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Last update: 11-10-2007
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Maintenance claims - Slovakia

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

Statutory maintenance obligations flow directly from Act No 36/2005 governing the family and amending certain other acts. They take the following forms:

  • the maintenance obligation of parents towards their children;
  • the maintenance obligation of children towards their parents;
  • the maintenance obligation between other relatives;
  • the maintenance obligation between spouses;
  • alimony for a divorced spouse;
  • support paid to a single mother to cover maintenance and certain expenses.

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

The maintenance obligation of parents towards their children is a legally required duty that applies for as long as the children are unable to fend for themselves and provide for their own legitimate needs.

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

The maintenance obligation of parents towards their children is governed by the law of the country where the child habitually resides. Other maintenance obligations are governed by the law of the country where the party entitled to receive the maintenance is domiciled (Section 24a of the Private International Law and Procedures Act No 97/1963).

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

The Slovak courts always apply Slovak law where the person claiming maintenance and the person liable to pay it are located in the Slovak Republic.

If both the person who asks for maintenance and the debtor are in the Slovak Republic:

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

Maintenance applications are lodged with the court that has territorial jurisdiction.

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

Proceedings in child custody cases may be initiated on the basis of an application or without an application on the basis of a court ruling in accordance with Section 81(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure.

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The parties to child custody proceedings are defined either in accordance with Section 90, i.e. they are the people whose rights and obligations are the subject of the proceedings, namely:

  • the applicant (complainant) and defendant (plaintiff);
  • persons designated as parties to the proceedings by law;
  • persons whose rights and obligations are the subject of the proceedings,
or, in the case of proceedings that may be initiated without an application, Section 94(1), i.e. also including parties whose rights and obligations are the subject of the proceedings.

Any natural person who does not have the capacity to appear in court must be represented by a legal representative.

Except in the cases referred to in Section 39(3) and 57(4) of the Family Act, the court may also appoint a guardian for a child where it is necessary on some other grounds and is in the child's interest. The court may appoint the local authority as guardian.

On the basis of a power of attorney, the Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth (Centrum pre medzinárodnoprávnu ochranu detí a mládeže) may represent minors in proceedings in court custody cases, as well as adults in respect of whom the parents still have a maintenance obligation and other persons covered by special legislation in proceedings determining or altering a maintenance obligation, where the case has an international element.

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

For the purpose of submitting the application, the court that has jurisdiction is the general court of the defendant. A person's general court is the court in whose area of jurisdiction they have permanent residence or, failing that, where they currently reside.

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In cases involving child custody, adoptability and adoption, the court with jurisdiction is not the general court of the defendant, but the court in whose area the child is resident on the basis of an agreement between the parents, a court decision or some other decisive factors.

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 (central or local) etc.)? If not, which procedures?

Applications may be made in writing, orally at the court office, electronically signed with a secure electronic signature in accordance with the relevant legislation, by telegram or by fax. Applications relating to the merits of the case submitted by telegram must be followed by a submission in writing or orally at the court office within three days; where the application is submitted by fax, the original must be provided within three days. Submissions not followed up in this way within three days are disregarded.

Unless further particulars for a specific type of application are stipulated by law, any application must make it clear which court it is addressed to, who it is being submitted by, what it concerns and what is being sought, as well as being signed and dated. The application must be submitted with the right number of copies and annexes, so that the court keeps one copy and each party receives a copy as necessary. If the applicant fails to provide the right number of copies and annexes, the court makes copies at the applicant's expense. 

In addition to the general particulars, the application must also state the first names, family names and places of residence of the parties (and their representative, if they have one), their nationality, a faithful description of the key facts and a list of the evidence the applicant intends to rely on; the application should also make it clear what the applicant is seeking.

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?

In general, applicants have to pay court fees on submitting an application in accordance with the Court Charges Act No 71/1992, as amended.

