The state to pay child support instead of evasive parent

Madis Vaikmaa
, reporter
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Photo: Pm

Yesterday, social protection minister Margus Tsahkna (IRL) signed family benefit draft act pursuant to which the state shall support a child and teh parent raising it while subsistence support is debated in court as well as when court procedure is concluded and bailiff is trying to get the money from the evader. 

Mr Tsahkna said it would still be important that the state would not end up assuming the obligation from the parent. «For these deadbeat parents, life will become very complicated – putting it mildly. It is not easy to be indebted to the state, the money will be collected from them. Meanwhile, we guarantee the monthly payments for the child,» explained the minister.

Pursuant to the bill, substance benefit paid during court procedures will be prolonged from the current 90 days to 150. Also, the current daily rate will be replaced by €100 a month per child.

The subsistence benefit is also an option after the court has ruled and bailiff is in action. The state will transfer €100 per child on condition that during four months money has not been gotten from the debtor.

During the execution proceeding, the state may terminate payments on two occasions. Firstly when the debtor has paid the entire debt and the benefit paid by the state. Secondly when the child becomes of age or a child attending school turns 21.

The state undertook to pay child support as the avoiders are numerous and the problem broad-based: last year, 8,043 people were indebted a total of €15m of child support. While the numbers are constantly changing, last year the number went up by 1,439.

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Social ministry adviser Joanna Karu: moving abroad will not spare from payments

- When Riigikogu passes the bill, what will happen with parents who have multiple debts?

Regarding other obligations, child support has first priority. If the debtor has not enough money for all obligations to be covered, the other creditors will go without at the time of payment via bailiff.

- Let’s say the avoiding parent goes to Australia. Will he escape payments?

He will then be squeezed by Australian bailiffs. For that to happen, the other parent needs to file an application in justice ministry regarding execution proceeding in the foreign country and from there Estonian state will administrate it with the other country, Australia. And as Australian bailiff gets the money, he sends it to the Estonian bailiff who gives it to parent. Or else it will go to cover what the state has already paid.

-When will child support claim expire?

Expiry of the claim begins as the child becomes an adult. As the expiry term is ten years, it is possible for expiry 31 years after the child was born. By then, the debt will be in tens of thousands of euros.

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