Family Law Hub

Government prepares ground for reciprocal enforcement of maintenance in event of no deal Brexit

The International Recovery of Maintenance (Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance 2007) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

  • An SI - The International Recovery of Maintenance (Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance 2007) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum have been published to ensure that, in the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK has a process on reciprocal enforcement of maintenance within the EU. 

    The SI will only come into force if no transitional period is agreed as, if there is a deal, then the UK will continue to be treated "as a Member State for the purposes of international agreements, including the 2007 Hague Convention".

    However if no transitional deal is concluded then the UK will need to become an independent contracting party to the Convention and there will be a hiatus while this is achieved.

    Ths SI and the memorandum provide guidance on how enforcement will proceed in that event broadly as follows: (taken from paragraph 2.16 of the explanatory memorandum)

    • prior to the 2007 Hague Convention entering into force again for the UK, the UK will enforce payments falling due under maintenance obligations towards a person under 21 years of age as if the UK continued to be a State bound by the Convention, except where such an obligation was subject to EU rules before exit day (as a result of the disapplication of 2007 Hague Convention rules between Member States);
    • in relation to matters governed by the Convention other than the enforcement of payments towards persons under the age of 21 years, the UK will treat maintenance obligations, applications, requests for specific measures and direct requests arising after the Convention originally came into force for the UK but before exit day as if the UK continued to be bound by the Convention. This will benefit non-EU Contracting Parties. EU Member States will not benefit from this rule on account of the disconnection of the Convention rules in EU cases in favour of the Maintenance Regulation during that period; and 
    • from 11pm on 29 March 2019 onwards until the Convention again comes into force for the UK, the UK will treat maintenance obligations, applications, requests for specific measures and direct requests received from all Hague 2007 Contracting Parties as if the UK continued to be bound by the Convention. By contrast with the bullet above, this approach will apply to EU Member States as well as other Contracting Parties.

    The memorandum itself is also a good refresher on the current framework and its interaction with non-EU states. They can be read in full on the GOV.UK site here.

News, published: 14/09/2018

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Published: 14/09/2018

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