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Child Maintenance

A parent who does not live with their child still has a financial responsibility for the child.


The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division (CMED) is part of the Department for Social Development (DSD) and it’s role is to make sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upkeep by paying child maintenance.

Cross Border – Contact the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service for advice on how to enforce a child maintenance on someone living outside Northern Ireland.  Email:  or telephone: 02890 408 888

Further information: NI Direct website – Child Maintenance Service




A person seeking a maintenance order can go to their local District Court and get the Court Clerk to issue a maintenance summons against the other spouse. Information on applying for maintenance and the forms used is available on the Courts Service website.

Cross Border – If the other parent/spouse/civil partner lives abroad, you should contact the Central Authority for Maintenance Recovery. This process may be lengthy but generally involves no legal costs. Email: or telephone:+353 (0)1 479 0200

Further information: Citizens Information website – Maintenance orders and agreements


EU / Cross Border Issues

Source:  EU Commission

As of 18 June 2011, new rules on maintenance matters apply. They still ensure judicial protection of the maintenance creditor by allowing him/her to sue the debtor before the courts of his/her home State.

In addition, in most cases, the 2007 Hague Protocol determines the law applicable to maintenance obligations and any judgment on maintenance issued by the courts of the Member States circulates freely in the European Union and may be enforced in all the Member States without additional formalities.

The new rules apply in all 28 EU Member States

For further information please visit EU Commission  EU Justice portal