The concerns of some Idaho politicians may jeopardize a proposed treaty designed to help single parents collect child support from former spouses in other countries. The negotiations for this treaty have been in the works for over a decade and have expanded to include dozens of countries. However, Idaho legislators rejected the proposal because they were worried it opened the door for enforcement of Sharia law in the United States.
Idaho will be holding a special legislative session to discuss the decision and the losses that would result from refusing the proposal. The state would lose out on $46 million in federal funds, along with access to a system for automated child support payment processing. Without this system, Idaho will have to invest taxpayers’ money into developing its own payment processor. Approximately $205 million worth of child support payments are processed in the state of Idaho each year.
Federal officials have dismissed Idaho’s concerns as unfounded and biased against Muslims. The treaty does not give foreign laws the authority to override state laws in child support cases. This particular treaty must be ratified by all 50 states individually because it deals with the enforcement of child support. In the U.S. child support has been deemed to be a state matter, not a federal one.
California parents dealing with an international child support situation should contact a family law attorney to discuss the latest updates to this law. Even though the discussions are being held in Idaho, their outcome will affect single parents throughout the U.S. and around the world. A family law attorney can also recommend the best way to navigate the current child support system while this new legislation is being debated.