International Child Support: An Overview of the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance
With the frequent migration of people in modern times, it is not unusual to see a phenomenon of international families that have members living in separate parts of the world. Along with the increase of international families, issues of international child support are also on the rise. We can see in many cases where the children are in poverty and the procedures of applications can be so complex that it is extremely difficult to obtain assistance from the sponsor living aboard. Regarding this issue, the Hague Conference on Private International Law adopted the ‘Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance and Protocol on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligation’ in November, 2007. Under the co-operation system of the convention through the state, it is easier for children to obtain assistance across national borders. For instance, there is access to free legal advice to children who cannot afford high lawyers fees and other financial issues regarding applications through the administrative authorities of the countries where they live. According to the convention, the assistance can also be enforced based on an administrative authority's decision. Although the convention has not been signed by Japan at this stage, it is a good opportunity to explore future prospects of international child support issue in Japan. In the future perhaps it will also be enforced in Japan depending on how other countries adopt the convention. In this presentation, firstly the background and context of the convention will be introduced. Secondly, issues regarding international support laws in contracting parties, such as the United States, will be argued. Lastly, the current legal situation of international support laws in Japan and the reasons why Japan has not signed the convention will be examined.
Xi Feng is a Ph.D. student in the Graduate School of Law of Osaka University. After graduating from Minzu University in China, she began studying at the Graduate School of Law in Osaka University in April, 2012. She was awarded a master's degree of law in March 2014 and entered the doctoral programme in April 2014. Her field of study is private international law, and her research focuses on issues of international intellectual property. She also studies issues of international family and international contract.