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Exemption from court charges applies to certain proceedings, such as cases involving custody, child care, adoption and the reciprocal maintenance obligation between parents and children.

As of 1 January 2006, applicants with insufficient means can apply for free legal aid in accordance with Act No 327/2005 on the provision of legal aid to persons in material need (the Legal Aid Act) amending the Advocacy Act No 586/2003 and the Act on trading activity No 455/1991 (Trading Act), as amended by Act No 8/2005.

Before this act came into force, lawyers were able to provide legal services for a reduced fee or free of charge, if warranted by the personal circumstances or financial situation of the client or by some other factor worthy of special consideration.

Lawyers appointed by the authorities were remunerated for their legal services by the State.

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 in order to take account of the changes in the costs of living or family circumstances?

In fixing the amount of the maintenance obligation, the court takes account of how much each parent personally takes care of the child. If the parents live together, the court also considers how much they look after the household. Regardless of capacity, ability and financial circumstances, each parent is obliged to meet the minimum maintenance obligation, which is 30% of the subsistence minimum for a dependent minor or dependent child as laid down in the Subsistence Minimum Act.

Maintenance takes precedence over other outlay the parents may have.

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

Maintenance is paid to the person entitled. A maintenance obligation does not transfer to heirs and, since it is a personal right of the child, it no longer applies in the event of the death of the child or the party liable.

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

Where the party subject to an enforceable judgment fails to comply with it, the claimant can submit an application for the judgment to be executed in accordance with the special legislation governing this; in the case of a child custody judgment, an application for judicial enforcement may be submitted.

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

There is a legal entity called the Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth.

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

No.

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

15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department (central or local) in the Slovak Republic?

Yes.

16. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted?

The Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth was set up by the Slovak Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family and is directly managed by it as a state-funded organisation providing legal protection for children and young people where a foreign country is involved. The Centre covers the whole of Slovakia and has been in operation since 1 February 1993.

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Under the Social Assistance Act No 195/1998, as amended, the Centre was classified as a state social assistance body as of 1 July 1998.

Address: Špitálska 6, P. O. BOX 57, 814 99 Bratislava, E-mail: cipc@employment.gov.sk.

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

The Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth is the only state social assistance body directly implementing international agreements nationwide in Slovakia.

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

18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department (central or local) in the Slovak Republic?

No.

19. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted?

The Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth can act as a representative on the basis of a power of attorney. This power of attorney is always a procedural power of attorney as it is granted for a trial.

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

The Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth was set up by the Slovak Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and the Family and is directly managed by it as a state-funded organisation providing legal protection for children and young people where a foreign country is involved. The Centre covers the whole of Slovakia and has been in operation since 1 February 1993.

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

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Last update: 11-10-2007

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What do the concepts “maintenance” and “maintenance obligation” cover according to the law of the Slovak 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 Slovak Republic applicable? 3.
4. If this law is not applicable, which law will the courts of the Slovak Republic apply? 4.
If both the person who asks for maintenance and the debtor are in the Slovak Republic: If both the person who asks for maintenance and the debtor are in the Slovak Republic:
5. Should the applicant apply to a specific organisation, a government department (central or local) 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 (central or local) 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 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 in order to take account of the 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 (central or local) which can help me to recover the 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 Slovak Republic and the maintenance has his/her residence in another country: If the petitioner is in the Slovak Republic and the maintenance has his/her residence in another country:
15. Can the petitioner obtain the assistance of an organisation or government department (central or local) in the Slovak Republic? 15.
16. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted? 16.
17. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department (central or local)? 17.
If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in the Slovak Republic: If the petitioner is in another country and the maintenance debtor is in the Slovak Republic:
18. Can the petitioner address directly a request to an organisation or government department (central or local) in the Slovak Republic? 18.
19. If so, how can that organisation or government department (central or local) be contacted? 19.
20. What kind of assistance can the petitioner receive from this organisation or government department (central or local)? 20.
 
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