Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a law making it easier for state child support agencies to collect payments from parents living in another country. The 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance was amended by a voice vote in the House ensuring that international governments would enforce U.S. law.
A husband and wife from Tennessee moved to the United Arab Emirates last year with their 1-year-old daughter. Like many former military here in the Houston, Texas, area, the former U.S. Army Special Forces member got a job in the Persian Gulf as a military contractor.
Houston parents dealing with the heartbreaking turmoil of an international custody battle can certainly empathize with a woman from Kansas. Her former husband has taken her three children to the Gaza Strip in the Middle East. Under their divorce decree, the children lived with their father but had regular visitation with their mother. In addition, the father was allowed to take the children overseas as long as he had their mother's permission. However, the Palestinian man fooled his ex-wife into signing their passport applications under the guise that he was merely bringing the children to visit for his sister's wedding. They were supposed to return to the U.S. in March.