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Depositary

Convention concerning the recognition and enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children

Authorities

Authorities Austria

05-09-1960

In accordance with article 13 of the Convention concerning the recognition and enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children, notice is hereby given of the following:
In Austria, the district courts (Bezirksgerichte), and in appeal proceedings also the courts of first instance (regional and circuit courts (Landes- und Kreisgerichte)) and the Supreme Court (Oberste Gerichtshof), are competent to render decisions relating to maintenance, and the courts of first instance (Landes - und Kreisgerichte), and in appeal proceedings also the higher regional courts (Oberlandesgerichte) and the Supreme Court (Oberste Gerichtshof), are competent to render foreign decisions enforceable.

Authorities Belgium

15-09-1961

Depending on the circumstances of the case the judicial authorities competent to render decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children under Belgian law are the "juges de paix" (limited jurisdiction courts) and the courts of first instance. Courts of first instance hear appeals against judgments of the "juges de paix" and the courts of appeal hear appeals against judgments of the courts of first instance.
The courts of first instance are competent to declare that decisions rendered abroad are enforceable. In such cases, the courts of appeal hear appeals against judgments rendered at first instance.

Authorities Czechoslovakia (<01-01-1993)

26-04-1971

Under Czechoslovak law, the court is the only authority which is competent to render, modify or rescind decisions relating to maintenance obligations (Article 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure No. 99/1963, Collection of Statutes).
The competent court is the court with jurisdiction in the district where the minor has his habitual residence pursuant to an agreement entered into by the parents or a decision of a court or, if applicable, further to other decisive facts (Article 88, paragraph C, of the Code of Civil Procedure, no. 99/1963, Collection of Statutes).
Under Act no. 36/1964 of the Collection of Statutes on the organisation of courts and the appointment of judges, as set out in amended Act no. 156/1969 of the Collection of Statutes, the district courts ruling in first instance render decisions relating to maintenance obligations.
In the jurisdiction of the city of Prague, capital of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the district courts are the courts of first instance; in the jurisdiction of the city of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Socialist Republic, and of the cities of Brno and Košice, the municipal courts are the courts of first instance. The regional courts hear appeals against decisions of the district courts and the municipal courts of Bratislava, Brno and Košice ruling at first instance. The court of the city of Prague is the authority which hears appeals against decisions rendered by the district courts ruling at first instance in the jurisdiction of the city of Prague.
The courts are competent to declare that a foreign decision relating to maintenance obligations is enforceable (Section 66, Act no. 97/1963 on private international law and the procedure relating thereto, Collection of Statutes).
The court which is competent to make an order and to have the order enforced is the ordinary court in the district where the debtor has his habitual residence, or if he does not have a habitual residence, the court with jurisdiction over the district in which he is residing. If there is no ordinary court in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic under whose jurisdiction the debtor falls, the court in the district where he has property is competent. In cases involving enforcement of a decision through assignment of a claim to a third party, the ordinary court with jurisdiction over the third-party debtor is competent. If however enforcement of the decision concerns real property, the court with jurisdiction over the district in which the property is located is competent (Article 85, paragraph 1, and Article 252 of the Code of Civil Procedure no. 99/1963, Collection of Statutes).
No separate judgment is required in respect of recognition of a foreign decision relating to a financial matter. Recognition is automatic in that the Czechoslovak courts take cognizance of such a decision in the same manner as if it were a decision rendered by a Czechoslovak court (Section 65, Act no. 97/1963 on private international law and the procedure relating thereto).
If all statutory conditions have been satisfied, any foreign decision relating to maintenance may be enforced in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic if enforcement has been ordered by a Czechoslovak court; the order for enforcement must always state the grounds on which it is based (Section 66, Act no. 97/1963 on private international law and the procedure relating thereto, Collection of Statutes).

Authorities Denmark

02-11-1965

1. In Denmark, decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children are rendered by the following authorities:
a. the ordinary courts (courts of first instance, courts of appeal and Supreme Court).
b. the county administrative authorities ("amtmænd"); in Copenhagen, the Office of the Prefect of the city of Copenhagen ("Overpræsidenten i København"), whose decisions may be amended by the Ministry of Justice.
2. In Denmark, the chief of police of the place where a maintenance debtor habitually resides or, if he has no habitual residence, where he is staying has the power to declare foreign maintenance orders, as referred to by the Convention, enforceable. In Copenhagen, however, it is the overpraesident.
3. Consequently, an application for enforcement of a foreign maintenance order should be sent to the chief of police of the place where the debtor habitually resides or, if he has no habitual residence, where he is staying; in Copenhagen, the application should be sent to the overpraesident. In cases where the recipient of the maintenance payments does not know in which police district the debtor resides or is staying, the application may be sent to the National Commissioner of the Danish Police (Rigspolitichefen), Copenhagen, with a request to forward it to the competent authority.

