European Commission > EJN > Maintenance claims > Czech Republic

Last update: 19-06-2006
Printable version Bookmark this page

Maintenance claims - Czech Republic

EJN logo

This page is now obsolete. The update is currently being prepared and will be available in the European e-Justice Portal.


 

1. What do the concepts “maintenance” and “maintenance obligation” cover according to the law of the Czech Republic?

“Maintenance” is paid by the debtor to the creditor to cover their subsistence needs.

Parents have a maintenance obligation towards their children, and ascendents and descendents have a reciprocal maintenance obligation, as do spouses. In principle spouses have a claim to the same standard of living. Courts impose a maintenance obligation where spouses do not live in the same home. The payment of maintenance between spouses is founded on the legal institution of the marital community, under which both spouses are entitled to dispose of community property.

Divorced spouses who are unable to provide for themselves may claim maintenance from their former spouses.

Courts do not grant maintenance where it would be contrary to public morality (contra bonos mores).

Where the father of a child is not married to its mother, he has an obligation to contribute an appropriate amount towards the mother’s upkeep for a period of two years, including costs associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

A person caring for a child is entitled to maintenance from the parent or parents, just as a divorced parent is entitled to maintenance for a child from the other parent.

2. Up to what age can a child benefit from a maintenance allowance?

Children are entitled to a maintenance allowance until they can provide for themselves. This occurs in particular when they reach adulthood, at the age of 18. It may occur later, in the event of further education, or earlier, where a child has already entered employment or, for instance, owns real property providing an income enabling them to meet their own needs.

TopTop

Courts will rule on maintenance for minors even without petition. The maintenance allowance may be fixed, reduced or increased in the three years following the initiation of court proceedings. Courts will not rule on maintenance for adult children without petition.

3. In which cases is the law of the Czech Republic applicable?

The law of the Czech Republic applies wherever both parties are permanent or long-term residents of the Czech Republic. The law of the Czech Republic also applies when a person living in the Czech Republic claims maintenance from a person abroad.

4. If this law is not applicable, which law will the courts of the Czech Republic apply?

Maintenance relations are governed by the law of the state of which the person claiming maintenance is a national. Where a petitioner permanently resident abroad claims maintenance from a person in the Czech Republic, the Czech courts apply the law of the petitioner’s state. Conversely, where a petitioner living in the Czech Republic claims maintenance from a person abroad, the courts apply Czech law.

5. Should the applicant apply to a specific organisation, a government department or a court to obtain maintenance?

Maintenance obligations are a matter for the courts.

6. Can a request be made on behalf of a relative, of a close relation, or a child under age?

The parent caring for the child is entitled to claim maintenance from the other parent on the child’s behalf. A tutor or guardian may act in the same way on a child’s behalf.

TopTop

7. If the applicant plans to bring the case to court, how does he/she know which court has jurisdiction?

District courts rule in first instance on maintenance claims. Applicants initiate proceedings at the district court competent for the place where they, or the person they are looking after and for whom they are claiming maintenance, are permanently resident.

8. Does the applicant have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court (e.g. a lawyer, specific organisation or government department, etc.)? If not, which procedures?

The law does not require an applicant to be represented. Only a natural person who cannot act independently before a court has to be represented by a legal representative, who will be either a court-appointed guardian or, in the case of a minor, a parent. The applicant may, however, choose to mandate a person of their choice, e.g. a lawyer, to represent them in court.

9. Does the applicant have to pay fees to bring a case to court? If so, how much are they likely to be? If the financial means of the petitioner are insufficient, can he/she obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure?

Petitioners in maintenance proceedings are exempt from court fees. If applicants choose to be represented by a lawyer, they must – unless otherwise agreed – remunerate their lawyer according to the fee scale. Where a petitioner’s social and property circumstances warrant it, a lawyer’s remuneration may be reduced by an appropriate amount or waived.

TopTop

10. What kind of maintenance is likely to be granted by the court? If an allowance is granted, how will it be assessed? Can the court’s decision be revised to take account of changes in the costs of living or family circumstances?

A court may on petition set a maintenance allowance at a level covering a child’s basic needs, its maintenance and standard of living. When imposing an obligation to pay maintenance and amending or revoking that obligation, a court will normally take account of the substantiated needs of the beneficiary, the debtor’s capacities, possibilities and assets and the child’s right to share its parents’ standard of living. When calculating the parents’ maintenance obligation, a court will take account of which parent is caring for the child and to what extent. Where the parents live together, account will also be taken of the parents’ upkeep of the common home.

Where there is a change in circumstances, the court may, even without petition, amend agreements and court decisions concerning the maintenance of minors; otherwise it will act on petition. Where a maintenance allowance is reduced or revoked, maintenance already paid out will not be refunded.

11. How and to whom will the maintenance be paid?

Maintenance must be paid in regular instalments either directly to the beneficiary or to the person caring for the beneficiary. In addition to child maintenance, a court may in certain cases order the deposit of a lump sum for maintenance to mature in the future. It will also take appropriate steps to ensure that the maintenance laid down is paid in regular monthly instalments.

