Deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support

Deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support

Parental rights established by the Family Code of Ukraine correspond to corresponding parental responsibilities, failure to fulfill which may entail certain sanctions for mothers and fathers, in particular, deprivation of parental rights. This sanction is applied for malicious evasion of payment of alimony by court decision. An application to the court is submitted by each of the parents, another legal representative of the child, a prosecutor or an authorized body. More often, such a sanction is applied to parents.

Grounds for deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support

The Family Code of Ukraine contains a complete list of grounds on which a procedure for depriving parental rights can be initiated against a father. In this list, the legislator includes, in particular, the abuse of parents’ own rights, evasion of parental responsibilities, as well as the recognition of the father as a malicious defaulter of alimony.

It is important to note that malicious evasion of the transfer of alimony is highlighted as a separate basis for depriving negligent parents of their rights in relation to children. Thus, the legislator emphasized the special role in the responsibilities associated with the maintenance of children in the modern world.

Evasion from paying alimony can manifest itself in the form of:

  • actual non-payment of funds awarded by the court;
  • concealment by the father of real earnings;
  • changing place of residence or place of work in order to avoid maintenance;
  • concealment of real place of residence;
  • falsification of a work book to create the appearance of unemployed status, etc.

At the same time, the main question that arises in connection with the described basis for depriving the father of his rights is when the evasion of alimony payments itself turns into malicious. The law does not disclose the sign of maliciousness in any way, and therefore this issue is resolved by the tribunal in each individual case. In this case, the judge focuses on possible manifestations of malice, which, as a rule, include:

  • evasion of payment for a long time (4 months or more);
  • the presence of a previously issued warning that evasion of alimony payments may result in criminal liability;
  • the person has a criminal record for maliciously avoiding transferring funds for the maintenance of his children.

As a general rule, evasion of alimony payments is considered malicious:

  • if it lasts more than four months;
  • if the person was warned about the possibility of prosecution under criminal law;
  • if there is an outstanding alimony debt.

The Family Code of Ukraine establishes specific limits for the exercise by parents and mothers of their rights in relation to children. In addition, there are other norms. In particular:

  • The Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses has an article providing for administrative liability for failure by a father/mother to fulfill the obligation to support his son/daughter;
  • The Criminal Code of Ukraine has an article providing for punishment for malicious evasion of alimony payments.

Application for deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support

Only a court can deprive parental rights. Other bodies cannot consider this issue. An application for deprivation of rights must be filed in the district court. It is being considered as part of the lawsuit.

The circle of persons, as well as bodies that have the right to initiate cases in court regarding the deprivation of parental rights, is determined by the Family Code of Ukraine. A claim may be submitted by:

  • one of the parents (or those who replace them, in particular, a guardian, trustee or adoptive parents);
  • prosecutor;
  • bodies or institutions charged by the legislator with the responsibility to protect the rights of minors (these include, in particular, guardianship and trusteeship authorities, educational institutions for orphans, as well as for children left without parental care, as well as commissions in juvenile affairs) .

The statement of claim must meet all the requirements set out in the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine. A claim to deprive a person of parental rights must be filed in court at the place of residence of the defendant (as required by the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine).

An exception is the possibility of filing a claim at the place of residence of the plaintiff in the event of combining claims for depriving parents of their rights and collecting alimony.

Documents for deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support

Attached to the statement of claim (in accordance with the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine):

  • copies according to the number of defendants, as well as third parties;
  • power of attorney or other document certifying the authority of the plaintiff’s representative (if the claim is filed by a representative);
  • child’s birth certificate;
  • certificate of paternity (if the child was born out of wedlock and if paternity was established in relation to him);
  • certificate or act on the place of residence of the child and the plaintiff;
  • a document confirming the fact of payment of the court fee; for 2021 this amount is 908 UAH. 00 kop.
  • a document confirming the plaintiff’s income (the plaintiff must confirm his level of income to show his ability to keep the child);
  • documents confirming the circumstances on which the plaintiff substantiates the demands presented to the court (allowing confirmation of the fact that the defendant does not fulfill his obligations to support his son or daughter or give a characterization of the defendant).