08-10-1979

In accordance with Article 13 of the Convention concerning the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Relating to Maintenance Obligations Towards Children (The Hague, April 15, 1958) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark has the honour to inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that effective January 1, 1979, the competence to declare foreign decisions liable to execution in Denmark became vested in the chief administrative authorities, viz. the county administrative authorities and, in Copenhagen the Office of the Prefect.
Enclosed please find a full list of [...] the authorities in question.
List of [...] the authorities in question
Københavns overpraesidium (The Office of the Prefect)
Københavns amt (County Administrative Authority)
Frederiksborg amt
Roskilde amt
Vestsjaellands amt
Storstrøms amt
Bornholms amt
Fyns amt
Sønderjyllands amt
Ribe amt
Vejle amt
Ringkøbing amt
Aarhus amt
Viborg amt
Nordjyllands amt

Authorities Finland

26-06-1967

1) In Finland, decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children are rendered by the ordinary courts (courts of first instance, courts of appeal and Supreme Court).
2) A request for enforcement of a foreign decision falling within the scope of application of the Convention must be addressed to the Helsinki Court of Appeal.

Authorities France

26-05-1966

The authorities referred to in Article 13 which are competent to render decisions relating to maintenance are:
- for metropolitan France and the French Overseas Departments, the court of first instance where the respondent has his habitual residence, the regional court (Tribunal de Grande Instance), the Court of Appeal or the Court of Cassation.
- for the French Overseas Territories: the ordinary civil law courts.
The authorities referred to in Article 13 which are competent to enforce foreign decisions are:
- for metropolitan France and the French Overseas Departments: the "Tribunal de Grande Instance" with jurisdiction over the debtor or over the place where the decision must be enforced, the Court of Appeal or the Court of Cassation.
- for the French Overseas Territories: the ordinary civil law courts.

Authorities Germany

02-02-1962

In the Federal Republic of Germany, the local courts (Amtsgerichte) are in the first instance competent to render decisions relating to maintenance and the regional courts (Landgerichte) are the competent courts of appeal (No. 23, no. 2, letters e and f, section 72 of the Act on the Organisation of the Courts).
The local courts are competent to render decisions on the maintenance entitlements of children given in one of the contracting states of the Convention of 15 April 1958 enforceable and the regional courts are competent to hear appeals and complaints (section 1 of the Act of 18 July 1961 (Federal Law Gazette, part I, p.1033) implementing the Hague Convention of 15 April 1958 concerning the recognition and enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance obligations towards children).

Authorities Hungary

20-10-1964

a) Under the provisions of Section 29, subsection 2 of Act III of 1952 on civil procedure, when the party entitled to maintenance is a Hungarian national, the court competent to render decisions relating to maintenance is the district court of a municipality or city which has territorial jurisdiction based on the last place of habitual residence in Hungary of the party liable for maintenance. If the place of habitual residence cannot be established, or if the respondent party has never habitually resided in Hungary, the habitual place of residence of the party entitled to maintenance or, failing that, his actual place of residence, determines which court is competent. Under Article 34 paragraph 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a claim for maintenance may also be filed with the court with jurisdiction over the district in which the person entitled to maintenance has their habitual residence.
b) Pursuant to Article 210 paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree no. 21 of 1955, amended by Legislative Decree no. 9 of 1961, a foreign party entitled to maintenance may file a request for enforcement in Hungary of a decision rendered by an authority of a foreign country at a district court which is competent because the habitual residence of the Hungarian debtor falls within its territorial jurisdiction.

Authorities Italy

22-02-1961

Under the provisions in force in Italy, first instance judges ("Praetor" or "President of the court") are competent in the matter of interlocutory measures (Article 446 of the Civil Code in relation to Articles 2 and 3 of the Hague Convention of 15 April 1958).
For decisions with the force of res judicata, however, the competent authorities are the "juges de paix" (limited jurisdiction courts), courts of first instance and courts of appeal (Article 7 ff of the Code of Civil Procedure). Moreover, the courts of appeal also have the power to declare that the decisions of the competent foreign authorities are valid in Italian territory.

