Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders - or REMO - is the process by which maintenance orders made by UK courts, on behalf of UK residents, can be registered and enforced by courts or other authorities in other countries against people resident there; or a claim for recovery of maintenance by a UK resident against a person resident in another country can be established in that country.
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 maintenace 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 approach: 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 payer 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.
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