Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMOs)

A reciprocal enforcement maintenance order (REMO) is an international agreement between different countries that can help recover child maintenance from a parent living overseas. A REMO can also help a parent living abroad claim maintenance from the parent living in the UK.

How the REMO process works

REMO is the process where a maintenance order made in a UK court for a  UK resident can be registered and enforced by a foreign court or authority against a paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) who lives there. 

The UK has no authority to make foreign courts enforce maintenance orders.

There are times when a REMO isn't needed as the paying parent may work for a certain British organisation.

The REMO arrangements  

REMOs are agreements with participating countries and they work both ways. This means that:

  • if a receiving parent (parent with care, 2003 scheme) and child live abroad, they can apply for a foreign maintenance order which will be enforceable against the paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) who is living in the UK
  • if the receiving parent (parent with care, 2003 scheme) and child live in the UK, they can seek an order to register and enforce the recovery of maintenance orders from the paying parent (non-resident parent , 2003 scheme) who is living abroad

The details of the REMO arrangement can depend on:

  • which country the paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) or receiving parent (parent with care, 2003 scheme) lives in
  • the agreement the country has signed

Applying for a REMO

If you are a receiving parent (parent with care, 2003 scheme) who lives in the UK and the paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) lives abroad, you should contact:  

  • your local magistrates' court or county court where the original order was made (if you already have an existing court order for maintenance)
  • your local magistrates' court if there is no existing order

If you have an existing maintenance order, you can apply to have that order enforced in the country where the paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) is living.

If there is currently no order, you can ask the authorities to make a maintenance order for you.

You don't need a solicitor as court staff will help you and send the application to the relevant authority in the country where the paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) is living.

They will check the application and send it to the court for registration and enforcement.

REMOs in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service handle all REMO applications between Northern Ireland and countries outside the UK.

For more information about REMOs, contact:

Enforcement

If you make a REMO application, it will be enforced according to the laws in the country where the paying parents lives - not UK laws.

The UK has no authority:

  • to make foreign courts enforce maintenance orders
  • to set a timescale for enforcement, as the system is based on mutual agreement

Countries with a REMO agreement

The following table lists countries that have a REMO agreement with the UK.

Country Country Country Country Country
Algeria Czech Republic Ireland New Zealand Spain
Anguilla Denmark Isle of Man Nigeria Sri Lanka
Antigua and Barbuda Dominica Israel Norfolk Island Surinam
Austria Falkland Islands Italy Norway Swaziland
Australia Fiji Jamaica Pakistan Sweden
Barbados Finland Jersey Papua New Guinea Switzerland
Belize France Kenya Philippines Tanzania
Belgium Gambia Kiribati Poland Trinidad and Tobago
Bermuda Germany Lesotho Portugal Tunisia
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ghana Luxembourg Romania Turkey
Botswana Gibraltar Macedonia St Helena Turks and Caicos Island
Brazil Greece Malawi St Kitts and Nevis Tuvalu
Brunei Grenada Malaysia St Lucia United States
(excluding Alabama, Mississippi,
South Carolina and District of Columbia)
Burkina Faso Guatemala Malta St Vincent Uruguay
Canada (not Quebec) Guernsey Mauritius Seychelles Virgin Islands
Cape Verde Guyana Mexico Sierra Leone Zambia
Cayman Islands Haiti Monaco Singapore Zimbabwe
Central African Republic Hong Kong Monsterrat Slovakia  
Chile Hungary Morocco Slovenia  
Croatia Iceland Nauru Solomon Islands  
Cyprus India Netherlands South Africa  

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