Authorities Liechtenstein

02-06-1972

Competent Authority: "Fürstlich Liechtensteinisches Landgericht" at Vaduz.

Authorities Netherlands, the Kingdom of the

28-02-1964

For the Kingdom in Europe:
In proceedings at first instance the district courts and the presidents of the district courts, in appeal proceedings the courts of appeal, and in cassation proceedings the Supreme Court are competent to render decisions relating to maintenance obligations in the Netherlands.
In proceedings at first instance the district courts, in appeal proceedings the courts of appeal, and in cassation proceedings the Supreme Court are competent to enforce foreign judicial decisions relating to maintenance.
For Suriname:
The courts of limited jurisdiction (kantonrechter) and in appeal proceedings the Court of Justice of Suriname are competent to render decisions relating to maintenance.
Authorisation of the President of the Court of Justice of Suriname is required for enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance rendered in foreign countries.

01-01-1986

For the Netherlands Antilles:
The courts of first instance and the Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles are competent to render decisions relating to maintenance.
For Aruba:
The court of first instance and in appeal proceedings the Joint Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

25-07-2012

For Aruba:
The Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten is competent to render decisions relating to maintenance, in first instance and in appeal.
For Curaçao:
The Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten is competent to render decisions relating to maintenance, in first instance and in appeal.
For Sint Maarten:
The Courts of first instance and the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten is competent to render decisions relating to maintenance.
For the Caribbean part of the Netherlands (the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba):
The authorities of the European part of the Netherlands are also competent for the Caribbean part of the Netherlands.

Authorities Norway

02-09-1965

In Norway, decisions on maintenance may be rendered by the following authorities:
1. the ordinary courts (canton or municipal courts, assize courts, Supreme Court);
2. the prefects (chief administrative officer of a region) or the Ministry of Justice in respect of maintenance due to legitimate children;
3. The prefects or the Ministry of Social Affairs in respect of maintenance due to illegitimate children.
The authority to grant a request for enforcement in Norway in respect of maintenance ordered abroad lies with the court responsible for seizing movable property in the district where the person liable for maintenance has his habitual residence or - if his habitual residence is abroad or is unknown - by the court responsible for seizing property in the district where enforcement is to be effected. Such a request may be transmitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

14-04-1992

In Norway, the amount of a child maintenance payment is determined by the Maintenance Payments Officer ("Bidragsfogden") in the maintenance recipient's place of residence. If one of the parents is resident abroad, the foreign affairs section of the Maintenance Payments Office in Oslo ("Bidragsfogden i Oslo, utenlandsavdelingen") will determine the amount of the payment. As from 1 October 1992 the Norwegian National Insurance Office for Social Insurance Abroad, Child Maintenance Division, functions as transmitting as well as receiving agency for the recovery of maintenance contributions to children where one of the parents is resident abroad.
[...]
The Governor of Oslo gives judgement in cases of appeals against decisions taken by the Maintenance Payment Officer.
The courts give final judgement in child maintenance cases only when one of the parents requests such a judgement during divorce proceedings or proceedings concerning the custody of the child or visiting rights.
The Maintenance Payments Office can also refer the parents to the courts if the nature of the case seems to warrant it .
The courts give final judgement in cases concerning applications from the other parent for payments, but the Governor for the appropriate area can also take such decisions if both parents agree. The Ministry of Justice gives judgement in cases of appeals against decisions by Governors.
Requests for the enforcement of decisions given in other countries concerning child maintenance payments should be addressed to the foreign affairs section of the Maintenance Payments Office in Oslo ("Bidragsfogden i Oslo, utenlandsavdelingen"). As from 1 October 1992, such request should be addressed to the Foreign Affairs Service of the National Insurance Scheme ("Folketrygdkontoret for utenlandssaker").

25-01-2008

The Norwegian body designated as requesting agency is:
The Labour and Welfare Collection Agency.
The Norwegian body designated as receiving agency is:
The National Office for Social Insurance Abroad.

Authorities Portugal

16-07-1974

The Government of Portugal designated the autorities provided by the Convention [...] as follows:
a) with regard to maintenance orders: the children's court in the jurisdiction in which the minor is domiciled;
b) with regard to the recognition and enforcement of foreign maintenance orders: the Court of Appeal (Tribunal de Relaçao) of the judicial district in which the person against whom the maintenance order is to be enforced is domiciled.

