A maintenance debtor is a person who, under a court order, is obliged to pay child support. The most common case of the maintenance debtor is the father in relation to his children.
There are situations in which the maintenance debtor avoids the payment of maintenance awarded to him, often going abroad for this purpose. However, it should be remembered that such a person will not go unpunished. EU regulations allow the maintenance creditor (the person for whom alimony has been awarded) to reach for the debtor’s income earned in the European Union, in part that will satisfy the claim for maintenance. Such a state results from the provisions of the Council Regulation (EC) No. 4/2009 of December 18, 2019 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of judgments and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations.
The enforcement of maintenance from a maintenance debtor who is abroad is carried out through a Polish court. It is necessary for the creditor to have a legally binding decision awarding maintenance issued by a Polish court. There is not enough “private agreement” between the parties as to the amount of maintenance or how to pay them.
To start the maintenance procedure, the creditor must submit an application for enforcement of the maintenance order. Such a request should be submitted to the court competent for the creditor’s place of residence. The Polish court transmits the application to the competent body in the European Union. It should be emphasized that such a request is not subject to a fee. The application is made on the appropriate form, the printing of which together with the explanation can be obtained in court. The application should be accompanied by: a copy of the court order adjudging maintenance in the country of origin of the debtor and the creditor and information about the debtor’s arrears against the creditor. When completing the form and collecting documents, the maintenance creditor can count on court assistance. An important facilitation for the creditor is that the creditor does not need to know the address of the debtor’s residence. The only information needed is the country where the debtor resides. The body in the European Union, to which the application for enforcement of the maintenance decision will be forwarded, undertakes activities aimed at determining the debtor’s place of residence. It is also important that the creditor is not charged with any costs related to determining the debtor’s place of residence as well as the enforcement costs.
The authority to which the application has received within 30 days from the date of its receipt confirms its receipt and informs about the actions taken. He may ask for additional information or documents if they prove necessary. It should be emphasized that the execution of alimonies takes place in accordance with the legal provisions in force in the country to which the application was submitted.
The practice shows the high efficiency of organs in the collection of maintenance obligations. To protect the interests of maintenance creditors, the procedure developed by the authorities of the European Union is very favorable, it is intended to encourage creditors to fight for their rights.