This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers child maintenance cases where a non-resident parent or person with care lives overseas. A link to the full report in pdf format can be found at the bottom of this page.Jump to full report >>
The statutory child maintenance schemes administered by the Child Support Agency (CSA) and the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) can only accept an application, make a maintenance calculation and request payment from the non-resident parent if the parties to it are all “habitually resident” in the United Kingdom (unless an exception applies).
Where a non-resident parent lives abroad, it can be possible to seek the payment of child maintenance through a reciprocal enforcement of maintenance order (REMO). A REMO can also be used in respect of the overseas income of a non-resident parent who is habitually resident in the UK. This note sets out the application process for a REMO; the UK has REMO arrangements with over a 100 countries although if no REMO arrangement is in place it may still be possible to enforce a decision in the country in which the non-resident parent lives.
The REMO process, however, does not allow for the recovery of arrears owed to a person with care, although the CSA/CMS can take collection action and use its enforcement powers (such as deducting money from a bank account) in respect of any assets retained in the UK.
A list of other Commons Library briefing papers on child maintenance can be found on the final page of this note.
This note relates to England and Wales only.