Children’s support payments in Ukraine

In accordance with the current legislation, the issue of payment of alimony is solved in two ways - peaceful or forced. 

Voluntary payment of alimony can be carried out:

  • upon agreement between parents;
  • on the personal initiative of support payer by submitting a statement thereof at his place of work;
  • by the alienation of immovable property in favour of the child.  

If the parents fail to reach an agreement for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, the alimony is set in the court. 

Voluntary payment of alimony in Ukraine 

Parents have to support their children till they are 18, if we are not talking about disabled children. 

After reaching the age of majority by the child, the period of its material support may be extended to 23 years in court, if the child continues to study and the parents have the opportunity to provide with financial assistance.

At the same time, for the period of studying, the right to maintenance is terminated along with the training itself, for example, the support is stopped if a child has been discharged or has stopped the process of receiving education on his own initiative. 

Child support payment upon agreement between parents 

Parents can agree on child support payments and determine the amount by themselves, but not less than is foreseen by the actual law. In this case, the agreement must be notarized; the amount of alimony and the procedure for their payment will be recorded in it. 

Statement at the place of work

The payer of alimony has the right to independently file at the place of its work a statement on the deducting of the amount of alimony from his income. However, the alimony payer may cancel such an application at any time. The statement indicates the period for which the alimony will be transferred. In this case, it is possible to deduct support in an amount greater than half of the salary. A similar method of paying alimony can be applied to scholarships and pensions. 

Alienation of immovable property in favor of the child

A child support payer can sign a notarized agreement, as a result of which, the child will acquire the right to some immovable property on account of terminated support payments. 

Such a contract is concluded only with the consent of the guardianship and care body.

The child will be indicated as the owner of the property, or the child with that of a parent with whom he lives, this will be in shares, which the parents agree with. In this scenario, they will be the owners of real estate on the rights of common ownership. When transferring the property to the child's ownership, it is necessary to understand that the conclusion of the contract releases the parent who transferred his property in favor of the child from the fulfillment of alimony obligations but it is not a reason for the termination of the obligation to incur additional costs for its maintenance (for example, conducting an expensive medical operation).

It is also important to remember that with the consent of the guardianship and care bodies, such property may be alienated in favor of third parties till the child reaches the age of majority. 

Payment of alimony through the court

In cases where none of the options for a peaceful solution to the issue of payment of alimony is not suitable for parents, or they cannot come to a mutual agreement, then a compulsory collection of money from the alimony payer is conducted via a judicial proceeding. 

The judicial procedure for resolving such disputes is provided for filing a claim by those of the parents with whom the child has residence. At the same time, the submission of an alimony is possible both to the court at the place of registration of the defendant, and to the court located at the place of registration of the applicant, since this case is in the interests of the child and its rights are protected in this way. 

Amount of support payments (alimony)

According to the current legislation, the amount of alimony is set by the court taking into account the defendant’s salaries, bonuses, any additional earnings, rewards, pension, unemployment relief, scholarships, dividends and any other possible profits. Support payments may be calculated as a percentage of the defendant’s total incomes or as a fixed amount.

What the court takes into account when determining the amount of alimony:   

  • the state of health and the financially of the parent;  
  • the state of health of the defendant (alimony payer) and his financial situation; 
  • the fact that the defendant has other children in need of financial support; 
  • the existence of a disabled spouse, parents, and children; 
  • a payer owns or does not the movable and immovable property, money, trademark rights, business, shares (parts) of companies, etc .; 
  • have been carried out big expenses by the defendant, such as the purchase of real estate and/or other property in the amount of more than ten times the subsistence minimum; 
  • any other circumstances that are important for a fair decision on the case of payment of alimony.

New marriage of payer of alimony or moving to another country does not affect the change in the amount of alimony. On the contrary, if a child was born in a new marriage (and accordingly, the obligation has now arisen to support another child), then the amount of alimony can be reduced, and the moving abroad can be caused by a difficult financial situation. 

According to the court’s decision, the alimony payer has also to reimburse additional expenses for the child caused by special circumstances: health improvement of the child, rest, treatment, participation in special educational programs of the child, and so on.

The court can appoint the amount for support of the child, both as a proportion of the payer's income and in the fixed (regular) sum of money.

The minimum amount of alimony

The minimum amount of alimony per child may not be less than 50% of the subsistence minimum for a child of the appropriate age. The recommended minimum amount of alimony that is collected by the court is one living wage. The amount is determined by the court if the defendant’s salary or other income is enough to pay this amount of alimony. 

