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The mutual rights and duties of children and parents are regulated in part IV of the book III of the Civil Code. Article 3. 155 of the Civil Code provides that until they attain majority or emancipation, children shall be cared for by their parents. Parents shall have a right and a duty to properly educate and bring up their children, care for their health and, having regard to their physical and mental state, to create favourable conditions for their full and harmonious development so that the child should be ready for an independent life in society. The chapter XI of the book III of the Civil Code regulates parental rights and duties in respect of their children and chapter XII provides mutual property rights and duties of parents and children.
According to paragraph 2 of Article 3. 227 of the Civil Code the adoptive parents shall be treated as the child’s parents under the law from the on which court judgement on the adoption became res judicata except for the exception provided for in paragraph 4 of Article 3. 222 hereof.
The Article 3. 156 of the Civil Code provides that the father and the mother shall have equal rights and duties in respect of their children. Parents shall have equal rights and duties by their children irrespective of whether the child was born to a married or unmarried couple, after divorce or judicial nullity of the marriage or separation.
If the parents are unable or unwilling to exercise parental responsibility over their children, another person can be appointed in their place. For these purposes is provided in Civil Code the institute of the guardianship and curatorship of minors. The fundamentals of placing a child under temporary and permanent child guardianship/curatorship are provided in the Articles 3. 254 and 3. 257.
If the parents divorce, determination of parental responsibility for the future depends on way of divorce.
If a marriage is dissolved by the mutual consent of the spouses, they will have to present to the court a contract in respect of the consequences of their divorce (property adjustment, maintenance payments for the children, etc.). According to paragraph 3 Article 3. 53 of the Civil Code while granting a divorce decree, the court shall approve the contract of the spouses as to the consequences of divorce providing for the maintenance payments for the children of minor age and each other, the residence of their minor children, their participation in the education of their children and their other property rights and duties. The content of the contract shall be incorporated in the judgement of divorce. In case there is an essential change in the circumstances (illness of one of the former spouses, incapacity for work, etc.) , the former spouses or one of them may petition the court to reconsider the terms and conditions of their contract as to the consequences of divorce.
If a marriage is dissolved by the application of one of the spouses, the application presented to the court must also indicate how the applicant is going to perform his or her obligations toward the other spouse and their minor children. In granting a divorce the court must resolve matters relating to the residence and maintenance of the minor children, the maintenance of one of the spouses, adjustment of the community property of the spouses, except in cases where the property has been adjusted by the mutual agreement of the spouses certified in the notarial procedure (Article 3. 59).
If a marriage is dissolved by on the bases of the fault of one or both of the spouses. A divorce based on the fault of both spouses shall have the same consequences as the dissolution of marriage by the mutual consent of the spouses (Articles 3. 51 to 3. 54). Divorce based on the fault of one of spouses proceedings shall be subject, mutatis mutandis, to Article 3. 59 hereof.
In case of separation one of the spouses may apply to the court for the approval of the separation if due to certain circumstances, which may not depend on the other spouse, their life together has become intolerable (impossible) or can seriously prejudice the interests of their minor children or the spouses are no longer interested in living together. When making a separation judgement, the court must designate the spouse with whom the children are to live, the maintenance of the children and the involvement of the separated father (mother) in the education of their children. Both spouses may jointly apply to the court for the approval of their separation if they have made a contract concerning the consequences of their separation providing for the residence, maintenance and education of their minor children as well as for the adjustment of their property and mutual maintenance. Where the spouses have made a contract as to the consequences of separation, the court shall approve the contract provided that it is consistent with public order, the rights and lawful interests of their minor children or one of the spouses. Having approved the contract, the court shall incorporate its content in the separation
If the parents live together, the procedure and form of maintenance shall be determined by the mutual agreement of the parents. It is not provided the special form and order for this agreement. According to Article 3. 193 of the Civil Code on divorce by mutual agreement (Article 3. 51 hereof) or on separation (Article 3. 73 hereof) spouses shall make an agreement providing for their mutual duties in maintaining their underage children as well as the procedure, amount and form of such maintenance. The agreement shall be approved by the court (Article 3. 53 hereof). Parents of underage children may conclude an agreement on the maintenance of their children also when their divorce is based on other grounds. If one of the parents does not comply with the agreement on the maintenance of their underage children approved by the court, the other parent shall be have a right to apply to the court for the issuance of the writ of execution.
