are subject to the HCCH 2007 Convention.
On 8 March 2019 Nicaragua deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (Child Support Convention).The Child Support Convention will enter into force for Nicaragua on 18 April 2020.
On 8 March 2019 Guyana deposited its instrument of accession to the HCCH Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (Child Support Convention). The Child Support Convention will enter into force for Guyana on 7 March 2020.
Brazil accedes to the Service Convention
Brazil deposited its instruments of accession to the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Service Convention) on November 29, 2018. The Service Convention will enter into force for Brazil on June 1, 2019.
Honduras: The Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance entered into force for Honduras on 19 October 2018.
On 16 February 2018, Belarus ratified the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (Child Support Convention). The Child Support Convention entered into force for Belarus on 1 June 2018.
Conclusions and Recommendations of the Global Conference on the Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance in Asia Pacific and Worldwide
From 9 to 11 November 2015, more than 155 experts gathered in Hong Kong to discuss the recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance in Asia Pacific and worldwide, in the context of national and regional systems and the Hague 2007 Maintenance Convention and Protocol. The Conclusions and Recommendations are now available.
To view the full version, please click here.
Dr. María Lilian Bendahan’s English translation of her treatise about the recovery of international child maintenance from a Latin American perspective is now available. To view the full version, please click here.
Maintenance and Child Support in Private International Law by Lara Walker
(Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex) now available
With a particular view to current developments and progress made regarding the recovery of maintenance abroad, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the EU Maintenance Regulation No. 4/2009 and the 2007 Hague Maintenance Convention. Based on the evaluated data, the author indicates promising solutions as well as recommendations for best practice.
For further information, please click here.
INCSS: New partner to join our network
Officially joining the Child Support Worldwide Network, the International Network of Child Support Scholars (INCSS) advocates enhancing the study of child support issues in a cross-national context. To learn more about the INCSS, please visit our network page and the page of our partners or directly go to the INCSS website.
Tommorrow’s Child Support Experts
Leiden Law School is going to offer a new Master of Laws in Advanced Studies in International Children’s Rights. Click here for further information.
Considerably enriching German legal literature, the release of Die „dritte Generation“ – Rechte und Förderung von Kindern in Deutschland, Frankreich, Italien und Schweden by Becker, Hohnerlein, Kaufmann and Weber is now available here. Being part of the series Studien aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik, the book focuses on social and family-related policies, providing a detailed analysis of the legal situation – with a particular view to maintenance law in four European countries.