Are you in the middle of a leave to remove lawyers case involving child maintenance? Then we can help you. These cases can be quite emotive, but we have many years of expertise, both personal and professional in this area and can help and advise you through every step of the way.
All parents, whether resident or non resident, have a duty of care to provide financially for their children, irrespective of the amount of time they see them or spend with them. Unfortunately enforcing this when one parent lives outside of the UK, can be difficult. Parents are unable to enforce any agreements made informally between them, they MUST be made legally binding in a court first.
We are experiencing more and more cases where people are relocating outside of the UK, possibly for employment purposes, to return to their native country and/or families, or simply to just seek a better life and future for themselves. This will obviously raise the issue of how child maintenance will be calculated and assessed. In some cases it can also be difficult to actually receive maintenance payments too.
So if you are in the middle of a leave to remove lawyers case and your child has been relocated outside of the UK what are your rights regarding payment of child maintenance?
In cases where the non-resident parent lives within the UK, the financial arrangements for the children can be made and agreed through the CSA (Child Support Agency) However, when the non-resident parent lives outside of the UK then the position is different. The CSA is unable to assess child support for a non-resident parent who works and lives outside of the UK , although there are some exceptions, for instance a member of the armed services etc.
Here in the UK we have REMO's (Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders) which are international agreements the UK has with over 100 countries. These enable child maintenance orders made by UK courts, to be both recognised and enforced in other countries. Obviously, as the name suggests, these agreements work both ways and can be used by persons living abroad where a parent has come to the UK.
When you make a REMO application it will be enforced based on the laws of the country where the paying parent lives. A REMO application is not necessary if the paying parent works for a British organisation abroad, as it still falls under UK authority and any maintenance can be enforced in the UK.
In cases where the non-resident parent resides in the UK and the child is abroad with the other parent, then maintenance can still be enforced. How it is actioned will depend on which country the agreement was made in. If it was agreed in the UK , then the court where it was originally made can enforce the payment. If it was made within the EU or a country on the REMO list, then it will be enforced through REMO. If however it was made outside of a REMO country then be aware that whilst it can still be enforced, it is likely to take much longer as both countries will need to assess and agree to the terms.
With the stakes being so high for you and your children in leave to remove lawyers litigation, it could be significantly detrimental to your case if you do not seek our professional opinion and expertise in this area. We are yet to see a relocation case run by another law firm which has been properly formulated beyond the simplistic route of fact regurgitation and blame. We have been successful in achieving early agreement in leave to remove proceedings and maximising cases where previous legal advisers have failed to employ a proper strategic approach to the case, or failed to present the case in the most efficient way. Because we are able to facilitate a more constructive dialogue between the parents and highlight the underlying issues, we are able to facilitate early resolution of relocation cases through agreement.
Based in Guildford and Cobham, Surrey Central London, we can help you. If you have a family dispute that needs resolving, we are here to help and look forward to your call.
Please contact us on 01483 826 470