Minister Alan Shatter signs European Communities (Maintenance) Regulation 2011 (S.I. No. 274/2011)

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter T.D., has signed the European Communities (Maintenance) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 274 of 2011).    These Regulations make the necessary provision for the good operation of Council Regulation (EC) 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 which is commonly referred to as the Maintenance Regulation. The Maintenance Regulation deals with maintenance obligations arising in a cross-border context, and will apply from 18 June 2011.

The Maintenance Regulation aims to provide for the effective recovery of maintenance within the European Union. Its objective is to enable a maintenance creditor to obtain easily, quickly and generally free of charge, an order which can readily be enforced throughout the European Union.  It does this by providing for common rules in relation to jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement, cooperation and standardised documents.  It covers maintenance obligations which arise from family relationships, parentage, marriage or affinity. 

The Minister said "I am very pleased that the Maintenance Regulation will apply in Ireland.  This Regulation will be of great assistance to people who are seeking to recover maintenance payments within the various EU Member States.  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 seek user-friendly recovery of that amount in another EU country.  The same facility will be available to those in other Member States who are seeking recovery of maintenance against debtors living in Ireland."

The Minister continued  "It is particularly noteworthy that the Maintenance Regulation will protect the position of a child for whom maintenance is to be paid, thus offering protection to a vulnerable sector of society."

Each Member State will appoint a Central Authority who will co-operate with each other in facilitating the operation of the Regulation and in solving any problems arising from its application.  The Central Authorities will also assist individuals in relation to applications available under the Regulation, particularly with regard to the transmission and receipt of applications, the initiation of related proceedings for the establishment or modification of maintenance, and for the enforcement of a maintenance decision.   

The Central Authority for Ireland can be contacted at
S.I. 274/2011 can be found on

The Maintenance Regulation can be found at


17 June, 2011