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Last update: 20-03-2006
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Maintenance claims - Slovenia

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What do the concepts “maintenance” and “maintenance obligation” cover according to the law of Slovenia? Which persons have to pay a maintenance allowance to another person? 1.
2. Up to what age can a child benefit from a maintenance allowance? 2.
3. In which cases is the law of Slovenia applicable? 3.
4. If this law is not applicable, which law will the courts of Slovenia apply? 4.
5. Should the applicant apply to a specific organisation, a government department or a court to obtain maintenance? 5.
5.A. How do I apply for maintenance from this organisation, government department or court? 5.A.
6. Can a request be made on behalf of a relative, a close relation, or a child under age? 6.
7. Which court has jurisdiction? 7.
8. Does the applicant have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court? 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 plaintiff 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 doesn’t pay voluntarily, what action can be taken in order to force him/her to pay? 12.
13. Is there an organisation or government department 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.
15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department? 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.
18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department? 18.
19. If so, how can that organisation or government department be contacted? 19.
20. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from that organisation or government department? 20.

 

1. What do the concepts “maintenance” and “maintenance obligation” cover according to the law of Slovenia? Which persons have to pay a maintenance allowance to another person?

The concept of maintenance, which calls for just and ethical relations between close family members, is one of the most important institutions of family law.

The maintenance obligation or allowance is an institution of family law that rests on one of its fundamental principles: family solidarity and mutual assistance between family members. Maintenance allowances are generally paid voluntarily, primarily because of the personal ties between family members, but they may also be enforced through the courts.

In Slovenia the term ‘maintenance’ (preživnina) covers the upkeep (preživljanje) of (former) spouses, children and parents. As well as the general meaning of ‘upkeep’ and ‘support’, it also denotes the allowance earmarked by the court for children. Thus, it covers everything that a person is legally obliged to devote to the living needs of his/her children or spouse. The term may also be used for the upkeep of parents who do not have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and whose children are therefore obliged to maintain them. It can also refer to the sum of money allocated for maintenance.

Which persons have to pay a maintenance allowance to another person?

  1. parents must pay children (Articles 103 and 123 of the Marriage and Family Relations Act (Zakon o zakonski zvezi in družinskih razmerjih - ZZZDR) - this also applies to adoptive parents;
  2. children must pay parents (Article 124 ZZZDR) - this also applies to adopted children;
  3. a spouse or unmarried partner is obliged to maintain a child of his/her spouse or unmarried partner where that child is a minor and living with him/her, save where his/her spouse or partner or the other parent is capable of maintaining the child (Article 127 ZZZDR);
  4. a spouse who has no means of existence and is unemployed through no fault of his/her own has the right to be maintained by the other spouse insofar as that is within the latter’s capabilities (Articles 50 and 81 ZZZDR);
  5. a dependent spouse may demand maintenance in divorce proceedings and also by filing a special application within one year of a divorce having final legal effect (Article 81a ZZZDR).

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

Parents are obliged to maintain their child up to the age of majority if he/she regularly attends an educational establishment. However, if the child regularly attends an educational establishment under the special study arrangements (“izredni studij”), the parents must also maintain him/her after the age of majority, up to a maximum age of twenty-six years.

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3. In which cases is the law of Slovenia applicable?

Relations between parents and children are judged according to the law of the country of which they are nationals.

If the parents and children are nationals of different countries, the applicable law is the law of the country in which they are permanently resident. If the parents and children are nationals of different countries and are not permanently resident in the same country, the applicable law is that of the country of which the child is a national (Article 42 of the Private International Law and Procedure Act (Zakon o mednarodnem zasebnem pravu in postopku - ZMZPP).

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

See under point 3.

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

If the parents do not live together or will no longer be living together, they agree on maintenance for their joint children. If they themselves do not agree, the Department of Social Security (Center za socialno delo) will help them reach an agreement. If the parents still do not agree on maintenance for their joint children, even with the help of the Department of Social Security, the court will decide, at the request of one or both parents.

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5.A. How do I apply for maintenance from this organisation, government department or court?

A specialist worker will invite the couple to a consultation at the Department of Social Security no later than 15 days after receiving the proposed divorce settlement or application for divorce. At this meeting the specialist will strive in particular to get the couple to settle their reciprocal relations vis-à-vis their common children. He or she will draw up a written record of the findings or agreements reached at the meeting and ask the couple to sign it at the end of the meeting. On the basis of this written record he or she will produce a report which the Department of Social Security will send to the court that has jurisdiction in the matter.

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

A request can be made by the child’s legal representative on the child’s behalf.

