PROBLEMS OF MAINTENANCE OBLIGATIONS. HOW TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD AND PARENTS?
November 16, 2019, Infralex attorney, Irina Zymina, spoke at the conference of the Research Center of Private Law and the Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on State Construction and Legislation "Development of Family Law. To the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child".
During the speech Irina touched upon the practical problems that arise in the consideration of cases and the execution of judjments on the establishment and recovery of alimony, and also commented on the draft amendments to family legislation under consideration in the State Duma in terms of strengthening guarantees of the protection of the rights of the child to receive alimony and took the initiative to introduce additional amendments.
Thus, Irina noted the following common problems in practice:
- Since alimony is now established as a proportion of the income of the parent, and there is no minimum value, the parent who is often obliged to pay alimony deliberately undervalues his income, which leads to the inability of the child to receive the necessary monthly maintenance;
- Due to the absence of the maximum amount of alimony, as well as the control of the expenditure of alimony by their recipients, there are often cases of parents struggling to determine the place of residence of the child, in order to obtain high alimony from a parent with a high income, in order to be able to spend the received money for personal purposes not related to the maintenance of the child in the future.
Given the wide prevalence of these problems in alimentary cases, lawyer Irina Zymina is positive about the innovations proposed in the draft changes, considering them necessary and timely.
Despite this Irina stressed that the bill needs to be finalized. Thus, it is necessary to take into account the rights of those parents whose salary is lower than the subsistence minimum, which will make it impossible to recover alimony from them in the necessary amount. On the other hand, it is necessary to define a limit on maintenance obligations and to introduce a procedure for reporting on the expenditure of money received for the maintenance of the child. In addition, Irina believes that the experience of other States should be drawn upon in order to improve legislation. In France, for example, a special body of family judges has been established to deal with family disputes, which allows such cases to be resolved by the most competent judges.
In conclusion, Irina proposed to use a more flexible model in determining the amount of maintenance obligations - based on the real income of both parents and on the actual monthly costs of maintaining the child. Only then is it possible to strike a balance between the rights and legitimate interests of parents and, above all, to protect the interests of the child more effectively.
The full text of the statement will be published in the conference broshure.