Frequently Asked Questions

Can I contact the Office for International Child Protection even if I do not know the address of the obligor?

Yes. It is necessary to provide the Office with as much information as possible regarding the possible residence of the obligor. If at least the country in which the obligor is expected to reside is known, the Office may, in some countries, contact the authorities there to try to establish the obligor's whereabouts. If the country of residence of the obligor is not known, it is advisable to file a criminal complaint in the Czech Republic for neglect of mandatory maintenance and the police will try to establish the obligor's whereabouts using the instruments of international police cooperation. The success of the residence search cannot be guaranteed.

What should I do if the paternity of my child has not yet been established?

If the address of the alleged father is known, a paternity action must be brought before the district court of the child's place of residence. The court must also join the proceedings with the child custody and maintenance arrangements.

What are the consequences of non-payment of maintenance?

In criminal law, the provisions of Section 196 of Act No.40/2009 Coll., the Criminal Code, regulate the neglect of mandatory maintenance. The offence is defined as follows: whoever fails, even negligently, to fulfil his legal obligation to maintain or support another for a period exceeding four months shall be punished by imprisonment for up to one year.

The initiation of criminal proceedings is often the only way for those liable to pay maintenance. In addition, it is often possible, in cooperation with the Police of the Czech Republic, to trace the residence of the obligor in the territory of the Czech Republic or abroad.

How will maintenance be enforced if it is fixed in one currency but enforced or paid in another currency?

In principle, this circumstance does not prevent the recovery of maintenance, since in such cases a conversion is carried out. It should be borne in mind that the recovery of maintenance from abroad is complicated and it is not always possible to recover it in full. This may be due to changes in the conversion rate between the time when the payment is made and when it reaches the beneficiary, bank charges (which in some countries may be borne by the beneficiary), etc.

How will maintenance from abroad be served on me?

Alimony from abroad is usually transferred to the deposit account of the Office and the Office agrees with the beneficiary how it will be sent to him - whether to his account in CZK, in foreign currency or by postal order to his address.

Can maintenance also be recovered for adult children?

Under Czech law, parents have a maintenance obligation towards their children until they are able to support themselves. However, in some countries (e.g. the USA), it is very difficult to enforce a claim for maintenance for adults because the authorities there are no longer obliged to provide free legal aid to such claimants.

I am a Czech citizen living abroad and I want to recover maintenance from a debtor living in the Czech Republic. What procedure should I choose?

Contact the competent authority in your country of residence, which will help you prepare the request for recovery of maintenance and then send it to the Office as the receiving authority. You can also ask the Office to provide you with the contact details of the specific authority in your place of residence.

Am I obliged to pay maintenance according to a foreign judgment if my income in the Czech Republic is much lower and I am unable to pay the maintenance so determined?

If your earning situation has changed, you can apply to the court of the place of residence of the child for a reduction in maintenance. As a general rule, we recommend that you comply with the obligations under the foreign judgment even if you live in the Czech Republic. The entitled person living abroad can apply for enforcement of the maintenance and if the foreign judgment is given effect in the Czech Republic, he/she will be able to enforce the maintenance directly here (e.g. by deductions from wages).