Manitoba introduces legislation to facilitate international recovery of child, spousal support

If passed, Manitoba will be the second province in Canada to have such legislation

Manitoba introduces legislation to facilitate international recovery of child, spousal support

The Manitoba government has recently introduced legislation that aims to facilitate the recovery of child and spousal support if family members live in different countries, the Ministry of Justice announced.

Bill 37 seeks to implement the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance in the province to provide families with additional avenues for establishing, varying and enforcing child and spousal support where one party lives outside Canada.

The convention is a multilateral treaty adopted in 2007 that provides rules for international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance and recognition and enforcement of maintenance decisions across borders.

According to Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen, the bill, if passed, will significantly expand the number of foreign jurisdictions with which the province will have child and spousal support reciprocity, and Manitoba will be the second province in Canada to implement the convention.

Moreover, the bill will allow families with children who have a parent living in another country, such as France, Italy, or Brazil, to seek assistance from the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) in collecting child support from that parent. MEP is the agency tasked under The Family Maintenance Act to administer child and spousal support obligations under a court order or agreement.

“Manitobans come from, or have families in, all corners of the world, and this bill will make it easier for them to enforce support payments when one party is residing in another international jurisdiction,” Goertzen said.

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