Child maintenance if a parent lives abroad

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If the other parent lives abroad

How you get a child maintenance decision depends on whether the other parent lives in a Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) country. Check the list of REMO countries.

If the other parent does not live in a REMO country, get legal advice from a solicitor to find out if you can enforce the decision.

If the other parent lives in a REMO country

How to apply

If the other parent lives in a REMO country, contact the Maintenance Enforcement Business Centre (MEBC) by email or post.

The MEBC will ask you some questions to check if you’re eligible. If you are, they’ll send you an application form and supporting guidance on how to apply.

Depending on your situation, you may need to attend a court hearing in the UK or pay a court fee. Your supporting guidance will explain this in more detail.

Tell the MEBC if you do not want the other parent to see certain information about you, such as your address.

Complete the form and send it back to the MEBC with any supporting documents.

Contact the MEBC if you have any questions.

After you apply

Your completed application will be sent to the court in the country the other parent lives in.

The foreign court will then decide whether child maintenance should be paid (‘awarded’). They can also decide whether to enforce payment.

You can contact the MEBC to find out how your application is progressing. Do not contact the foreign court.

Contact the Maintenance Enforcement Business Centre (MEBC)

When you contact the MEBC tell them your:

  • full name
  • email address
  • telephone number
  • case reference number, if you have one

If you’re applying for the first time, you’ll also need to tell them:

  • the country you live in
  • the country the other parent lives in

Maintenance Enforcement Business Centre
Triton House
St Andrews Street North
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1TR

There is now only one MEBC for the whole of England and Wales. MEBC Wales and MEBC London are closed.