Grim figures of child support non-payment in Latvia

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Nearly 42,000 non-payers of child support owe €345 million to the Maintenance Guarantee Fund (UGF), according to documents submitted by the Ministry of Justice to the government on February 14.

According to UGF, the fund currently has almost 42 000 debtors. In more than 26,000 cases, the fund still pays maintenance instead of the debtor, namely instead of the parent who does not fulfill the obligation under Article 179 of the Civil Law to maintain their children.

In more than 15,000 cases, the cost of monthly maintenance from the fund has been terminated, for example, in cases where a child has reached the legal age and entered into employment relationships, but the debtors have still not covered the debt to UGF.

The Fund Administration pays on average €4.5 million of child maintenance from UGF each month, providing support to almost 38,000 children. The total amount of debt to the country now exceeds €345 million.

In light of this, the Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with the fund's administration, has developed amendments to the UGF Law in order to motivate parents to fulfill the statutory obligation to provide a child with maintenance, as well as to cover their debts against UGF.

The amendments provide the UGF with the right to receive information from credit information offices about all UGF debtors. If the fund sees that the debtor has new commitments, it will require that the debtor increase the amount of the monthly maintenance payment agreed upon.

Minister of Justice Inese Lībiņa-Egnere (New Unity) stated Tuesday in the Saeima Legal Affairs Committee that a broad social campaign is needed to address the problem of non-payment of maintenance, because people are currently under a false impression that it will never have to be paid.

The minister said that recovery against the debtor will be targeted even at the age of retirement, through inheritance or even insurance.

According to the minister, there is insufficient public debate on the need for maintenance and respect for the child.


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