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Refusal to pay alimony

Statistics show that in our time, the problem of refusing to pay financial funds for child maintenance is very acute: more than 7 million claims have been filed for alimony, and the number of mothers who raise children independently is increasing every year.

Alimony is an eighteen-year installment plan for atonement

The Constitution of Ukraine (Article 51) obliges parents to support their children until they come of age. It often happens that the former spouse leaves his wife alone with a minor child and refuses to allocate financial resources for the normal development of their child. In such situations, the only way out is to go to court to calculate alimony. Parents, of course, have the opportunity to resolve everything by mutual consent, concluding and notarizing the relevant agreement, which will specify the number of payments and the timing of their implementation. Although the number of alimony is set by agreement, it can never be less than half of the child’s living wage, which is set by the state. That is why if the former spouse violates the terms of the contract, the recovery is not by a court a decision, but by order of a notary. However, as practice shows, a very small number of spouses solve such problems peacefully. There are cases when the wife can refuse alimony.

Cases of refusal of alimony

The ex-husband can refuse to pay alimony in such cases:

  • The father does not pay the funds, and the ex-wife does not require recovery through the court. In this case, the child must be fully provided for, since state authorities do not have the right to interfere in family affairs.
  • The husband and wife were able to peacefully resolve the issue of child support. In this case, the relevant claim for termination of alimony payment is filed with the court, which specifies the objective reason for the refusal.

It is important to understand that even the refusal of alimony should be based on the interests of the child, and not personal emotions or biases. At the moment, the number of alimony cannot fall below 50% of the minimum subsistence level of a child at a certain age. The payment number may be specified in a civil contract or court decision. Moreover, this number is not monolithic, and it can be increased or decreased depending on the circumstances. This is affected by changes in financial and family status, health problems, etc.

If a child support debt is incurred, the former spouse is entitled to receive a penalty, which is calculated as one percent of the number of child support for each day of non-payment. If the debt appeared for reasons that did not depend on the payer, then such a duty cannot be imposed on him.

The appearance of alimony arrears does not always indicate the payer’s bad faith. Depending on the situation, the debt may be reduced or even written off by a court decision. Significant arguments in favor of this can be:

  • the occurrence of serious problems with the debtor’s health;
  • any other serious circumstances, such as lack of income or maintenance of disabled relatives.

You can also refuse alimony in exchange for your ex-husband’s real estate.

What to choose: alimony or real estate?

Guardianship authorities can allow former spouses to enter into a contract under which child support payments will be terminated in exchange for real estate. Such an agreement must be registered and notarized. In this case, the right to real estate can be obtained by both the mother of the child and the child himself. Shared ownership is also possible.

Such a contract cannot exempt the father from participating in additional expenses for the child that was caused by unforeseen circumstances. Additional financial resources may be needed in the event of a serious illness of the child, changes in the educational conditions, etc. The contract on the refusal of alimony in court may be invalidated or terminated at the request of one of the parties due to a violation of its terms.

Dmytro Kasyanenko

Lawyer, managing partner of the Kasyanenko & Partners Law Firm. Since 2002, he has gained extensive legal experience in key positions in business structures and the public sector in the field of law and finance.

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