International aspects of family law at Rayden Solicitors International aspects of family law at Rayden Solicitors

Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders

REMO stands for Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders. A country who has endorsed REMO can enforce another country’s maintenance order. A REMO can also be used in respect of the overseas income of a non-resident parent who is habitually resident in the UK. The UK has REMO arrangements with over a 100 countries. This means that the English Courts can be approached to enforce an order made in another country.

A list of the countries where a UK maintenance order can be enforced can be found here:

Find Out More

A child maintenance order can be made by the English Courts if:

  1. The non resident has an income that exceeds the CMS income threshold or certain other conditions apply
  2. The non resident parent lives abroad

Certain orders in England can also be applied for even if the child lives abroad with the resident parent.

If a Maintenance order has been made in England and needs to be enforced abroad, we can assist in liaising with family law specialists in the foreign state.

Top Considerations when wishing to enforce a foreign maintenance order:

  1. Can the order be appealed?
  2. Do you know where the non resident parent resides?
  3. Have both countries signed up to REMO?
  4. Can the arrears be calculated?

Top Considerations when faced with a REMO application:

  1. Did the Court have jurisdiction to make the order?
  2. Was the defendant appropriately represented (this normally means legal representation)?
  3. Can the arrears be calculated?
  4. Should some form of payment be made in advance of any final determination to protect the position on costs?

We have experience in enforcing foreign maintenance orders in England and also defending clients from such claims.

We also have extensive contacts with private investigators who can assist in locating the non-resident parent and/or their assets.

Child maintenance if a parent lives abroad

Recognition and Enforcement of Children Orders made outside of England

England is a signatory to multiple treaties and conventions which enable Judges in England to enforce contact Orders made abroad. This means if you have a custody Order or a contact Order, for example, you may well be able to ask a Court in England to give effect to that Order and enforce it here in England.

Whether a Judge in England can enforce a children Order made in another country, how they will do it and the tests that the Judge will apply, depend on a number of factors.

Key questions

  • Most importantly – in which country was the original Order made?
  • How was the original Order made?
  • In certain cases – was the voice of the child heard?
  • Where is the child habitually resident now?

Key considerations and steps to take

  • Always keep a copy of the original Order, the judgment and any documents filed in the original proceedings and provide these to your solicitor in England;
  • If you were provided with a certificate by your lawyer or the court in the country where the Order was made, provide this to your solicitor in England;
  • Take advice without delay from a specialist international family lawyer.

The reverse situation

What to do if you need to enforce a children Order made in England abroad?

  • You may need an annex III certificate;
  • You may need to get your Order apostilled or legalised;
  • You are likely to need specialist advice in the country where you wish to enforce the Order of the English Court; your specialist international family lawyer in England may be able to provide you with details of an expert.

Unlawful removal

What to do if you are a ‘left-behind parent’ and your child has been taken either to England or from England without your consent?

  • Take urgent advice from a specialist international family lawyer immediately and do not delay.

Rayden Solicitors are specialists in the field of international family law with expert knowledge and links to lawyers in many countries across the world. In any international family law enforcement case it is vital to take advice without delay and only from a specialist international family lawyer.

Key treaties and conventions

  • Brussels II Revised (the European Council Regulation on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction);
  • The 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for Protection of Children;
  • The Luxembourg convention.

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