If you wish to claim maintenance, for example by asking for a monthly payment for child support from a parent not living with the child, EU law allows you to use the courts of your home State in order to determine the obligation of the debtor to pay maintenance and set the amount of alimony. Such a judgment will be easily recognised in the other Member States of the European Union.
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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. Finally, maintenance creditors and debtors benefit from administrative assistance offered by the Member States.
The new rules apply in all 27 EU Member States, including Denmark, on the basis of Agreement of 19 October 2005 between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. However, Denmark does not apply some rules, in particular, the rules on applicable law and on cooperation between central authorities.
The Regulation also provides that administrative authorities may be considered as courts for the purpose of maintenance procedures. A list of those authorities can be found here (68 Kb) .
When maintenance is due from or to the benefit of a person living in a non-EU State, the Convention on the international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance and the Protocol on the law applicable to maintenance obligations may help you in recovering your maintenance in non-EU States which are contracting parties to these international instruments. The Convention has entered into force for the EU towards third States party to that Convention since 1 August 2014.
In order to facilitate the practical implementation of the Maintenance Regulation, and the effective exercise of citizens’ rights throughout the EU, the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters developed a non-compulsory standard form on the statement of maintenance arrears.
This non-compulsory form aims at facilitating the recovery of maintenance arrears and is available in 23 languages. The form comes with a practical guide on completing it attached. The form is available in the following formats: PDF (1093 KB) , and XLS (244 KB) .
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