Brazil Ratifies Hague Convention on Child Support
Brazil signed and ratified the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. It also signed and ratified the Hague Protocol of 23 November 2007 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations. The Convention and the Protocol will go into effect on November 1, 2017.
Brazil is the 36th nation to ratify the Convention, which first entered into effect in 2013 with Norway, Albania, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, then the European Union in 2014 (except Denmark), and Montenegro, the United States, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Brazil in 2017.
The ratification ceremony was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands on Monday, July 17. It was attended by two Brazilian Embassy representatives: Her Excellency Mrs. Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop and First Secretary Mrs. Fabiana Arazini Garcia Kanadoglu.
The Convention refers to three types of maintenance, which are defined in Article 2. The first refers to children under the age of 21; the second refers to spousal support as linked to child support; and the third refers to spousal support. Other forms of maintenance may be considered as well. According to the convention “any maintenance obligation arising from a family relationship, parentage, marriage or affinity, including in particular obligations in respect of vulnerable persons” may be applied. Brazil’s ratification includes “collateral or direct kinship or affinity, including vulnerable persons”. Vulnerable persons may be defined as “any person who lacks the absolute most basic human life skills.” For example, an adult over the age of 21 with a disability that prevents him or her from being financially independent may be eligible for extended financial or other assistance from parental figures or other family members.
The Convention seeks to make available access to services to those with limited financial means. As stated in the Outline of the Hague Child Support Convention: “The Convention is remarkable for the emphasis which it places on ‘effective access’ to procedures, recognizing that small financial obstacles…may deter the bringing of an international claim. The provisions in the Convention, particularly in regard to the provision of free legal assistance in child support cases, go much further than any previous Hague Convention to ensure that the international procedures will be genuinely accessible.”