Beyond Borders: The Hague Child Support Convention and UIFSA 2008

On January 1, 2017, the Hague Child Support Convention came into force in the U.S. establishing new treaty relationships with 34 countries while maintaining long-standing bilateral agreements with 4 countries and 12 Canadian Provinces/Territories.  The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act of 2008 (UIFSA) was designed to implement the treaty and includes new law and procedures for recognition and enforcement, establishment, and modification of support orders across national boundaries. Of importance to child support professionals, attorneys, and judges, this program focuses on:  ex officiojudicial review of an application under the treaty to recognize a foreign support order; challenges that the registered order is manifestly incompatible with public policy; enforcement of foreign support agreements; assistance with specific measures; direct requests to the court for recognition and enforcement of support orders; definitions of “state” and “foreign country;” enhanced evidentiary rules and forms; and continuing jurisdiction to modify an order when one party moves to another state and the other party resides in a foreign country.


Lisette Mestre – Ms. Mestre joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the General Counsel, Children, Families and Aging Division in 2008.  Ms. Mestre specializes in child support enforcement legislation and provides advice to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement in the Administration of Children and Families. In 2012, Ms. Mestre received an HHS Excellence in Legal Services award for her work on the Turner v. Rogers case.  In 2013, Ms. Mestre served as Special Assistant to the General Counsel. Ms. Mestre also provides advice to the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Children’s program and in 2018 served as lead staff attorney for HHS on the NTC v. ICE and MMM v. Sessions cases to assist the Office of Refugee Resettlement in effectuating the reunification of unaccompanied children with their parent pursuant to the Ms. L v. ICE preliminary injunction order.

Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Ms. Mestre was Managing Attorney of the Family Law Practice Group for Legal Services of Northern Virginia from 1997 to 2007 and a litigation staff attorney from 1992-1997 specializing in poverty law and family law with an emphasis on representation of victims of domestic violence.  Ms. Mestre developed and implemented the LSNV Pro Bono Domestic Violence Attorney of the Day Project for the representation of victims of domestic violence in Fairfax County, Virginia and was also involved in the establishment of the first court-sponsored children’s visitation center in Northern Virginia. While at LSNV, Ms. Mestre also served as counsel on several parental abduction cases under The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Ms. Mestre is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Law and Florida International University in Miami, FL.

Robert Keith – Robert Keith is the Associate General Counsel for the Children, Families and Aging Division (CFAD) of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mr. Keith has worked for OGC since 1982, and has been the Chief Counsel for CFAD since 1997. From 1975 to 1982 he was an Assistant Iowa Attorney General in charge of training and appeals for the State Child Support Recovery Unit. He has argued several state Supreme Court cases in Iowa and California, and has briefed and argued five cases before Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.  From 2003 to 2007 Robert was a member of the U.S. Delegation to The Hague to draft a new multi-lateral family support treaty, and he was also a member of the Drafting Committee.

Diane Potts (Moderator) – Diane Potts joined the Center for the Support of Families as a Senior Associate in 2015, after serving for 6 years as Illinois Deputy Attorney General for Child Support. During her 20-year career with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Diane argued over 100 cases on behalf of the State in the Illinois Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2015, she won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Family Support Enforcement Association.

Diane is the Immediate Past President of the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA), its past Secretary, and has served on NCSEA’s Board of Directors since 2013. In 2016, Diane was appointed as an official observer to the Uniform Law Commission’s amendment of the Uniform Parentage Act and in 2017, she was appointed to the UPA’s Enactment Committee. Diane served for 6 years on the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee, and was a member of the legislative drafting team for the Illinois Parentage Act (2016) and the income shares child support legislation (2016). Diane received her law degree from Washington University Law School and her undergraduate degree from University of Illinois.


Registration for this event is closed. Members can access the NCSEA Web Talk Library for the recording.