Voluntary alimony

Voluntary child support

The Family Code provides for two ways to collect alimony – compulsory or voluntary. Voluntary alimony should be understood as situations where money is sent by the payer independently, and is not forcibly collected from his income through enforcement proceedings.

You can pay alimony voluntarily based on the verbal consent of the parties or by concluding a notarial agreement. In all cases, the payer should keep evidence confirming the transfer of funds to the recoverer, for example, obtain a corresponding receipt from him. If there is no documentary evidence of alimony payments, the spouse may subsequently collect arrears of alimony for recent years.

Question: What should I do if I regularly paid child support according to a verbal agreement without signing a notarial agreement, but the child’s mother filed a lawsuit and is demanding years of debt?

If the parties have entered into an agreement in which they independently determined the procedure and amount of alimony payments, then it must be certified by a notary. After this, the document comes into force as a writ of execution; accordingly, if payments are not received, the man has the right to turn to the state executor for forced collection of funds (enforcement proceedings).

How to voluntarily pay child support

According to family law, parents must support their minor children, and a man and a woman must financially support each other. It is assumed that funds for the maintenance of families and children should be paid voluntarily when necessary. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to arrange regular payments for children or your own maintenance – alimony.

The possibility of voluntary payment of alimony, that is, by agreement of the parties, is established by law. The Family Code of Ukraine states that parents have the right to independently determine the procedure and amount of child support payments. You can do this in one of the following ways:

  • Under an agreement to pay alimony, the parties enter into a written agreement describing all the terms of payment, after which the document must be certified by a notary.
  • When concluding a settlement agreement – if the parties in the legal proceedings for the collection of alimony have agreed on the procedure for payments, then the court issues a ruling on approval of the settlement agreement and the proceedings in the case are terminated. This document has the force of a court decision, so if the man does not comply with its terms, the claimant will be able to apply to the court to issue a writ of execution.
  • Based on the court decision, the parties determined the terms of alimony payments during the consideration of the case by the court, and a corresponding decision was made. However, the claimant may not transfer the writ of execution to the state executors if the defendant pays alimony on his own.

If parents come to an agreement to pay child support voluntarily without involving the state executive service, then the payer should record each payment sent to fulfill obligations. Since there are situations when alimony is regularly paid, but over time the claimant still files a lawsuit and collects the debt, indicating that the father did not participate in providing for the child.

Child support by agreement of the parties

An agreement to pay alimony implies a pre-trial collection procedure. The parties describe the conditions and procedure for assigning payments, after which the document must be certified by a notary. The agreement has the force of a letter of execution, so if the father stops paying alimony, the spouse can immediately turn to the state executor.

After the agreement has been certified, the recipient of alimony does not have the right to go to court with a claim to collect alimony. If a court decision has already been made to collect alimony, the parties can also draw up an agreement that will contain only additional requirements and should not contradict the decisions made.

If there is a voluntary agreement, you can go to court if at the same time a claim is filed to declare it invalid and collect alimony. Also, the parties can make changes to the agreement by mutual consent, but if the other spouse refuses, this can only be done through the court.

The need to change the terms of the transaction may arise due to a change in financial or marital status, as well as the emergence of other circumstances due to which the payment of alimony in the previous amount will significantly violate the rights of one of the parties. For example, the appearance of a disease in the claimant, as a result of which he cannot continue to work, or if the payer’s income has increased significantly.

An agreement to pay alimony will only be valid if it is notarized. However, in order to reduce notarial costs, spouses have the right to draw up the text of the agreement themselves, and then have it certified by a notary. The notary checks that his terms do not violate the rights and interests of one of the parties and comply with the rules of the Family Code of Ukraine.

Agreement on voluntary payment of alimony (sample)

A voluntary alimony agreement must contain the following information:

  • Title: “Agreement on payment of alimony for a minor child” (wife).
  • Build date and city.
  • Information about the claimant and payer – full name, date of birth, passport details, address of residence.
  • Information about the child, if alimony is charged for him or for a wife with a child under 3 years old – full name, date of birth, place of residence and details of the birth certificate.
  • The subject and terms of the transaction are described:
  • it is indicated in whose favor alimony will be collected;
  • the amount of payments and the method of collection – in shares of income (earnings) or a fixed amount of money;
  • collection frequency – monthly, quarterly;
  • payment method – cash, bank transfer, etc.
  • Rights and obligations of the parties according to family and civil law.
  • The duration of the agreement and the grounds for its termination or amendment in accordance with the Family Code of Ukraine.
  • Which party bears the costs of certifying the “alimony agreement” with a notary.

Amount of alimony paid under agreement

The parties can independently determine the amount of alimony to be paid under the agreement. However, according to the Family Code of Ukraine, the amount of payments cannot be lower than what would be awarded by a court decision.

In general, alimony can be collected in the following form and amount:

  • As a share of income depending on the number of children:
  • 1/4 – if one child;
  • 1/3 – if there are two children;
  • 1/2 – if there are three or more children.
  • In a fixed monetary amount – payments can be either periodic, for example, monthly or in the form of a lump sum payment. In this case, alimony in this form should be calculated briefly based on the cost of living in the region of residence. And when collecting alimony for a wife, it must also be established in a fixed monetary amount.

If alimony is paid in a fixed monetary amount, then the agreement may establish a procedure for their indexation. If the agreement does not contain such a condition, then the indexation of alimony is carried out according to the rules of the Family Code of Ukraine, in proportion to the increase in the cost of living in the corresponding region of residence or in Ukraine as a whole.

In addition, the Family Code of Ukraine establishes that property can be transferred in payment of alimony, so the parties can agree that property (for example, real estate) will be provided to the claimant in payment of alimony. In this case, not only the notarized agreement must be certified – it will also be necessary to register the transfer of ownership in the prescribed manner.

If the voluntary payment of alimony was nevertheless made in kind, then in practice this does not relieve the alimony provider from the obligation to pay it in cash if the other parent goes to court to collect it.

When making a decision, courts may not take property into account when alimony payments are counted, because the law says that alimony is money allocated for the maintenance of a child. And their goal is to ensure the child’s vital functions and basic needs for full development. The debtor’s property can be recovered in court only to pay for arrears of alimony.

How to pay child support voluntarily

For voluntary payments, you should keep and, if necessary, be able to provide evidence of the transfer of funds. To do this, payments must be made in one of the following ways:

Answers from a lawyer about voluntary payment of alimony

After the divorce, we verbally agreed with my wife to pay child support, but no agreement was concluded. Payments were made regularly, but there are no supporting documents. At the moment, the wife has filed a lawsuit to collect alimony and arrears. Will she be able to collect the debt from me for recent years and how can I prove in court that payment was made?

It is possible to collect alimony for recent years according to the rules of the Family Code of Ukraine, however, to do this, the child’s mother must prove that during this period he took measures to collect payments, such as:

  • sending by mail a demand for collection of funds, about which there is a notice;
  • there was a proposal from the spouses to conclude an alimony agreement;
  • she applied to the court for a restraining order.

If you voluntarily paid alimony and your spouse did not send demands for its collection, then in recent years she will not be able to collect payments. If such an offer was received from him, you will need to provide any evidence of the transfer of money: account statements, receipts, checks, receipts, witness statements. And in this case, the court may take into account the relevant evidence and reject your ex-wife’s claim.

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