7. Which court has jurisdiction?

The local court (Article 32 of the Civil Procedure Act - ZPP) which has general local jurisdiction for the defendant, i.e. the court in whose territory the defendant is temporarily or permanently resident (Article 47 ZPP). However, in disputes over legal maintenance where the plaintiff is the person applying for maintenance (Article 50 ZPP), jurisdiction lies not only with the court that has general local jurisdiction but also with the court in whose territory the plaintiff is temporarily or permanently resident.

8. Does the applicant have to go through an intermediary to bring the case to court?

Yes, the applicant must first turn to the Department of Social Security. If it is not possible to achieve an agreement there, he or she can ask the court to decide on maintenance for the child. Applications filed at the court by one of the parents must be accompanied by confirmation from the Department of Social Security that the parents have tried, with its help, to agree on the child’s maintenance.

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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 plaintiff are insufficient, can he/she obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure?

To file an application for payment of maintenance you must pay a court fee of 250 points, which comes to SIT 4 750.00. A party in financial difficulties may apply for free legal aid or exemption from payment of court fees and the cost of proceedings. Free legal aid is governed by the Free Legal Aid Act (Zakon o brezplačni pravni pomoči - ZBPP), which lays down conditions for granting such aid and the scope thereof (right to funds to meet the costs of legal help in full or in part and exemption from payment of the costs of proceedings). It is also possible in the actual proceedings themselves to apply for exemption from payment of court fees or exemption from payment of the cost of proceedings; the relevant conditions are laid down in Articles 168 and 169 ZPP.

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?

The maintenance is set as a monthly amount paid in advance and can be claimed from the time when the application is filed. The amount is determined with due regard for the needs of the claimant and the material and earning capacities of the debtor. In assessing maintenance for children, the court must act in the child’s best interest, setting a level that is adequate to ensure the child’s satisfactory physical and mental development. The maintenance must cover the child’s living expenses, in particular the costs of accommodation, food, clothing, footwear, care and protection, education, schooling, recreation, amusement and other special needs. At the request of the claimant or of the debtor, the court may increase, reduce or annul the amount of maintenance by means of an enforcement order if there are changes in the needs of the claimant or in the capacity of the debtor that served as a basis for determining the amount of maintenance (Articles 129, 129a, 131c and 132 ZZZDR)

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

The maintenance is paid for the current month by a specified date in that month to the parent who has custody of the child. If payment is late, the statutory interest on arrears is also payable.

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

A proposal for enforcement must be lodged at the enforcement department of the civil court in accordance with the Execution of Judgments in Civil Matters and Insurance of Claims Act (Zakon o izvršbi in zavarovanju).

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

Yes, the Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia (Javni jamstveni in preživninski sklad Republike Slovenije). (Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia Act - ZJSRS -  Official Gazette No 25/1997, as amended.)

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

The Fund makes payments to the child’s legal representative in lieu of maintenance by the 15th day of the current month. A child is entitled to replacement payments where it has been granted maintenance under a final court ruling, an interim court order or an agreement reached with the Department of Social Security and the debtor fails to pay, provided that the child is not yet 18 years old and is a national of the Republic of Slovenia and permanently resident there, or is a foreigner permanently resident in Slovenia and covered by an appropriate bilateral international agreement or reciprocal arrangement. A child is entitled to replacement payments if enforcement proceedings under the rules governing the enforcement and the safeguarding of claims have been unsuccessful or have been ongoing for over three months. The right is obtained from the first day of the month following the month in which the application is lodged.

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The amount of the replacement payment is as follows:

  • for children of up to 6 years of age: SIT 14 167,
  • for children of between 6 and 14 years: SIT 15 583,
  • for children of over 14 years: SIT 18 416.

Where the maintenance is lower than the amount stated above, the replacement payment is equal to the amount of maintenance awarded under the court ruling, interim court order or agreement. If any maintenance is paid, the replacement payment is reduced accordingly.

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

Under the free legal aid scheme, you may obtain assistance encompassing legal advice, legal representation and other legal services laid down by law. Where a child fails to receive maintenance, its legal representative may apply to the Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia to assert its right to replacement payments.

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

Free legal aid can be obtained by applying to the specialised departments for free legal aid at district courts. Applications to the Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia should be

Jamstveni sklad Republike Slovenije
Kotnikova ulica 28
1000 Ljubljana

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

Free legal aid encompasses legal advice, legal representation and other legal services laid down by law. The Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia makes replacement payments and then claims repayment from the maintenance debtor.

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

Yes. 

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

You may contact the Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia directly at the following

Jamstveni sklad Republike Slovenije
Kotnikova ulica 28
1000 Ljubljana
Tel: +386 1 472 09 90
Fax: + 386 1 472 09 91

or, if the person claiming maintenance is a foreigner, through an intermediary body in his/her home country, as laid down in the UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance.

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

See answer to point 17

« Maintenance claims - General information | Slovenia - General information »

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Last update: 20-03-2006

 
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