Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMOs)

REMOs are international agreements among a number of countries that can help recover child maintenance from someone living abroad. They can also help those living abroad claim maintenance from someone living in the UK.

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.

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 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:

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 Solomn Islands  
Cyprus India Netherlands South Africa  

 

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