Child Maintenance Regime in Russia

It is establihed that  all parents, whether married or not, have a duty to provide financial maintenance of their children. This maintenance duty is established in art. 27 (3) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.  In relation to Russia, art. 60 of the  Family Code states that “the child shall have the right to receive maintenance from his parents and from other family members”.  Court is  to   determine the amount of  child maintenance, calculating it as one fourth of the income of a debtor if there is one child, one third of the income  if there are two children, etc. (art. 81 of the Family Code). Thus the “percentage of income” system  has been applied in Russia ever since its  establishement in 1936.

Despite  a wide discussion among professionals and public regarding calculating  child maintenance as a fixed sum, no amendments to the law has taken place so far in thi regard.   Currently a fixed sum of a child maintenance is possible only under certain circumstances, that is if a parent has irregular or changing income, or if he receives his income fully or in part in kind or in foreign currency, and also in other cases (art. 83 of the Family Code).
Surely, parents may make a written agreement about financial provision of the child (art.99 of the Family Code). A written agreement is to be drafted by a notary and is enforceable as such (no need of a court confirmation as f.ex. in France).  Besides, transfers of property as form of child support can also be drafted by notary.
Finally, turning to the  international legal framework, it is to be noted that Russia is not a party to the Hague Child Support Convention 2007. That is in contrast to Kazakhstan, Bielorussia and Ukraine.  Fortunately, the Russian Ministry of Justice has recently (in May 2021) announced  its plans to adhere to the Child Support Convention 2007. Meanwhile, the lack of an international instrument  is partly compensated through bilateral agreements on judicial assistance on civil and family matters, existing between Russia and a number of countries. Such agreements usually contain provisions on the recognition of a child maintenance court judgment.

International dimension of family law

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