There is not in Lithuania any the alternative means for solving the conflict in the parental responsibility issue. The parents can their conflict solve only in the court.
According to the Article 3. 156 of the Civil Code the father and the mother shall have equal rights and duties in respect of their children. Parents shall have equal rights and duties by their children irrespective of whether the child was born to a married or unmarried couple, after divorce or judicial nullity of the marriage or separation. Parents shall have a right and duty to bring up their children; they shall be responsible for their children’s education and development, their health and spiritual and moral guidance. In performing these duties, parents shall have a priority right over the rights of other persons. Parents must create conditions for their children to learn during their compulsory school age.
The single custody of one of parent could be only in cases where the parental authority of one of the parents is restricted. Where the parents (the father or the mother) fail in their duties to bring up their children or abuse their parental authority or treat their children cruelly or produce a harmful effect on their children by their immoral behaviour or do not care for their children, the court may make a judgement for a temporary or unlimited restriction of parental power (that of the father or the mother.). Temporary or unlimited restriction of parental authority involves the suspension of the personal and property rights of the parents based on consanguinity and under the law. The parents, however, shall retain the right of visitation, except where that is contrary to the child’s interests. Where parental authority is restricted unlimitedly, the child may be adopted without the consent of the parents.
All questions related to the education of their children and to other matters of parental responsibility parents shall decide by mutual agreement. In the event of the lack of agreement, the disputed matter shall be resolved by the court.
Petitions for contact or involvement in the child’s education orders may be filed by the child’s father, mother or the parents (guardians/curators) of the child’s legally incapable minor-aged parents. The court shall determine the procedure for the separated parent’s contact with the child by taking into consideration the child’s interests and by creating a possibility for the separated parent to be involved in the education of the child to the greatest extent possible. Minimal contact with the child may be ordered only in cases where constant maximal contact is prejudicial to the child’s interests.
If person wants to lodge an application on parental responsibility, he or she must turn to the district court. Which formalities must be respected and which documents shall be attached to the application depends on requirements provided in the application and on rights and duties which are contested or must be solve or determine (on content of parental responsibility).
The main disputes and questions of parental responsibility shall be examined in a simplified procedure.
It is possible to obtain legal aid according to Law on legal aid (Law on legal aid guaranteed by the State). It is possibility to get legal aid depends on financial state of person.
It is possible.
The bailiffs execute compulsory the decisions of courts.
The recognition of decisions of foreign court is regulated under Civil Procedure Code. The application for recognition of foreign court decision shall be presented to the Appeal court of Lithuania. A party seeking for recognition shall produce the judgement, its translation into Lithuanian language, confirmation that the decision has come into force and evidentiary material that the party in default was duly informed about the place and time of the hearing of the case.
The complaint shall be presented to the Supreme Court of Lithuania. This complaint shall be examined under the cassation procedure regulated under Civil Procedure Code.
Law applicable to relations between the parents and the child is provided in the Article 1. 32. Personal and property relationships between the parents and the child shall be governed by the law of the state of the child’s domicile. If neither parent is domiciled in the state of the child’s domicile, while the child and the parents are citizens of the same state, the law of the state of their common citizenship shall apply.
Law applicable to protection of minors, their guardianship and curatorship shall be determined pursuant to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the Powers of Authorities and the Law Applicable in Respect of the Protection of Minors.
Maintenance obligations (alimony) within the family shall be governed by the Hague Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations.
Last update: 24-03-2005