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13096 Portugal - Agreement for the Recovery of Maintenance


   
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TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 13096

 

 


Agreement Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
and PORTUGAL


Signed at Lisbon May 30, 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”

 

PORTUGAL

Maintenance

Agreement signed at Lisbon May 30, 2000;
Entered into force March 17, 2001.

AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC FOR
THE RECOVERY OF MAINTENANCE
The Government of the United States of America
And
The Government of Portugal (hereinafter referred to as
the Contracting States),
Believing in the need to pursue a policy of cooperation
that strengthens increasingly friendly ties, and
Recognizing the impact of increasing contacts between
nationals and residents of both countries and the
subsequent establishment of family relationships which
may include children whose parents did not marry and
common-law spouses, and
Understanding the importance the recovery of maintenance
may have for the individuals involved in such
relationships, and
Recognizing the common interest and the advantages of
establishing a uniform and effective system for the
recovery of maintenance, for the recognition and
enforcement of decisions based on these maintenance
obligations, and for the taking of appropriate steps for
the determination of maternity and paternity where
necessary,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
Objective
The objective of the agreement is to provide for:
a. The recovery of maintenance or the reimbursement
of maintenance to which a maintenance creditor or a
public body having provided benefits for a maintenance
creditor in one Contracting State (hereinafter referred
to as the claimant) is entitled from a maintenance debtor
who is subject to the jurisdiction of the other
Contracting State (hereinafter referred to as the
respondent), when the maintenance obligation is provided
for by law;
b. The recognition and enforcement of maintenance
orders, reimbursement orders and settlements (hereinafter
referred to as maintenance decisions) made or recognized
in either Contracting State; and
c. The institution of and assistance in proceedings
for the determination of maternity and paternity as may
be required for the establishment of the maintenance
obligation.
Article 2
Scope
1. This Agreement shall apply to maintenance obligations,
as provided by the law, and arising from a family
relationship of parents and children, a relationship
between spouses and former spouses or, where recognized
by law, common-law spouses and former common-law spouses,
and including a maintenance obligation towards a child
whose parents did not marry. In any case where there are
no children, a maintenance obligation towards a spouse or
former spouse of common-law spouse or former common-law
spouse will be enforced in the United States under this
Agreement only in those states and other jurisdictions of
the United States that elect to do so.
2. This Agreement applies to the collection of payment
arrears on a valid maintenance obligation and any
applicable interest on arrears and to the modifications,
variations or other official change in amounts due under
an existing maintenance decision.
3. The remedies provided for in this Agreement are not
exclusive and do not affect the availability of any other
remedies for the enforcement of a valid maintenance
obligation under the law of either Contracting State nor
do they preclude the Contracting States from entering
into international Agreements addressing these issues.
Article 3
Central Authorities
1. Each Contracting State shall designate a public body
as Central Authority, which shall facilitate compliance
with the provisions of this Agreement.
2. The Central Authority for Portugal shall be the
Directorate General of Judiciary Services.
3. The Central Authority for the United States shall be
the Office of Child Support Enforcement in the Department
of Health and Human Services, as authorized by Title IV-D
of the Social Security Act.
4. The Contracting States may designate additional public
bodies to carry out any of the provisions of this
Agreement in coordination with the Central Authority.
5. Any changes in the designation of the Central
Authority or other public bodies by one Contracting State
shall be communicated immediately to the Central
Authority or other public body of the other Contracting
State as designated by that Contracting State.
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6. Communications shall be addressed by the Central
Authority or other public body of one Contracting State
directly to the Central Authority or other responsible
public body of the other Contracting State as designated
by that Contracting State.
Article 4
Applications and Transmission of Documents
1. An application for the recovery or reimbursement of
maintenance from a respondent subject to the jurisdiction
of the Contracting States (hereinafter the Requested
State) shall be made by the Central Authority or other
designated public body of the other Contracting State
(hereinafter the Requesting State), in accordance with
the applicable procedures of the Requesting State.
2. The application shall be made on a standard bilingual
form to be agreed upon by the Central Authorities of both
Contracting States, and shall be accompanied by all
relevant documents. All documents shall be translated in
the language of the Requested State.
3. The Central Authority or other designated public body
of the Requesting State shall transmit the documents
referred to in numbers 2 and 5 of this Article to the
Central Authority or other designated public body of the
Requested State.
4. Before transmitting the documents to the Requested
State, the Central Authority or other designated public
