Responsibility for non-payment of alimony

Responsibility for non-payment of alimony

There are several types of liability for failure to fulfill obligations to pay alimony:

  • Criminal – provided for committing a crime (malicious failure to pay alimony).
  • Administrative is less severe than criminal. Includes restrictions on traveling abroad, arrest, and restrictions on driving.
  • Civil – payment of a penalty for each day of delay.
  • Separately, we can highlight deprivation of parental rights.

Criminal liability for non-payment of alimony

The Criminal Code of Ukraine provides for liability for non-payment of alimony. If your spouse viciously fails to pay his debts to his child, he may be subject to criminal charges. Malicious evasion is understood as a situation where the father systematically and purposefully fails to fulfill his child support obligations without good reason.

It is important to note that this type of liability is provided only if alimony is established by a court decision, that is, if there was an alimony agreement, then criminal prosecution is impossible.

This article provides for the following types of punishment:

  • Correctional labor for a man for a period of 80 to 120 hours.
  • Arrest of a man for up to three months.
  • Imprisonment up to two years.

It is important to note that criminal prosecution is undesirable, since the presence of a convicted father will negatively affect the child’s future career. But the threat of criminal prosecution is a good lever of pressure on the debtor.

Administrative liability for non-payment of alimony

Administrative liability is provided for an offense, not a crime (criminal). The goal here will be to prevent the commission of a crime, that is, this is a preventive measure.

This type of liability includes the following penalties and measures:

  • Fine.
  • Seizure of property.
  • Restriction of movement abroad.
  • Seizure of bank accounts.

The decision to impose administrative liability is made by the state executive.

Restriction on leaving the country for non-payment of child support

The restriction on leaving the country is a fairly effective measure aimed at paying off debts. In order for a restriction to exist, several conditions must be present simultaneously:

  • Availability of an executive document.
  • Amount owed for more than 3 months.

Even valid reasons are not grounds for non-fulfillment of an obligation. A difficult financial situation will not allow you to travel abroad, despite the lack of intention not to pay alimony.

Deprivation of the right to drive vehicles for non-payment of child support

Not long ago, a law came into force in our country according to which, for non-payment of alimony, restrictions on the right to drive vehicles can be established if the amount of debt is more than 3 months of non-payment of alimony. In essence, this is not the deprivation of a driver’s license, but rather its suspension until the debt is paid in full.

The process of deprivation of rights can be started by a man raising a child or by the state executor himself.

This measure will not apply if:

  • The driver has a disability or a dependent with a disability.
  • The car is the main and only source of income.
  • The defaulter lives in hard-to-reach areas.
  • There is a court decision to postpone or installment of the obligation.
  • The amount of debt is less than 3 months for late payments.

Penalty for failure to pay child support

A penalty for non-payment of alimony is another type of liability; it is not provided for an offense (administrative liability) or a crime (criminal), but represents monetary compensation for failure to fulfill one’s alimony obligations on time (i.e. the violator pays for the delay). This type of responsibility encourages timely repayment of debts. Legal regulation is carried out by the Family Code, Civil Code, and the Law of Ukraine “On Enforcement Proceedings”.

The penalty can be calculated on the basis of an alimony agreement or a court decision.

  • If there is a notarized agreement on alimony (the spouses have agreed on this issue), then it can be used as a letter of execution, that is, resort to the help of state executors. If there is a transaction, the calculation of the penalty is made on the terms of such an agreement.
  • If there is no agreement, then the party raising the child may apply to the court for alimony. And if the debtor does not pay the money required by this decision, then you can count on payment of a penalty. According to the norms of the Family Code, for each day of non-payment, 1% of the debt amount is charged.

The legislator does not give specific deadlines for delay, that is, formally you can demand a penalty even for a day of delay, but the court may refuse.

It is important to note that, unlike penalties, there is no statute of limitations for alimony penalties. In addition to the penalty itself, it is possible to recover damages from the defaulter, but they must be documented and proven (loan agreement for the purchase of textbooks for a child, etc.).