Authorities Spain

11-09-1973

The authorities competent to take decisions relating to maintenance obligations are the
"Juzgados de Primera Instancia e Instrucción".
The authority competent to take decisions on the enforcing of foreign judgements is the
"Tribunal Supremo".

Authorities Sweden

31-12-1965

The authorities which are competent to render decisions relating to maintenance are the courts of first instance ("Häradsrätt" and "Radhusrätt"), the courts of appeal ("Hövratt") and the Supreme Court. Only the Svea court of appeal ("Svea hovrätt") in Stockholm is competent to enforce decisions of foreign courts in Sweden.

Authorities Switzerland

18-11-1964

I. In Switzerland, the cantonal judicial authorities are usually competent to make orders in respect of child maintenance, for example in divorce (Art. 144 and 156 Civil Code) or paternity (Art. 312 and 319 Civil Code) proceedings. As the organisation of the judiciary varies from one canton to the other, the name of the judicial authorities differs according to canton and the official language used by the authorities thereof. The courts of first instance are generally known as "Bezirksgericht", "Amtsgericht", "Zivilgericht", "Landgericht", "Tribunal de district", "Tribunal d'arrondissement" and "Pretura". The courts of appeal also have different names ("Kantonsgericht", "Obergericht", "Appellationsgericht", "Tribunal cantonal", "Tribunale di appello"). Listing every judicial authority would serve no purpose. Moreover, in some cantons, and in certain cases, the administrative authorities are competent to order child maintenance. In the canton of Bern, for example, the prefect ("Regierungsstatthalter") is competent, in so far as the divorce courts are not competent by virtue of Art. 156 CC to set the amounts of maintenance a parent must pay (Art. 272, par. 1:284, par. 3:289, par. 2:324, par. 2 and 325, par. 2, CC). Subject to the same reservation in respect of the competence of the divorce courts, in the canton of Bâle-Ville, the guardianship authority ("Vormundschaftsbehörde") is competent to set the amount of maintenance.
However, as the administrative authorities in many cantons are competent to order child maintenance ("Unterstützungsansprüche") within the meaning of Art. 328 ff. of the CC, it would be appropriate to list the cantonal authorities with competence to rule on matters relating to maintenance obligations. They are:
Zurich - Bezirksgericht
Bern - Regierungsstatthalter (Préfet)
Lucerne - Gemeinderat
Uri - Regierungsrat
Schwyz - Gemeinderat
Unterwald-Le Haut (Unterwalden ob dem Wald) - Regierungsrat
Unterwald-le-Bas (Unterwalden nid dem Wald) - Regierungsrat
Glaris - Gemeinderat
Zoug - Einwohnerrat
Fribourg - Président du tribunal d'arrondissement (Bezirksgerichtspräsident)
Soleure (Solothurn) - Oberamtmann
Bâle-Ville (Basel-Stadt) - Regierungsrat
Bâle-Campagne (Basel-Landschaft) - Kantonale Direktion des Innern
Schaffhouse - Gemeinderat
Appenzell Rh. ext (Appenzell A.-Rh.) - Gemeinderat
Appenzell Rh. int. (Appenzell I.-Rh.) - Vormundschaftsbehörde
St. Gall - Gemeinderat
Grisons (Graubûnden) - Kleiner Rat
Argovie (Aargau) - Bezirksgericht
Thurgovie (Thurgau) - Bezirksrat
Tessin (Ticino) - Pretore
Vaud - Préfet
Valais - Conseil communal (Gemeinderat) ou préfet (Regierungsstatthalter)
Neuchâtel - Autorité tutélaire de district
Genève - Tribunal de premiére instance.
II. The Swiss authorities competent to enforce foreign decisions falling within the scope of application of the Convention are the courts and judges competent to set aside the debtor's objection ("juges de mainlevée", "Rechtsöffnungsrichter"), that is, special courts designated by the cantons to implement the federal Act of 1889 on prosecution for debt or bankruptcy. These courts follow the procedure for setting aside the debtor's objection ("procédure de mainlevée", "Rechtsöffnungsverfahren"), that is, summary proceedings regulated by the cantons which replace "exequatur proceedings" within the meaning of Art. 6, par. 1 of the Convention. However, they are not judicial proceedings in the proper sense but an interlocutory measure during compulsory enforcement proceedings in respect of financial debts (known as "prosecution for debt"). Nor is the "procédure de mainlevée" an independent proceeding which may be initiated by a claimant who has received satisfaction by virtue of a foreign decision falling under the scope of the Convention. For such a decision to be enforced, the claimant must directly initiate - that is, without true exequatur proceedings - compulsory