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.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
British Solomon Islands
Canada (except Quebec)
Central African Republic
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of
Isle of Man
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Papua New Guinea
St Kitts & Nevis
Serbia & Montenegro
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Islands
United States (except Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and the
District of Columbia)
Vatican (Holy See)