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March 5, 2009

How Do I Enforce Child Support Payments Between the U.S. and U.K.?

Q: How can I enforce child support (a.k.a. child maintenance) payments between the U.S. and U.K.?

A: The United States and the United Kingdom concluded a bilateral agreement on child support enforcement on December 17, 2007. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/) is the U.S. Central Authority for this agreement.

Judge using his gavel

Photo: IXQUICK on Flickr

The following information briefly explains the steps parents should take to request enforcement of child support orders when the absent parent is in the other country. More information is available on the Department of State’s website at http://travel.state.gov/law/family_issues/support_issues/support_issues_582.html under Federal Bilateral Child Support Agreements in Force.

Applications made in the United States for support from a parent in the United Kingdom: Applications should be made to your local Child Support Enforcement Office (IV-D Agency) at your local Department of Human Services. It is the responsibility of the Child Support Enforcement office to forward the application to the UK Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Section (REMO) located within the Department for Constitutional Affairs at the following address: Department For Constitutional Affairs, REMO Section, Selborne House (4th Floor), 56-60 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QW; tel: 0845-345-5303; website: http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/remo/contents.htm ; e-mail: remo@dca.gsi.gov.uk . The REMO Section will forward the application to the nearest English or Welsh County Court where the absent parent resides and will endeavor to enforce it.

Applications made in England and Wales for support from a parent in the United States: Applications should be made to the Justices’ Clerk of your local Magistrate’s Court. The Justices’ Clerk is required to forward the application to the REMO Section at the Department for Constitutional Affairs as explained above. It is the responsibility of the REMO Section to forward the application to the Child Support Enforcement Office (IV-D Agency) in the particular U.S. state where the absent parent resides. That authority will endeavor to enforce the order.

More information regarding Children’s Issues and Family Matters can be found on our website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/cons_new/acs/scs/childrens_issues_and_family_matters.html

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