The maximum amount of alimony that the court may charge 

The certain maximum amount of alimony is not established by law. At the same time, the recovery of alimony under a court order provides for the possibility of collecting alimony in the amount not more than ten subsistence minimum per child of the appropriate age. If there are several children, then the maximum amount is calculated for each child separately.

If the limit is provided by the legislature does not cover the needs of the child, then it is necessary to apply in the order of court proceedings.

Since there is not a fixed maximum amount, you can apply for such amount of alimony that you can justify the need in it. Take into account also the needs of the child and the financial opportunity of the alimony payer. Any needs need to be confirmed. 

Thus, in order for the court to award alimony, in particular in an amount greater than ten living wages, it is necessary to provide proof of the need for such a sum (for example, payment for treatment, college, etc.). 

Therefore, in the process of analyzing the judicial practice, it is worth noting that the judge will not award an exorbitant amount without a proper substantiation of the child’s real needs, even if the other parent has the financial ability to pay millions. 

If you want to find out more on this issue, as well as to know what maximum amounts can be recovered in court in your case, call us.

The Simplified procedure for alimony recovery through a court

Now there is a simplified procedure for child support recovery in court. To do this, you must apply to the court to issue a court order for the recovery of alimony.

One of the parents (or other legal representatives of the child) with whom the child lives have the right to apply to the court for the issuance of a court order for the recovery of alimony in the following amount: per child - 1/4, for two children - 1/3, for three or more children - 1/2 of the earnings (income) of the alimony payer, but not more than 10 living wages per child of the appropriate age for each child.

Responsibility for non-payment of alimony

In case of non-payment of alimony through the fault of a person who, by a court decision, has maintenance obligations, a penalty in the amount of 1% for each day of delay is charged. In this case, the penalty is charged on the amount of debt for the month for which alimony was not paid, and the amount of debt for the previous month is not summed with the debt for all subsequent months.

If the debtor does not pay alimony for more than 6 months, he may be forbidden to drive a car, use weapons and hunt, travel abroad and may be awarded social work until the child support debt is paid off.

Also, if there is a debt for the payment of alimony for more than 6 months, the parent with whom the child lives, independently resolves the issue of temporary departure of the child from Ukraine for treatment, education or rest of the child.

In addition, in the event of such a delay, the alimony payer may have difficulty selling the business (corporate rights). 

Criminal liability for non-payment of alimony

Failure to pay child support can lead to criminal prosecution. This happens if the person is a malicious defaulter. Malicious defaulter can recognize in case of debt for 3 months. The court may impose a penalty in the form of community service, arrest or even restriction of freedom.

In fact, criminal liability for non-payment of alimony comes rather rarely, since the defendant can always motivate his behavior by having material difficulties, poor state of his own health, the inability to allocate funds to pay alimony from the budget of the new family due to the illness of children, etc. In other words, to find a way and assure that if I had the means, I would have paid. Accordingly, it is quite difficult to prove a conscious evasion of payment of alimony. 

Recovery of alimony abroad

According to the Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance, the funds awarded by the Ukrainian courts can be obtained from the second parent residing in the territory of 61 countries of the world. With the help of this Convention, it is also possible to submit documents through the territorial office of the Ministry of Justice to file a claim to a court abroad.

Although this mechanism for the recovery of alimony is available, according to our practice, we recommend filing a claim for the recovery of alimony directly to the country where the alimony payer is officially registered.

It is usually more profitable to solve the issue of alimony in foreign courts, especially when the standard of living in a country of another parent residence is higher than the standard of living in Ukraine. Accordingly, a foreign court, when considering a case, may establish a larger amount of alimony to be recovered. In addition, a foreign court easier to request the necessary documents about the real income of the payer of alimony, rather decide the case.

Such a court decision will be immediately transferred to execution without the need of its legalization.

Taxation of alimony

Previously, according to the norms of the Tax Code of Ukraine, alimony received from the alimony payer permanently residing abroad was subject to personal income tax in the amount of 18% and 1.5% of the military tax.

According to the latest changes in the Tax Code of Ukraine (since July 28, 2018), alimony paid by non-residents (regardless of the amount) is not subject to taxation.

Search for the alimony payer, whose residency is unknown

If the whereabouts of the person acting as a respondent in the process of alimony recovery is unknown, the court may declare him wanted. The search is carried out by the National Police, and the expenses necessary for their implementation are collected from the alimony payer to the state.

There are still many subtleties of alimony from those who are trying to avoid the obligation to support their children.

An experienced lawyer will help to avoid the tricks of the alimony payer and get alimony for the maintenance and development of your child.

Contact our experienced lawyers. We will help you to collect all the necessary documents, file a lawsuit in court and provide other necessary legal assistance for the recovery of alimony.