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Children in EU to benefit from speedier maintenance payments
A new Convention has been signed by the EU that sets up a worldwide system for recovering child support and other family maintenance payments.
With an estimated 16 million international couples in the EU and 30 million EU citizens living in non-EU countries, the issue of retrieving child maintenance from abroad is a growing problem. The Hague Maintenance Convention will create a common legal framework between EU and the non-EU countries which ratify it to facilitate the international recovery of family maintenance claims.
Since the vast majority of maintenance claims involve children, the Convention is first and foremost a measure to protect children. It creates a worldwide system of cooperation between national authorities, provides for free legal assistance in child support cases, and streamlines procedures for recognition and enforcement of court decisions on maintenance.
The new system will also speed up procedures to help to find hiding debtors, which are currently long and complicated. At the international level, the Convention completes the Hague system regarding family law already in place concerning child abduction, parental responsibility and international adoption.
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