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Child Maintenance for parents living abroad

If your ex-partner moves abroad, you may still be able to pursue child maintenance, through a process called Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO). Under this scheme, participating countries can enforce a UK court order on behalf of UK residents.

This is a reciprocal arrangement governed by international conventions, which means that foreign maintenance orders in favour of individuals abroad can likewise be registered and enforced by UK courts against UK resident; or a child maintenance claim by an individual abroad established in this country.

The Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1972 provides that the Lord Chancellor is the transmitting and receiving agency in England and Wales for maintenance cases where one party lives outside of the UK. The Lord Chancellor delegates his operational responsibilities as the transmitting and receiving agency to the REMO Unit, which is located in the Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee.

How to apply


A UK resident who wishes to apply to obtain maintenance from a person overseas should go to:

  • their local magistrates' court (or county court where the order was made) if they have an existing court order for maintenance; or
  • their local magistrates' court if there is no existing order.


They may apply for their order to be enforced in the country where the non resident parent resides. Procedures also exist to enable an applicant to ask the foreign authorities to create an order for maintenance on their behalf. There is no need for the applicant to engage a solicitor.

Court staff will help the applicant and will forward the application to the relevant transmitting and receiving agency:

  • the REMO unit in the office of Official Solicitor and Public Trustee for applications from England & Wales
  • the Scottish Executive for applications from Scotland
  • or the Northern Ireland Court Service for applications from Northern Ireland


The relevant agency will check that the application is in order and send it to the foreign authority or court for registration and enforcement of an order, or establishment of a claim, against the person living there.

Disclaimer: This article has been produced by the wikivorce editorial team and not by Child Maintenance Options. Child Maintenance is not responsible for any of the information in this article.

REMO countries

Algeria
Anguilla
Antigua
Austria
Australia

Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Belgium
Bermuda
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
British Solomon Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso

Canada (except Quebec)
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chile
Croatia
Czech Republic
Cyprus

Denmark
Dominica

Ecuador
Estonia

Falkland Islands
Fiji
Finland
France

Gambia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Guernsey
Haiti
Holy See
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of
China
Hungary

Iceland
India
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy

Jamaica
Jersey

Kenya
Kiribati

Latvia
Lesotho
Lithuania
Luxembourg

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Malawi
Malaysia
Malta
Mauritius
Mexico
Monaco
Montserrat
Morocco

Nauru
Netherlands
New Zealand
Niger
Nigeria
Norfolk Island
Norway

Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Poland
Portugal

Romania

St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent
Serbia & Montenegro
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia

Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Surinam
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland

Tanzania
Trinidad & Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos Islands
Tuvalu

Uganda
United States (except Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and the
District of Columbia)

Upper Volta
Uruguay

Vatican (Holy See)
Virgin Islands

Zambia

Zanzibar
Zimbabwe

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