Child maintenance if one parent lives abroad

1. Enforcing a child maintenance decision

You can ask the court for help if your ex-partner doesn’t pay any child maintenance they owe you. This is known as taking ‘enforcement action’.

You can’t enforce an arrangement you’ve made yourself - you need to make it legally binding first.

You can also ask the court to change an existing child maintenance decision or make a new one.

How you enforce, change or make a decision depends on:

  • where your ex-partner lives
  • where your original decision was made

The UK has a Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) agreement with a number of other countries. Courts in ‘REMO countries’ can enforce child maintenance decisions made by UK courts.

Child maintenance decisions made in Scotland or Northern Ireland

The process is different if you want to enforce a child maintenance decision that was originally made in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If the decision was made in Scotland

Contact the Scottish government for advice.

maintenanceenforcement@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 0131 244 3570 or 0131 244 4829
Fax: 0131 244 4848
Find out about call charges

The Scottish Government Justice Directorate
Central Authority and International Law Team
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

If the decision was made in Northern Ireland

Contact the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service for advice.

BusinessDevelopmentGroupDL@courtsni.gov.uk
Telephone: 02890 408 888
Fax: 02890 728 945
Find out about call charges

Business Development and Services Division
Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service
Laganside House
23 – 27 Oxford Street
Belfast
BT1 3LA