There are cases when a penalty may not be assigned:

  • The presence of a prolonged illness.
  • Going on forced leave (lack of money from the employer).
  • Having difficult family circumstances.

Deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support

If the father or mother does not pay child support, he may be deprived of parental rights. Such a decision can only be made by a court. This allows the other parent to:

  • Go abroad with a child without the permission of the debtor.
  • Change the child’s first name, last name, and sometimes patronymic without taking into account the opinion of the biological parent.
  • Impose a ban on communication, education and participation in the child’s life.
  • Adopt a child by another man (stepmother or stepfather) in the absence of the consent of the person deprived of parental rights.

After deprivation of parental rights, the defaulter cannot:

  • Protect the interests of the child.
  • Demand a child from other persons.
  • Give permission for the child to carry out transactions.
  • Restrict the child’s right to manage his or her income.
  • Give consent to the child to carry out the emancipation procedure.
  • Receive pensions after the death of a child.
  • Receive an inheritance from a child.

It is important to note that after deprivation of parental rights, the child is not obliged to support such a parent in old age and does not have to pay him alimony.

There are a number of conditions for deprivation of parental rights for non-payment of child support:

  • Vicious evasion. That is, the father systematically, persistently and deliberately does not fulfill his maintenance responsibilities (hides income, work, place of residence).
  • Lack of any participation in the child’s life (lack of visits, gifts, walks with the child and other attributes of a normal relationship between the child and the father).

In order to achieve the deprivation of parental rights of a negligent father or mother, the second spouse needs to collect a package of documents to go to court:

  • Birth certificate for the child.
  • Marriage certificate (or court decision on divorce).
  • A certificate from the educational institution where your child goes, which will confirm that its employees did not see how a negligent father participates in the child’s fate (comes there with the child or takes him away).
  • Testimony confirming the lack of interest in the life of the child on the part of the child support defaulter (testimony of neighbors, relatives).
  • Certificate of alimony payments, their amount and period of debt (issued by the state executive).

There are two main options for reducing Father’s rights.

  • The first option is faster, but the result is not as guaranteed. A lawsuit should be filed to terminate parental rights. The court will schedule a hearing, examine the evidence and make a judgment. But for this, a previously made court decision on alimony is required. In addition, there are many opportunities to convince the court that there is no malicious evasion of alimony payments.
  • The second option will take longer, but will almost always be successful. It is necessary to apply to the court with a request to prosecute the father who is evading payment of alimony. If the court brings a man to criminal liability, then the next trial for deprivation of parental rights is almost guaranteed to be in your favor, because there is already evidence of malicious evasion and lack of interest in the child.

It is important to remember that bringing a father to criminal liability can have a bad impact on the fate of the child; in addition, the father still has the right to restore his parental rights. 

Answers from a lawyer about liability for non-payment of alimony
I am divorced from my husband and have two children. The man pays almost no money to support his children, but he has a car. How can I get money from it?
A man is being prosecuted for failure to pay child support, should he pay the debt if he is sent to prison?
I deprived my ex-husband of parental rights. Is it true that now our child has no right to inherit from his father?

Responsibility of the debtor for alimony

For non-payment of alimony, various penalties may be imposed on the debtor: from a fine and forfeit to restriction of rights (to leave Ukraine or drive a car). In severe cases, criminal prosecution and deprivation of parental rights are possible (carrying not only legal, but also moral consequences). But bringing the other parent to justice is not always good, because it often harms the child himself, as, for example, in the case of criminal liability. Therefore, if it is possible to settle everything peacefully, then you should not go into conflict.

Services of a family lawyer

A family lawyer will provide you with legal advice on issues of liability for non-payment of alimony.

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 regarding liability for non-payment of alimony will be resolved more professionally and quickly.

By contacting us, you are guaranteed to receive professional legal assistance on issues of liability for non-payment of alimony.

Alexey Scriabin
Alexey Scriabin
Family lawyer
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