European Commission > EJN > Parental responsibility > Lithuania

Last update: 24-03-2005
Printable version Bookmark this page

Parental responsibility - Lithuania

EJN logo

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


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What does the legal term “parental responsibility” mean in practical terms? What are the rights and obligations of a holder of parental responsibility? 1.
2. As a general rule, who has the parental responsibility over a child? 2.
3. If the parents are unable or unwilling to exercise parental responsibility over their children, can another person be appointed in their place? 3.
4. If the parents divorce or split up, how is the question of parental responsibility determined for the future? 4.
5. If the parents conclude an agreement on the question of parental responsibility, which formalities must be respected to make the agreement legally binding? 5.
6. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on the issue of parental responsibility, what are the alternative means for solving the conflict without going to court? 6.
7. If the parents go to court, what issues can the judge decide upon relating to the child? 7.
8. If the court decides that one parent shall have single custody of a child, does this mean that he or she can decide on all matters relating to the child without first consulting the other parent? 8.
9. If the court decides that the parents shall have joint custody of a child, what does this mean in practice? 9.
10. To which court or authority should I turn if I want to lodge an application on parental responsibility? Which formalities must be respected and which documents shall I attach to my application? 10.
11. Which procedure applies in these cases? Is an emergency procedure available? 11.
12. Can I obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the procedure? 12.
13. Is it possible to appeal against a decision on parental responsibility? 13.
14. In certain cases, it may be necessary to apply to a court or another authority to have a decision on parental responsibility enforced. Which procedure applies in such cases? 14.
15. What should I do to have a decision on parental responsibility that is issued by a court in another Member State recognised and enforced in Lithuania? Which procedure applies in these cases? 15.
16. To which court should I turn in Lithuania to oppose the recognition of a decision on parental responsibility issued by a court in another Member State? Which procedure applies in these cases? 16.
17. Which is the applicable law in a proceeding on parental responsibility where the child or the parties do not live in Lithuania or are of different nationalities? 17.

 

1. What does the legal term “parental responsibility” mean in practical terms? What are the rights and obligations of a holder of parental responsibility?

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.

2. As a general rule, who has the parental responsibility over a child?

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.

TopTop

3. If the parents are unable or unwilling to exercise parental responsibility over their children, can another person be appointed in their place?

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.

4. If the parents divorce or split up, how is the question of parental responsibility determined for the future?

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.

TopTop

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 judgement.

TopTop

5. If the parents conclude an agreement on the question of parental responsibility, which formalities must be respected to make the agreement legally binding?

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.

6. If the parents cannot come to an agreement on the issue of parental responsibility, what are the alternative means for solving the conflict without going to court?

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.

7. If the parents go to court, what issues can the judge decide upon relating to the child?

If the parents go to court, all issues, including the residence of the child, the visiting/access rights of the parents, maintenance of the minor children and other which are indicated in the application presented to the court, can the judge decide upon relating to the child.

8. If the court decides that one parent shall have single custody of a child, does this mean that he or she can decide on all matters relating to the child without first consulting the other parent?

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.

TopTop

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.

9. If the court decides that the parents shall have joint custody of a child, what does this mean in practice?

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.

TopTop

10. To which court or authority should I turn if I want to lodge an application on parental responsibility? Which formalities must be respected and which documents shall I attach to my application?

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).

11. Which procedure applies in these cases? Is an emergency procedure available?

The main disputes and questions of parental responsibility shall be examined in a simplified procedure.

12. Can I obtain legal aid to cover the costs of the 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.

13. Is it possible to appeal against a decision on parental responsibility?

It is possible.

14. In certain cases, it may be necessary to apply to a court or another authority to have a decision on parental responsibility enforced. Which procedure applies in such cases?

The bailiffs execute compulsory the decisions of courts.

15. What should I do to have a decision on parental responsibility that is issued by a court in another Member State recognised and enforced in Lithuania? Which procedure applies in these cases?

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.

TopTop

16. To which court should I turn in Lithuania to oppose the recognition of a decision on parental responsibility issued by a court in another Member State? Which procedure applies in these cases?

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.

17. Which is the applicable law in a proceeding on parental responsibility where the child or the parties do not live in Lithuania or are of different nationalities?

Law applicable to the ascertainment of the origin of a child (legitimation) ir regulated in the Article 1. 31 of the Civil Code. The origin of a child (ascertainment or contest of paternity or maternity) shall be established either in accordance with the law of the state the citizenship of which the child acquired at his birth, or with the law of the state which is recognized as the domicile of the child at the time of his birth, or with the law of the state in which one of the child’s parents is domiciled, or with the law of the state the citizen of which one of the parents was at the time of the child’s birth, whichever is more beneficial to the child. The consequences of legitimation shall be governed by the law of the state of domicile of the child. If a child or one of his parents is domiciled in the Republic of Lithuania, the questions of legitimation shall be decided by the courts or other state institutions of the Republic of Lithuania

  • The parents’ (the father’s or the mother’s) legal active capacity in acknowledging paternity (maternity) shall be governed by the law of the state of his or her domicile at the time of the acknowledgement. The form of the acknowledgement of paternity (maternity) shall be governed by the law of the state in which it is made or by the law of the state of the child’s domicile. The same provisions shall also apply to the legitimation of a child born out of wedlock.

    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.



    « Parental responsibility - General information | Lithuania - General information »

    TopTop

    Last update: 24-03-2005

  •  
    • 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