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Recovery of alimony abroad

Monday February 5th, 2018

In recent years, more and more foreign citizens have started visiting Ukraine, and Ukrainians also leave the country en masse in search of work, study or just travel. This gives rise to legal relations between citizens of Ukraine and foreigners. Today I would like to dwell on family legal relations, in particular the issue of recovery of child support from foreigners and citizens of Ukraine living abroad.

In general, to clarify the peculiarities of such legal relations, it is first necessary to refer to an international agreement governing the recognition and enforcement of court decisions, court orders, obtaining evidence abroad between Ukraine and the state in which alimony is provided. An international treaty is the primary source of law in such matters.

The Family Code of Ukraine regulates the issue of recovery of alimony from persons leaving for permanent residence in a state with which Ukraine does not have an agreement on the provision of legal assistance. In this case, the legislator, to protect the interests of the child, provides for the possibility of collecting alimony in advance for the entire period until the child reaches adulthood.

It should be noted that the issue of recovery of alimony outside the country became quite transparent and regulated after Ukraine’s accession to the Convention on the Recovery of Alimony Abroad in July 2006, concluded in New York in 1956. This Convention has been ratified by more than 50 countries.

We must also remember the Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters of 1993, which is in force between the CIS countries.

In general, there are two ways to recover child support abroad:

  • application for recovery of alimony abroad (resolution of the issue of recovery, change in the amount of alimony);
  • application for recognition and enforcement of a court decision on the recovery of alimony in the territory of another state.

The mediator between the alimony collector and the debtor is the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, which accepts documents for execution abroad and from abroad.

To apply in the first case, the applicant must submit an application of a certain form, as well as the following information about the debtor: address of residence for the last 5 years, marital and financial status, paternity, photos, and other known circumstances relevant to the case .

If the debt collector already has a court decision on recovery of alimony, which has entered into force, he applies for recognition and enforcement of the court decision and submits a certificate of proper notification of the debtor about the time and place of the case for recovery of alimony, copies of protocols (journals) court hearing, information on the place of residence of the debtor during the last 5 years, information on his financial condition, photo.

As can be seen from the above, for the proper recovery of alimony, the debt collector must have a significant amount of information about the marital, material condition of the debtor, his place of residence, and the debtor must be specified by the father in the child’s birth certificate.

In the case where people are in a de facto marital relationship and the father is recorded in the birth register in the mother’s words, the person interested in recovering child support must first establish paternity in court.

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