enforcement proceedings for the debt recognised by that foreign decision. For this to happen, he need only - without even having to produce the foreign decision - use a special printed form to submit a "request for prosecution" ("Betreibungsbegehren") to the "enforcement department" ("l'office des poursuites", "Betreibungsamt") which is competent by virtue of the habitual residence of the debtor in matters relating to maintenance obligations. If the debtor does not object ("opposition", "Rechtsvorschlag") to the "order for payment" ("Zahlungsbefehl") which he has received from the enforcement department but does not pay the debt within a set time limit, the party entitled to maintenance may, without any other formality, request that prosecution be continued, generally by way of "seizure" ("saisie", "Pfändung"), that is, by appropriation of the debtor's property.
However, if the debtor objects to the order for payment, before being entitled to request continuation of prosecution, the party entitled to maintenance must first have the objection set aside by applying to the "juge de mainlevée", at which time - and only then - is he required to produce the foreign decision. "Mainlevée" in this case becomes an "exequatur proceeding". The judge who must rule in those proceedings also acts as exequatur judge and determines whether the foreign decision satisfies the conditions set by the Convention for its enforcement in Switzerland. If it does, the judge declares that the objection has been set aside and, in so doing, grants exequatur to the foreign decision. Once this has been done, the claimant may request that prosecution continue as if the debtor had not objected to the order to pay.
If however the judge competent to set aside an objection refuses to do so - in other words refuses to grant exequatur - his decision may be referred to the Swiss federal court by way of a public law appeal on the grounds of a breach of the Convention.
The Swiss "jurisdictions de mainlevée" ('Rechtsöffnungsrichter"), as designated by the cantons, are:
Zurich - Einzelrichter des Bezirksgerichts
Berne - Gerichtspräsident (Président du tribunal)
Lucerne - Amtsgerichtspräsident
Uri - Gerichtskommission Uri in Altdorf; Gerichtskommission Urseren in Andermatt
Schwyz - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
Unterwald-le-Haut (Unterwalden ob dem Wald) - Kantongerichtspräsident;
exception pour Engelberg: Talgerichtspräsident
Unterwald-le-Bas (Unterwalden nid dem Wald) - Einzelrichter in Betreibungs- und Konkurssachen
Glaris - Zivilgerichtspräsident
Zoug - Kantonsgerichtspräsident
Fribourg - Président du tribunal d'arrondissement (Bezirksgerichtspräsident)
Soleure (Solothurn) - Amtsgerichtspräsident
Bâle- Ville (Basel-Stadt) - Zivilgerichtspräsident
Bâle-Campagne (Basel-Landschaft) - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
Schaffhouse - Bezirksrichter
Appenzell Rh. ext. (Appenzell A.-Rh.) - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
Appenzell Rh. int. (Appenzell I.-Rh.) - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
St.Gall - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
Grisons (Graubünden) - Kreisamt
Argovie (Aargau) - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
Thurgovie (Thurgau) - Bezirksgerichtspräsident
Tessin (Ticino) - Giudice di pace or Pretore, depending on the type of proceedings
Vaud - Juge de paix ou Président du tribunal, depending on the type of proceedings
Valais - Juge-instructeur (Instruktionsrichter)
Neuchâtel - Président du tribunal de district
Geneva - Tribunal de première instance.

Authorities Turkey

27-04-1973

1. In Turkey, the authorities competent to render decisions relating to maintenance obligations for children are the limited jurisdiction civil courts (Sulh Hukuk Mahkemesi) and the regional civil courts (Asliye Hukuk Mahkemesi).
2. Pursuant to Article 2 paragraph 3 of the Convention, provisionally enforceable decisions rendered as security during proceedings by a court, or other decisions which are final and which relate to payment of maintenance are deemed to be enforceable even if an appeal against those decisions is still pending.
3. In Turkey, the authority competent to render decisions on the enforcement of foreign judgments is the regional court with territorial jurisdiction over the debtor's habitual residence. If the debtor does not have an habitual residence or is not currently residing in Turkey, the competent authority is the Ankara or Istanbul regional court.

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