Overview of the REMO process
REMO is the process by which maintenance orders made by courts in the UK for UK residents can be registered and enforced by a foreign court or authority against paying parents (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) who live there.
Please note that UK authorities have no power to make foreign courts or authorities enforce maintenance orders however, every effort will be made to encourage those agencies to abide by their countries' international obligations.
There are times when a REMO is not required 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) is living in as well as the agreement it has signed up to.
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 initially 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 do not need to use a solicitor for this as court staff will help you and forward the application to the relevant authority in the country where the paying parent (non-resident parent, 2003 scheme) is living.
They will then check that the application is in order 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.
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 authorities have no power to make foreign courts or authorities enforce maintenance orders, or to set a timescale for enforcement, as the system is based on mutual agreement. Every effort is made however, to encourage those agencies outside the UK to abide by their countries' international obligations.
Not all countries in the in the world have a REMO agreement with the UK.
The following table contains a list of countries with which the UK has REMO agreements:
|Algeria||Czech Republic||Ireland||New Zealand||Spain|
|Anguilla||Denmark||Isle of Man||Nigeria||Sri Lanka|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Dominica||Israel||Norfolk Island||Surinam|
|Barbados||Finland||Jersey||Papua New Guinea||Switzerland|
|Belgium||Gambia||Kiribati||Poland||Trinidad and Tobago|
|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|
|Central African Republic||Hong Kong||Monsterrat||Slovakia|