I need to increase or decrease child support

The maintenance obligation of both parents is to ensure that the child's standard of living is maintained at the same level after the parents' separation as it would have been if the parents had not separated. Obviously, the child's needs and the parents' standard of living will change over the years and therefore the amount of maintenance will change.

Generally speaking, after about three years, the child's needs will increase in such a way that the court has the possibility to modify the maintenance. Under Czech law, the court can only modify a maintenance order if there has been a change in the circumstances of the parents or the child.

The most common reasons for modifying child support are:

  • the child starts kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, etc.
  • increased expenses related to the child's leisure activities
  • a change in the child's health requiring increased expenses
  • a change in the parents' income or financial situation
  • a change in the parents' state of health justifying increased expenditure
  • new parental maintenance obligation

Under Czech law, maintenance can be changed up to three years in arrears. If the amount of the maintenance obligation is retroactively reduced or cancelled, the maintenance already paid, and therefore consumed, is not refunded.

Parents can always agree on a change in the amount of maintenance in the absence of enforcement proceedings. If maintenance has already been enforced in court or across borders, it is necessary to amend the judgment (other enforcement order).

Modification of maintenance in international families

The application of the beneficiary (child or child represented by a legal representative) for a modification of the amount of maintenance may be decided either in accordance with the Maintenance Regulation:

  • the court of the child's place of residence, or
  • the court of the place of residence of the obligor.

If, on the other hand, the obligor files an application for a change of maintenance, he must, in accordance with the Maintenance Regulation, apply only to the court where the minor child lives.

The Office has the possibility to assist clients in applying for a modification of maintenance abroad - however, it always depends on the specific case and the quality of cooperation with the foreign central authority. For further information, please contact a member of staff at the Office.

If maintenance is decided by the courts within the European Union, it is the court's responsibility to find out the address of the obligor, serve him/her with a summons and take all the evidence necessary to decide on the modification of maintenance. At this stage, the Office may assist the Czech court in verifying the obligor's address abroad, but it is not entitled to ascertain the obligor's specific financial circumstances. In this respect, the courts should apply the procedure under the Evidence Regulation.