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Updated : 28/02/2017

Maintenance obligations - support for family members

Rules on maintenance obligations vary from EU country to country, and the degree of support is not the same everywhere. However, EU rules apply if you need to provide or receive maintenance to or from someone in another EU country.

Where can you file a request concerning maintenance?

You can file a request concerning maintenance mainly with the courts:

  • in the country where your ex-partner or relative lives;
  • in the country where the person with a claim to maintenance lives;
  • responsible for cases involving your marital status (a divorce for example) or parental responsibility – if the matter concerning maintenance is related to such cases.

If your ex-spouse or relative agrees and subject to certain conditions, you may jointly choose which court should examine your case.This however does not apply if the dispute concerns maintenance obligations towards a child under 18. 

Which laws apply to my maintenance case?

In cases involving two or more EU countries, the law governing maintenance is not necessarily the law of the country where you can file your request.

Find out which laws apply to your maintenance case, how a conflict of laws could be solved and what the consequences would be.

The central authority responsible for maintenance in the EU country where you live can help you introduce a maintenance request abroad: search for the relevant central authority.

Enforcing maintenance rulings abroad

A maintenance ruling made and declared enforceable in one EU country will be enforceable in any other EU country.

Exception - Denmark

For decisions made in Denmark there is a simplified procedure for declaring maintenance rulings enforceable.

The central authority responsible for maintenance in the EU country where you live can help you recover maintenance: search for the relevant central authority.

For national information on enforcement measures, the simplified EU procedure on enforcing maintenance rulings and the authorities which handle them, see:

Choose country:


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