Perthhotel Uncategorized How to enforce maintenance when the debtor is abroad

How to enforce maintenance when the debtor is abroad

The law states explicitly: both parents should equally bear the cost of living for their children. It happens, however, that one of the parents does not want to fulfill this obligation.

Even if the court ordered him to pay maintenance. What can you do in this situation? Thanks to international agreements, maintenance can be recovered even if the parent has gone abroad. Two international agreements will help in this:

Effective debt collection


The two agreements differ in the procedure that is used to enforce maintenance. First of all, the person seeking recovery must have a legally binding judgment ordering maintenance. The first way to enforce maintenance is to use the New York Convention , which 57 countries have signed. In this procedure, a person entitled to maintenance or his statutory representative, i.e. a parent, should apply to the district court competent for his place of residence. This application must be accompanied by:

  • copies of children’s birth certificates,
  • a copy of the verdict awarding maintenance for foreign trade purposes,
  • certificate from the child’s school if it is compulsory,
  • power of attorney for the authority that will carry out the enforcement of maintenance on behalf of the authorized person.

The court on behalf of the authorized person must send to the court in the country of residence of the maintenance debtor documents authorizing the execution of maintenance in order to obtain maintenance.

The issuing of the application and its submission is free


However, you have to pay for issuing copies of the judgment and the child’s birth certificate as well as the notarized signature on the power of attorney. The second possibility of claiming alimony from abroad results from the EU regulation , according to which a person who has a verdict issued in one of the member states can apply for its enforcement directly in the country where the parent who does not pay alimony is located.

The EU procedure is more difficult than the New York Convention, as it requires the person seeking recovery of maintenance to recover claims independently. To this end, you must submit an application in the district of the court where the debtor is staying and indicate the address for service. It is important that the application is prepared in the language of the relevant country. In addition, documents translated by a certified translator should be attached:

  • a copy of the Polish judgment,
  • copies of children’s birth certificates.

Legal advisors at the district court can help


In determining the address of the competent court in which the debtor resides. The EU procedure is more expensive because you have to pay for the costs of translating all documents yourself, sending them and a foreign representative. Important! The regulation can only be used in EU member states except Denmark.

In addition, the procedure based on it applies only to judgments awarding maintenance after 1 March 2002. If the maintenance debtor does not live in the EU or lives in a country that has not signed the New York Convention, bilateral agreements on mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil matters should be used to enforce foreign claims.