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I am a US citizen but my ex isn't. Neither of us live in the US now. He stopped paying child support. Is there anything i can do

New York, NY |

We were married in New York state. Our daughter turned 18 last June but I am still supporting her as she is going to school. My ex husband is in Poland now. I am in Argentina.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

I changed the question again to international law. In response to other counsel's comments, a child is not emancipated by being a full time student if the the custody obligation continues until the child is 21 in NY).

The issue would be governed by an international treaty: the "Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters of 1965", more commonly called the Hague Service Convention. See the wiki link below.

Basically, what you would have to do is get a certified copy of the NY Family Court Support Order (with a formal endorsement attached called an "apostle" from the NY Secretary of State, see the webpage, second link below.

Depending on the status of Argentina and Poland under the Hague Service Convention, you either serve papers on the country's designated representative (easy, fast), or you have to make a formal request through diplomatic channels (slow). You will probably have to retain counsel in Poland to chase your ex around with whatever enforcement procedures exist in Poland.

A daunting task, but not impossible. Good luck.

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Gunda Johanna Brost

Gunda Johanna Brost

Posted

Asker, please consider marking the above reply helpful as it is a thorough answer to your questions.

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

Thank you, Ms. Brost!

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

p.s. You'd probably ALSO have to get a certified copy of the arrears statement from the State or County Support Collection Unit, assuming the support payments were collected by the SCU. If they were privately paid, you'll need some kind of affidavit and account statement (ledger) of the payments due and those paid. This document will also need an apostile.

Posted

There are number of issues: 1) whether your daughter is emancipated; 2) what court/state has jurisdiction over the emancipation issue. Emancipation laws vary (depending on what state you are in). Where is your daughter?

This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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Asker

Posted

My daughter is in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is living with my mother and the child support goes directly to Montreal, not to me.

Posted

This is a family law question. I am editing your question to transfer it to the Family Law Section of our forum. Good luck.

This answer is not intended to replace a consultation with an attorney and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

I changed it from Child Support (I think) to International Law with a subheading in Family Law for the reasons stated.

Posted

This is a family law question but also an international law question. Perhaps consider reposting under international law because of the question of how to internationally enforce (if possible) a child support order. Your daughter may still be eligible for child support if she is enrolled in college, but check with a local family attorney to make sure. Good luck.

This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.

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Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

Done and answered. In NYS, full time attendance as a college student away from home is NOT considered emancipation. You are right this is an international law question, governed at the threshold by the Hague Service Convention. I didn't read the whole wiki article I linked with the signatories, but asked had better hope that both Argentina and Poland are signatories. It's not impossible otherwise, but slow. It isn't just third world countries or "rogue states" that aren't signatories. While the US is a signatory, its neighbor to the north, Canada, surprisingly isn't, especially since like the Scandanavian countries, Canadians seem to be active in the international realms of diplomacy and general do-goodism.

Gunda Johanna Brost

Gunda Johanna Brost

Posted

Thanks for clarifying! :)

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