Such documents may include:

  • a court decision to refuse to deprive parental rights (if the plaintiff has previously filed such a claim in court);
  • a court decision to collect alimony or a court order to collect alimony;
  • a certificate from the state executive service about the payment (or arrears in payment) of alimony (if alimony is collected by a court decision or through the executive service under a notarial agreement on the payment of alimony);
  • certificates from educational institutions that the child attends, as well as a description of the child, in which teachers could conclude that both parents take (or do not take) part in raising the child;
  • certificates from medical organizations;
  • court verdict (if the basis for deprivation of rights is the commission of a crime).

example

A. filed a lawsuit to deprive her ex-husband B. of the rights to their common child. As documents confirming the incidents for which she proved her claims, A. Attached a certificate from the bailiff service about arrears of alimony, the amount of which was rubles. The court satisfied the plaintiff’s demands and deprived V. of his rights in relation to his son, obliging him to pay the existing debt.

Deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support through the court

A feature of the consideration of cases of deprivation of parental rights is the mandatory participation of the guardianship and trusteeship authority. This is a kind of procedural guarantee of respect for the rights of both parents and children (in accordance with the Family Code of Ukraine). The guardianship and trusteeship authority is also authorized to give an opinion on the merits of the stated claim, in particular, how expedient it is to deprive the defendant of parental rights.

A child over the age of 14 may be questioned in court as part of the consideration of a claim to deprive one of the parents or both parents of parental rights. As a rule, the question is not put directly to the child, but the court needs to find out the nature of the child’s relationship with the father, who should be deprived of his rights.

The court decision, which satisfies the demands for deprivation of the defendant’s rights in relation to the child, enters into legal force after 30 days from the date of its issuance. In case of appeal, the court decision comes into force after consideration of the case by the court of second instance (court of appeal).

The court decision, on the basis of which the father is deprived of rights in relation to his son/daughter, after it enters into legal force, must be sent to the state civil registration authority. This is necessary so that a corresponding entry is made in the child’s birth certificate.

In exceptional cases, even if it is proven in court that the father is guilty of non-payment of alimony, the court may refuse to satisfy the claim to deprive him of his rights to his son or daughter. This decision can be based on analysis:

  • the nature of the behavior and personality of the defendant;
  • other circumstances worthy of attention.

In similar cases, the defendant is warned that he is obliged to change his attitude towards raising his son or daughter. At the same time, the guardianship and trusteeship authorities are responsible for monitoring how the defendant fulfills his duties.

A father who is deprived of his rights in relation to his son or daughter is not released from the obligation to support his child. In the event of deprivation of the parents’ rights, they cannot, over time, demand from their adult child the payment of alimony for their maintenance, as well as claim an inheritance in the event of the child’s death. In addition, children whose parents are deprived of rights based on a court decision may be adopted.

It is important to note that deprivation of parental rights is not recognized as an irreversible legal consequence of parental misconduct towards their children. Family legislation provides for the possibility of restoring such rights to parents deprived of parental rights. Restoration is permitted provided that:

  • it will be in the best interests of the child;
  • there are grounds for this provided by law (such grounds recognize a change on the part of the parents in their behavior, lifestyle or attitude towards raising a child, that is, the elimination of a negative impact on the child, which served as the basis for the father to be deprived of his rights in relation to the child).

Parental rights can only be restored by going to court. The basis is the application of the father deprived of parental rights for the renewal of parental rights.

At the same time, according to the law, it is unacceptable to restore the father in his rights if the child had already been adopted by the time the father or mother applied to the court (with the exception of cases where the adoption was canceled by a court decision).

Answers from a lawyer about deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support
My father was deprived of all rights to me 5 years ago, and now he is demanding child support payments from me. Is this legal?

Deprive father of parental rights for child support debts

Deprivation of parental rights is, of course, the most stringent preventive measure, which is aimed at stopping the process of raising a child either by both parents or one of them. When parents are deprived of their rights to children, all powers to raise a child are not limited to the period of validity of the court decision, but are completely terminated for an indefinite period. Deprivation of parental rights can be understood as the degree of responsibility of parents for the wrong attitude towards upbringing, as well as the development of the child.

Services of a family lawyer

A family lawyer will provide you with legal advice and help you draw up all the necessary documents for deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support.

We are responsible for the quality of legal services and guarantee a positive result.

With the help of a family lawyer or lawyer, your case of deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support will be resolved more professionally and quickly.

By contacting us, you are guaranteed to receive professional legal assistance in depriving parental rights for non-payment of child support.

Alexey Scriabin
Alexey Scriabin
Family lawyer
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