TopTop

12. If the maintenance debtor does not pay voluntarily, what action can be taken in order to force him/her to pay?

Where a debtor does not voluntarily comply with the court ruling, the beneficiary may petition for the judicial execution of the decision, which may involve attachment of earnings, compulsory debits, the forced sale of property, the sale of a business or the creation of a judicial lien against real property.

13. Is there an organisation or government department (central or local) which can help me to recover maintenance?

Unsupported children who consider themselves in need and towards whom a debtor not living with the child at home fails to honour a maintenance obligation imposed by a court ruling are entitled to a contribution equalling the maintenance allowance laid down. The decision to pay that contribution is taken by the competent communal or municipal authority.

14. Can they replace the debtor and pay the maintenance themselves or part of the maintenance in his or her place?

An authority (commune) may honour all or part of a third party’s maintenance obligation. It is, however, then entitled to claim payment in full from that third party.

If the petitioner is in the Czech Republic and the maintenance debtor has his/her residence in another country:

15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department in the Czech Republic?

Maintenance orders can be enforced under bilateral agreements on legal assistance with a number of countries binding on the Czech Republic and under multilateral conventions to which the Czech Republic is a party. In relations with certain countries, with which there are no contractual arrangements, maintenance orders can be enforced on the basis of declarations of reciprocity.

TopTop

Applicants can therefore turn to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, which will mediate on the basis of a given agreement to pay maintenance where the debtor lives in another country. An applicant living in the Czech Republic may also petition any court in the Czech Republic (not just the court competent for their place of residence) to draft a petition, and every court in the Czech Republic is bound to grant such an application. Via the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, the court then contacts the competent judicial authority abroad, to which it submits the case.

In matters of child maintenance, one can also turn to the Office for International Legal Protection of Children (Úřad pro mezinárodně právní ochranu dětí).

16. If so, how can that organisation or government department be contacted?

The applicant can contact the following:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Loretánské náměstí 5
118 00 Praha 1
Tel:+420 224 18 1111,
E-mail
Office for International Legal Protection of Children
Benešova 22
602 00 Brno
tel.: +42 05/42215443-5
fax : +42 05/42212836
E-mail

17. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department?

Maintenance claims can be enforced on the strength of an existing title, in this instance the order of a Czech or foreign court that maintenance be paid to a specific person. The petitioner will submit a written application to the Office for International Legal Protection of Children (Úřad pro mezinárodně právní ochranu dětí) giving the child’s details, their own and those of the debtor and setting out the basic facts behind their application to enforce a maintenance order. Copies of the relevant documents, and in particular court rulings, should be annexed to the application. The Office will then take the prescribed action.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs forwards the application of the person claiming maintenance to the competent authorities of the country concerned. They will contact the debtor and try to resolve the matter.

If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in the Czech Republic:

18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department in the Czech Republic?

A petitioner for maintenance who lives abroad must contact the competent authorities of their home country, which will contact the Office for International Legal Protection of Children (Úřad pro mezinárodně právní ochranu dětí) or another competent authority in the Czech Republic.

19. If so, how can that organisation or government department be contacted?

See answer to Question 18.

20. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department?

See answer to Question 18.

« Maintenance claims - General information | Czech Republic - General information »

TopTop

Last update: 19-06-2006

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What do the concepts “maintenance” and “maintenance obligation” cover according to the law of the Czech Republic? 1.
2. Up to what age can a child benefit from a maintenance allowance? 2.
3. In which cases is the law of the Czech Republic applicable? 3.
4. If this law is not applicable, which law will the courts of the Czech Republic apply? 4.
5. Should the applicant apply to a specific organisation, a government department or a court to obtain maintenance? 5.
6. Can a request be made on behalf of a relative, of a close relation, or a child under age? 6.
7. If the applicant plans to bring the case to court, how does he/she know which court has jurisdiction? 7.
8. Does the applicant have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court (e.g. a lawyer, specific organisation or government department, etc.)? If not, which procedures? 8.
9. Does the applicant have to pay fees to bring a case to court? If so, how much are they likely to be? If the financial means of the petitioner are insufficient, can he/she obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure? 9.
10. What kind of maintenance is likely to be granted by the court? If an allowance is granted, how will it be assessed? Can the court’s decision be revised to take account of changes in the costs of living or family circumstances? 10.
11. How and to whom will the maintenance be paid? 11.
12. If the maintenance debtor does not pay voluntarily, what action can be taken in order to force him/her to pay? 12.
13. Is there an organisation or government department (central or local) which can help me to recover maintenance? 13.
14. Can they replace the debtor and pay the maintenance themselves or part of the maintenance in his or her place? 14.
If the petitioner is in the Czech Republic and the maintenance debtor has his/her residence in another country: If the petitioner is in the Czech Republic and the maintenance debtor has his/her residence in another country:
15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department in the Czech Republic? 15.
16. If so, how can that organisation or government department be contacted? 16.
17. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department? 17.
If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in the Czech Republic: If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in the Czech Republic:
18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department in the Czech Republic? 18.
19. If so, how can that organisation or government department be contacted? 19.
20. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department? 20.
 
  • Community law
  • International law

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom