Non-payers of child maintenance in Poland : you could risk prison
The fact of evading payment of alimony has a certain number of consequences for the obligated party. The person entitled may resort to several institutions enabling the execution of alimony.
In particular, in the event of non-payment of alimony by the debtor, the beneficiary may defer the decision to hand the execution to a bailiff.
It should be noted that the sums collected in that case are subject to a deduction from the remuneration up to 3/5 of the net remuneration of the debtor.
The public administration competent for the collection of data on the debtor: place of residence (mayor, city president) provides the Economic Information Office with information on the debtor’s obligations in the event of payments overdue for more than 6 months and includes personal data such as surname, first name, PESEL number in the National Register of Debtors, in case the bailiff does not carry out the forced execution and that debt exists for more than 3 months.
What are the risks of failing to fulfill the alimony obligation?
The competent public administration authorities for the debtor’s place of residence (mayor, president of the city), at the request of the creditor, conduct an interview, and collects a statement from the debtor, it is an obligation for the debtor, otherwise, it would be considered misrepresentation.
When a debtor fails to fulfill his obligations due to lack of employment, the authority obliges the debtor to register as unemployed and seek work within a period not exceeding 30 days, to fulfill this obligation.
If the debtor evades the declaration or does not want to register as unemployed or as a job seeker – the authority initiates a procedure to recognize the debtor as evading maintenance obligations.
If the decision to consider that the debtor evades its obligations becomes final, the competent authority files a motion to prosecute for an offense under article 209 of the Penal Code and, in the case of a debtor holding a driving licence, submit a motion to have the debtor’s driving license cancelled.
Can avoiding to pay child support be considered a crime?
Polish criminal law recognizes it a criminal offense. This is a situation where the total amount of payments due is the equivalent of at least 3 periodic payments or when the delay in payment amounts to at least 3 months.
The offense of non-payment is punishable by a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment for up to one year. The offender is not punishable if he pays the amount due, no later than 30 days from the date of the first interrogation as a suspect.
However, if the person entitled to alimony has been put in danger of not being able to meet the basic necessities of life, the penalty can be up to two years in prison. The court waives the penalty if the payment is made no later than 30 days from the date of the first questioning as a suspect, unless the social harmfulness evading the alimony payment is too important.