Civil legal aid for maintenance obligation cases under Council Regulations (EC) No. 4/2009: circumstances where no financial assessment required

The Maintenance Regulation deals with jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters concerning maintenance obligations.  It is directly effective in Scots law and applies to all EU member states.  It allows a maintenance creditor to obtain a decision that will be automatically enforceable in another Member state, without formalities such as registration.

An application will be required in respect of any court proceedings. Important points to note:

  • You may use advice and assistance to attempt to obtain payment by agreement or to take steps to enforce an existing order.
  • You should sign the application for advice and assistance on behalf of your client.
  • Advice and assistance will not cover the routine collection of payments or the transmission of these to your client.

An application for civil legal aid is needed:

  • Where it is necessary to proceed with an action in respect of a maintenance claim
  • Where enforcement action that requires separate proceedings to be raised, (such as sequestration or proceedings for civil imprisonment,) is needed.

Civil legal aid is provided without any assessment of financial eligibility for all applications by a creditor under Article 56 of Council Regulation (EC) No. 4 of 2009 concerning maintenance obligations arising from a parent/child relationship towards a person under the age of 21.  Make it clear in the application that your client is a creditor.  For other applications, we may refuse legal aid if we consider that, on the merits, the application or any appeal or review is manifestly unfounded.

If legal aid is granted the grant will cover steps taken in the execution of diligence, although there may be situations where our prior approval is needed.

The routine collection of payments and the transmission of these to the client is not covered by legal aid.

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