Child Maintenance System in Russia

The development of the modern  child maintenance system in  Russia dates back to 1936, when the “percentage of income” system  was established.   By contrast to many countries,  no public agency has ever been involved in the collection of maintenance.

So it is  done either through

  1. private agreements  between parents or
  2. through court judgment.

1. Parents may make a written agreement about financial provision of the child (art.99 of the Family Code). It is to be ratified 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.

2. If parents can not agree as to the amount of maintenance, court is  to   determine it,  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). 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 this 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).

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, and that is in contrast to Kazakhstan, Bielorussia and Ukraine.  The Russian Ministry of Justice has 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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