Claiming maintenance support from foreign countries will become easier
4. December 2007At
In addition, the convention provides for the regulation of recognition of claims for support and compulsory enforcement in foreign countries, when this proves to be necessary. For the convention to be applicable, the parliaments of the contracting parties, incl. the Riigikogu, must ratify and implement it.
“It is also quite difficult to organise compulsory enforcement in another country,” Olm said. “The central authorities of the contracting parties will assist persons claiming maintenance support in these issues in the future.”
“Therefore, in the future an Estonian child can turn to the relevant central authority in Estonia and the latter, in cooperation with the central authority of another country, will see to it that the obligor residing in that other country will be found and ordered to pay maintenance support,” Olm further explained. The particular Estonian institution that will assist entitled persons in claiming maintenance support from a foreign country has not been determined yet.
Moreover, the convention provides for simplified procedures for persons entitled to receive maintenance support to avoid the situation where such persons waive the recognition of their rights, being afraid of the expensive proceedings.
A regulation is currently being drafted in the European Union which will regulate the recognition and enforcement of maintenance obligations by analogy to the Hague Convention. It is intended to implement the terms and conditions of the convention in the Member States of the European Union by that regulation. Another aim of the regulation is to provide for simplified procedure for execution of the orders of support by abolishing the proceedings for recognition of such orders in the European Union.
The convention on maintenance obligations is a major step in international cooperation, as the number of so-called international families with parents originating from different countries is growing, and more and more people tend to move to foreign countries. Therefore, claiming maintenance support from another country is a spreading practice, and changing the country of residence should in no case provide opportunities for circumventing one’s family-related obligations.