body of the Requesting State shall satisfy itself that
they comply with the law of the Requesting State and the
requirements of this Agreement.
5. When the application is based on or the documents
include a decision issued by a competent court or agency
establishing maternity and paternity or for the payment
of maintenance:
a. The Central Authority of the Requesting State
shall transmit a copy of the decision certified or
verified in accordance with the requirements of the
Requested State;
b. The decision shall be accompanied by a statement
of finality or, if not final, a statement of
enforceability and by evidence that the respondent has
appeared in the proceedings or has been given notice and
an opportunity to appear;
c. The Central Authority or other designated public
body of the Requesting State shall notify the Central
Authority or other designated public body of the
Requested State of any subsequent change by operation of
law in any amount required to be enforced under the
decisions.
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6. In carrying our their tasks under this Agreement, the
Contracting States shall provide each other assistance
and information within the limits of their respective
laws, and consistent with any treaties related to
judicial assistance in force between the Contracting
States.
7. All documents transmitted under this Agreement shall
be exempt from legalization.
Article 5
Functions of the Central Authority of the Requested State
The Central Authority or other designated public
body of the Requested State shall take on behalf of the
claimant all appropriate steps for the recovery or
reimbursement of maintenance, including the institution
and prosecution of proceedings for maintenance, the
determination of maternity and paternity where necessary,
the execution of any judicial or administrative decision
and the collection and distribution of payments
collected.
Article 6
Cost of services
All procedures described in this Agreement,
including services of the Central Authority, and
necessary legal and administrative assistance, shall be
provided by the Requested State without cost to the
claimant. The costs of testing blood or tissue for
maternity and paternity determinations shall be borne by
the Contracting State in which the proceeding takes
place. a Contracting State may assess costs against the
respondent appearing in that jurisdiction.
Article 7
Recognition and Enforcement of Maintenance Decisions
1. Maintenance decisions, including maintenance decisions
arising from a determination of maternity and paternity,
from one Contracting State shall be recognized and
enforced in the other Contracting State to the extent
that the facts in the case support recognition and
enforcement under the applicable laws and procedures of
the latter Contracting State.
2. Maintenance decisions made after the failure of the
respondent to appear in the proceedings shall be
considered as decisions under number 1 if it is
demonstrated that notice had been given and the
opportunity to be heard had been afforded in a way to
satisfy the standards of the Requested State.
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Article 8
Applicable law
1. All actions and proceedings under this Agreement by
either Contracting State shall be carried out pursuant to
the domestic law, including choice of law provisions, and
procedures of that Contracting State.
2. The physical presence of the child or custodial parent
shall not be required under this Agreement in proceedings
in the Requested State.
Article 9
Geographical applicability
1. For Portugal, this Agreement shall apply to all
national territory.
2. For the United States, this Agreement shall apply to
the fifty states, American Samoa, the district of
Colombia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin
Islands, and any other jurisdiction of the United States
participating in Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.
Article 10
Entry into force
1. This Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after
the later of the dates on which each Contracting State
has been notified in writing through the diplomatic
channel that the legal requirements under domestic law
for entry into force have been fulfilled.
2. This Agreement shall apply to any outstanding
maintenance decision, or payment accrued under such
decision, regardless of the date of that decision.
Article 11
Final Provisions
1. Either Contracting State may terminate this Agreement
by a notification in writing addressed to the other
Contracting State through the diplomatic channel.
2. The termination shall take effect on the first day of
the third month following the receipt of the
notification.
3. In the event that the domestic legal authority of
either Contracting State to carry out its obligations
under this Agreement ceases, in whole or in part, either
Contracting State may suspend application of the
Agreement, or with the Agreement of the other Contracting
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State, any part of the Agreement. In that event, the
Contracting States will seek, to the fullest extent
practicable in accordance with domestic law, to minimize
unfavorable effects on the continuing recognition and
enforcement of maintenance obligations covered by this
Agreement.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized
thereto, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Lisbon, Portugal, in duplicate, in the English
and Portuguese languages both of which are equally
authentic, on this 30th day of May, 2000.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF FOR THE GOVERNMENT
THE UNITED STATES OF OF THE
AMERICA: PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC:
Madeleine K. Albright
Secretary of State
Jaime Gama
Minister of Foreign
Affairs
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