Maintenance

The family lawyers from our Law Firm will provide you with detailed and exhaustive legal advice on the maintenance law, the calculation of the amount of maintenance and the evidence to be gathered. Family and divorce attorneys will take care of drafting a maintenance petition to the court and help you through the entire procedure. An experienced family law attorneys will also represent you before the court in Poland.
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martyna dudkowiak
Martyna Dudkowiak
Attorney at Law, Partner
check full info of team member: Martyna Dudkowiak

One of the most frequently conducted cases in the field of family law are maintenance cases. Throughout almost 30 years of practice, the Dudkowiak Family Law Firm has specialized in handling cases involving:

  • maintenance for children – child support payments (alimony) – from the other parent and from further relatives of the child,
  • maintenance from or for ex-spouse,
  • increase of alimony,
  • reduction of alimony,
  • revocation of alimony,
  • enforcement of maintenance.

In the field of maintenance cases, our Family Law Firm provides the following services at every stage of pre-trial and court proceedings:

  • legal consultancy and written memorandums – if you are considering whether to take legal action and apply for maintenance or you prefer to act in court yourself, we will indicate what actions should be taken,
  • representation in settlement negotiations and in mediation proceedings – practice shows that maintenance settlement negotiations are associated with high emotions of the parties, which often make it impossible to reach an agreement, therefore the assistance of a professional family lawyer is helpful,
  • representation before the court – we may represent you in your maintenance proceeding by taking on all responsibilities from preparing and filing a maintenance petition or maintenance defense pleading, through participation in hearings, drafting pleadings during the proceedings, to the final conclusion of maintenance court proceeding,
  • preparation of the appeal against the maintenance court order – our family lawyers will analyze your case and maintenance court order, indicate its strengths and weaknesses, prepare the defenses charges with justification and submit an appeal at court.

We encourage you to read our Divorce Guide, where you will find basic information also about maintenance for ex-spouse after divorce.

 


Maintenance for children

Both parents are obliged to provide maintenance to a child who is not able to support him/herself. The maintenance obligation may rely on financial support or/and personal day-to-day care over the child and efforts to support, raise and help in development of the child. Usually, a parent who does not take day-to-day care of the child after the divorce is burdened to a greater extent with the obligation of financial support.

Who pays child maintenance after divorce?

The maintenance is paid by the parent who has not been granted custody over child by the court and with whom the child does not live permanently after divorce.

When does the court decide on child maintenance after divorce?

The principle is that if spouses have common children, who are unable to support themselves, the court decides and determines in the divorce decree the maintenance (monthly alimony) for children of the spouses even without request.

When is child entitled to maintenance after divorce?

Entitled to maintenance is a child who is not able to support himself, unless the income from the child’s property is sufficient to cover the costs of his/her maintenance. Children are entitled to maintenance even after the age of 18 years but only while still studying and has no source of income of his own.

How much is maintenance for children after divorce?

There is no universal answer to this question and universal minimum and maximum maintenance amount in Poland. There is no rule that the amount of maintenance for child is a certain percentage of parent income. Most depends on what is proven in court because the amount of maintenance for children depends on two factors: the justified costs of maintaining and bringing up the child and the financial capacity of the parent.

The first step to calculate the possible maintenance amount is to add up the justified costs of maintaining and raising the child (e.g. food, clothes, education, living costs etc.).

Maintenance during divorce proceeding – securing order

There is possibility that the court in securing order, issued during divorce process, determines the maintenance amount and oblige the parent to pay it – to secure the child’s financial situation for the duration of the divorce proceedings. Maintenance securing order is issued only upon request of the party and it is temporary. The decision regarding maintenance securing order should be issued by the court within 7 days. The decision about the securing the claim may be changed or repealed at any time by the court upon request.

How long do I have to pay maintenance for children after divorce?

Child maintenance obligation is valid until the child is unable to support himself. This obligation may exist even if the child is over 18 years of age but is still studying and has no source of income of his own. But there are also situations where an adult child studies and still has the opportunity to work and get income at the same time – then alimony may be not due. Usually, maintenance is not due to an adult child who is not studying. In order to revoke the alimony, it is necessary to conduct a separate court proceeding.

Can maintenance for children be reduced or increased?

The decision about the maintenance in the divorce decree may be changed at any time by the court upon request. It is necessary to conduct a separate court proceeding. The basis for requesting a change in the amount of child maintenance is a significant change in circumstances e.g., change in your financial capacity, change of the child’s justified needs, achieving income by the child etc.

Do I have to pay more than the court-ordered maintenance?

No, you do not have to pay anything more than the amount ordered by the court as maintenance in the divorce decree, even if the other spouse requests it.

Do I have to pay maintenance if I am unemployed?

Unemployed parents are not exempt from the maintenance obligation. Even though you are unemployed, you may still be liable to child maintenance payments if you are able to work. The basis for determining alimony is the oblige spouse’s economic and financial possibilities – it is not just the actual monthly income BUT also the actual earning capacity evaluate taking into account the age, health and education of the parents.

What happens if I do not pay maintenance?

If you do not pay the maintenance ordered by the court, it may result in the case being referred to a bailiff and the initiation of enforcement proceedings against you as the obligated spouse. The bailiff may e.g., debit maintenance amount from your bank account or deduct the maintenance payments from your remuneration for work – everything without your consent. In this situation, you will be additionally charged with the costs of enforcement proceedings.

You can also be a subject to criminal liability for non-maintenance in Poland. Penalties for failure to comply with the maintenance obligation can be in particular: fines, restriction of freedom, imprisonment.

In the event of non-maintenance by the parent, in some situations the child may claim maintenance from the grandparents or from the Polish maintenance fund.

Do I have to pay maintenance if I am not on the child’s birth certificate?

If you are not listed as a father/mother on the child’s birth certificate you do not have to pay the maintenance for child. The obligation to maintenance is borne by the mother and father, who have been entered in the child’s birth certificate as mother and father. On the other hand, if the paternity has been incorrectly established, it may turn out that the father pays maintenance for not his child.

How to avoid paying alimony to children after divorce?

The court will not oblige you to pay maintenance if the child is able to support him/herself – e.g., the income from the child’s property is sufficient to cover the costs of maintenance or adult child is not studying anymore and is able to or undertakes gainful employment. The same situation may take place if parent oblige to maintenance have no income and are unable to work.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our family lawyer who specializes in maintenance cases.
Family & Divorce martyna dudkowiak
Martyna Dudkowiak
Attorney at Law, Partner
check full info of team member: Martyna Dudkowiak
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