The Civil Law Reform division acts as the Central Authority in Ireland for the recovery of maintenance from abroad. The main laws which govern this area are:
- The UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance, 20 June 1956 (See more info below).
- Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations (See more info below).
International and EU Instruments
The UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance, 20 June 1956
The United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance (New York Convention) was signed in New York on 20 June 1956. This Convention is designed to help the recovery of maintenance by a person (applicant/creditor) living in one country against a person (respondent/debtor) living in another.
The New York Convention was implemented into Irish law by the Maintenance Act 1994 (as amended).
In order for an applicant to make an application for the recovery of maintenance under the Convention the debtor must be residing in a country that has signed up for the Convention.
Here is a full list of countries participating in the Convention.
Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations
The aim of the Maintenance Regulation is to provide for the recovery of maintenance within the European Union.
Its objective is to help a maintenance creditor (applicant) to establish easily, quickly and generally free of charge, an order which can be enforced throughout the European Union. It does this by providing for common rules in relation to applicable law, recognition, enforcement, cooperation and standardised documents including application forms etc. It covers maintenance obligations which arise from family relationships, parentage and marriage.
It means that a person who has an order for the payment of maintenance given in an Irish court will be in a position to look for recovery of that amount in another EU country. The same service will be available to those in other Member States who are seeking recovery of maintenance against debtors (respondents) living in Ireland.
Each Member State has appointed a Central Authority who will co-operate with each other in receiving and transmitting applications to the relevant foreign authority.
You can view a copy of the EC Regulation.
You can also view or download application forms in relation to the recovery of maintenance between EU countries.
Applying for the establishment/enforcement of maintenance obligations
How to make an application:
A person who wishes to apply for maintenance outside of this jurisdiction may apply through the Irish Central Authority, provided that the country where the debtor lives is a party to the UN Convention or the EC Council Regulation.
If you have any queries and/or wish to apply to establish/vary/enforce an order for maintenance, an application form is available by contacting the Irish Central Authority by email, telephone or in writing:
|Address:||Central Authority for Maintenance Recovery from Abroad
Department of Justice
51 St Stephen’s Green
|Phone:||+ 353 1 859-2232|
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY IS NOT A LEGAL OFFICE AND CAN NOT PROVIDE ANY LEGAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD CONTACT A SUITABLY QUALIFIED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL IF YOU REQUIRE LEGAL ADVICE.