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Reciprocity with Bermuda

Published (4/29/2011)
By Hank Long
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The House passed a bill 127-2 April 27 that would help a Minnesota mother pursue child support for the children of her ex-husband, who lives in Bermuda.

Minnesota does not have a child support services reciprocity agreement in place with the country located 640 miles east of the North Carolina coast, which means as long as Heidi Shea’s ex-husband lives there, Minnesota does not have jurisdiction to make sure he pays child support.

Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) sponsors HF795, which would require the human services commissioner to initiate procedures to enter into a child support enforcement reciprocal agreement with Bermuda under authority granted by federal law. Currently, nine other states have a similar reciprocal agreement with Bermuda.

Shea said because of her situation she was unable to pursue any legal action until a judge recently ordered county child support services to take her case. Even then, there was little workers could do to aid Shea in her pursuit of legal action.

The bill would direct the attorney general to write a letter to the government of Bermuda to initiate a reciprocity agreement, Hoppe said.

The billnow goes to the Senate where Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen), is the sponsor.

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