Alimony from the budget is coming

The authorities claim that they are preparing for the implementation of the law, which begins on November 1

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Illustration, Photo: Shutterstock
Illustration, Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The law on temporary child support will enter into force next week, and the Ministry of Finance claims that they are working on establishing an alimony fund.

Minister of Finance Aleksandar Damjanović he told "Vijesta" that the department should complete the obligations related to this Law within the deadline, and that there are still more systematization changes and locating the fund as an organizational unit within the ministry. In the meantime, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MRSS) was supposed to prepare by-laws, but the public has not yet been informed whether that procedure has been completed.

Coordinator of the Support Team for single-parent families of the Parents Association, Dejana Ponoš, told "Vijesti" that they wrote to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and that they believe that in the coming days they will receive answers to the questions about whether they have prepared a request form for exercising the right to temporary maintenance, the necessary records on single parents and maintenance debtors, as well as whether the centers for social work created an Informant on the conditions and procedure for exercising this right.

"According to the Law on Temporary Support of Children, which was adopted by the members of the Montenegrin Assembly, children whose parents do not pay alimony will be able to exercise that right, after the competent authorities establish the Alimony Fund. This should happen no later than the end of the year, that is, within two months after the start of the application of the law - November 1. In this way, money from the fund will be diverted to parents who independently exercise parental rights, in the name of alimony, and based on judgments, and then the state will collect those amounts from the debtor", reminded Ponoš.

Who is entitled to maintenance

Children in the territory of Montenegro will have the right to temporary maintenance, and the condition for this is that the debtor of maintenance, i.e. the parent who does not pay alimony, according to the court ruling, for two continuous months in full, partially does not fulfill this obligation or does so irregularly. Under partial fulfillment of the obligation, it is considered that the maintenance debtor pays a smaller amount than that determined by the judgment or court settlement.

The law stipulates that irregular fulfillment of the obligation is considered when the obligee owes at least two monthly alimony in the last 12 months before submitting the request. The month in which the request was submitted is not counted in the last 12 months.

The right to temporary maintenance, according to the Law, lasts until the debtor fully begins to fulfill the obligation determined by the judgment, and at the latest until the child reaches the age of 18. Exceptions are children who, after coming of age, are unable to work due to illness, physical or mental defects, do not have enough means to support themselves or cannot obtain them from existing assets.

The problem that parents complain about the most

Ponoš told "Vijesta" that the largest number of parents who turn to the Support Team do so precisely because of this issue - non-payment of child support by the parent with whom the child does not live. She reminded that failure to provide maintenance is a criminal offense, and that several parents have been sentenced to prison terms in the past years because of it.

"As individuals and as a society, we should ask ourselves where we failed when the interests of our own children are not our first priority and when we are ready to go to prison instead of providing financial support for our own child, because alimony is the duty of the parent with whom the child does not live and the right of that child or children. "Just as parents, even after divorce, are obliged to provide love to a child and jointly participate in his upbringing and education, they are also obliged to jointly participate in his maintenance," said Ponoš.

You rarely go to the executor

She said that, if the parent with whom the child lives has a legally binding court judgment in which the amount of maintenance is clearly indicated, as well as the deadline for payment, at any moment he has the right to initiate proceedings before the public bailiff for the collection of the overdue debt.

However, he claims that parents often do not resort to this procedure in two cases.

"They don't want to damage the already fragile relationships that exist after the divorce, most often out of fear that the other parent will get 'angry' and stop seeing the child according to the prescribed seeing models. The existence of a shadow economy, where the other parent is either not officially employed, receives part of the money 'in hand', or has no property in his name. "Unfortunately, practice has shown that it often happens that the other parent deliberately transfers all the property to another person in order to avoid paying child support," emphasized Ponoš.

She pointed out that the claim for non-payment of child support does not expire, and the parent can file it on behalf of the child until the child turns 18, when the child must file the claim.

"And the new law stipulates that the parent must first provide certain evidence that child support has not been paid, but the law does not fully elaborate the details, so we will have to wait for the competent institutions to inform us of the appropriate regulations," concluded Ponoš.

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