Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Strengthening the Protection of the Children's Right to Proper Maintenance by Improving the Procedure for Alimony Recovery" of 6 December 2017, No. 2234-VIII (the "Law on Alimony Recovery") came into force on 6 February 2018.
The so-called alimony reform was launched by Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Strengthening the Protection of the Children's Right to Proper Maintenance by Improving the Procedure for Alimony Recovery" of 17 May 2017, No. 2037-VIII, which came into force on 8 July 2017 and was aimed at eliminating gaps and collisions in the legislative regulation of the procedure for alimony recovery (follow the link to see the key provisions of the Law).
The new Law on Alimony Recovery is a logical continuation of the changes launched in July 2017 and aims to ensure the proper enforcement of court decisions on alimony recovery and the prevention of alimony arrears. The amendments address, in particular, the following matters.
1. Community service as a new type of administrative penalty was introduced, which is imposed on alimony debtors, if the aggregate amount of the debt exceeds the amount of payments for six months. Community service consists in performing paid work in the time free from work or studies and is ordered for 120 to 240 hours. In case of the offender's evasion from performing community service, such administrative penalty may be replaced by an administrative detention for up to 15 days.
2. The procedure for establishing a temporary restriction on the debtor's right to travel outside Ukraine was simplified. From now on, a state enforcement officer will independently establish, without a court decision, a temporary restriction on the debtor's right to travel outside Ukraine until full payment of arrears.
3. The additional restrictions for debtors were introduced. Until full repayment of the debt, the state enforcement officer, by a reasoned decision, will restrict the debtor's right:
- to drive vehicles, except when (i) such a restriction deprives the debtor of the legitimate source of means of subsistence; (ii) the debtor uses a vehicle in connection with his/her disability or disability of his/her dependents; (iii) the debtor does military service and performs combat duties in a combat environment or an anti-terrorist operation area;
- to use hunting, pneumatic and inert firearms, and domestically-produced devices for shooting equipped with rubber or similar non-lethal shells;
- to hunt.
4. The procedure for the child's international travel without the debtor's consent was simplified. From now on, the parent who has custody of the child, may independently decide on the child's temporary travel outside Ukraine for medical treatment, studying abroad, and recreation. A certificate of alimony arrears issued by the state enforcement officer will be the ground for the child's travel without the debtor's consent.
5. Applicants are exempt from paying a court fee in case of filing an application for a court order to recover alimony.