You cannot make a new application to the Child Maintenance Service if the child and the parent with the main day-to-day care live abroad.

There are circumstances where the service can help if the paying parent lives abroad.

You can make a child maintenance arrangement yourself - if one or both parents live abroad.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Enforcing a child maintenance decision

You can ask a court for help if the other parent does not pay any child maintenance they owe you. This is known as taking ‘enforcement action’.

You cannot 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 the other parent 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The process is different if you want to enforce a child maintenance decision that was originally made in Scotland or Northern Ireland.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.

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

If the decision was made in Northern Ireland

Contact the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service for advice.

Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service
Laganside House
23 - 27 Oxford Street