Child Support in Estonia

Alimony Payments: Children's Rights and Parents' Duties

The law firm Eesti Firma specializes in providing legal services related to child support in Estonia, including its enforcement, increase, and decrease. We offer comprehensive support in this area: from initial consultations and thorough documentation preparation to representing clients’ interests in court.

Eesti Firma – Qualified Family Law Attorneys in Estonia

Our firm’s lawyers possess deep knowledge of Estonian family law and exert every effort to protect the rights and interests of clients in the most delicate matters.

Our goal is to provide clients not only with legal support but also an understanding of all aspects related to legal processes, helping to achieve fair and sustainable solutions.


Alimony: The Financial Responsibility of Parents

Alimony is financial aid that one parent (usually the one not living with the child) pays to the other parent to meet the child’s material needs. These payments are intended to cover expenses for housing, food, clothing, medical care, education, and other needs necessary for the child’s care and development.

Why is child support necessary?

The primary purpose of alimony t is to ensure the child’s material well-being, despite the parents’ divorce. It’s important to note that  should be sufficient to maintain the child’s normal physical, psychological, and social development, and correspond to the lifestyle and income of the supporting parent.


How to correctly calculate the alimony amount?

The legislation stipulates that the alimony amount cannot be less than the minimum set by Article 101 of the Family Law Act. There is no fixed amount set by law, but there is a procedure for calculating payment amount based on variables that change annually.

Minimum alimony amount for 2023-2024 – 260.33 euros

To calculate the minimum amount, a complex formula is used, including variables dependent on the Consumer Price Index published by the Statistics Department and the average gross salary of the previous year (reflecting the country’s economic situation and updated annually on April 1st).

To calculate the exact child support amount, you can use a special calculator.

It’s important to note that the legally established minimum alimony amount may change annually on April 1st, depending on the economic situation, inflation, and other variables. This circumstance automatically increases the amount due – the parent obligated to pay alimony must anticipate and track possible changes and immediately apply new rates to the payments.


The obligation to pay alimony: what every parent needs to know?

The obligation to pay alimony represents a legal commitment of one or, in some cases, both parents to provide financial support to their minor child, arising based on the Family Law and being an integral part of parental duties.

The alimony payer is obligated to regularly provide a certain amount of money or material support to meet the child’s basic needs. This obligation may arise in cases of parents living separately or in other situations where parents do not reside together, and one is required to provide financial support to their child.

Failure to fulfill the child support obligation can have serious legal consequences, including loss of custody rights and even criminal liability in cases of willful avoidance of alimony payments.

Sharing the Costs of Child Maintenance Between Parents

Parents are required to provide for their child in equal shares, based on the principle of joint provision for their needs. This principle implies that both parents share joint responsibility for the material and financial well-being of their child, even if they live separately. However, the parent living separately is obliged to cover the child’s needs primarily with money, while the parent with whom the child resides can contribute to the child’s maintenance indirectly (food, clothing, medication, utility expenses, etc.).

Child Support Payment Process

Alimony can be paid voluntarily directly to the parent living with the child. This approach is known as a voluntary agreement on allowance. In this case, parents can independently agree on the amount and terms of payments without the involvement of the court or state authorities.

If parents cannot reach an agreement on the amount and terms of alimony payments voluntarily, one of the parties can file a lawsuit for child support collection. In this case, the court will consider the circumstances of the case and make a decision on the amount and terms of payments.


How to apply for alimony in Estonia?

Child support is an unconditional right of the child, and in case of non-payment, the parent raising the child has the right and even the obligation to go to court to protect the legal interests of their child.

Procedures for Enforcing Child Support through Court

When parties cannot agree on the amount and terms of allowance payments, or when one of the parties fails to fulfill their obligations, the other party can go to court to settle the alimony issue. The process of enforcing child support through court includes the following stages:

Filing a Child Support Claim

The allowance recipient (usually the parent or guardian of the child) files a lawsuit in court, requesting to establish the amount of alimony and the payer’s obligation to pay it.

Court Hearing

The court conducts hearings on the case, where the parties present their arguments and evidence.

Issuance of Court Decision

After considering all the evidence and arguments, the court issues a decision on the amount of allowance and the terms of its payment.

Execution of Decision

Once the court’s decision is made, the payer is obligated to make payments in accordance with the terms set by the court. If the payer fails to fulfill their obligations, the alimony recipient can approach the court bailiff for the enforcement of the decision.

The court process provides legal protection for the interests of the allowance recipient and ensures a fair settlement of the child’s financial support issue.

Maintenance allowance

If allowance payments are not made, the child has the right to receive maintenance allowance from the state. State support of up to 200 euros monthly is provided to children whose parent or parents fail to fulfill their maintenance obligations.

An application for maintenance allowance can only be submitted when legal proceedings for child support collection have been initiated or an enforcement procedure is being carried out by a court bailiff.


How to increase the amount of alimony?

In accordance with family law, the amount of allowance payments initially set by a court decision can be reviewed and increased. Such a need usually arises when the child’s needs increase, which can be related to age-related changes, increased expenses on education, medical care, specialized activities, or due to changes in overall living conditions.

To initiate the process of reviewing child support, the party interested in increasing the payments must file a lawsuit in court. An important aspect is providing compelling evidence to prove the change in circumstances related to the increase in the child’s needs.


How to decrease child support?

According to the Family Law, the amount of allowance determined by a court decision can be reviewed and reduced under certain circumstances. One such circumstance is the onset of disability in the parent obligated to make payments. Disability can significantly reduce their financial capabilities and, accordingly, the ability to fulfill alimony obligations at the previous level.

Another reason for reviewing the amount of allowance can be changes in family circumstances, such as the appearance of another child or dependent of the alimony payer. In accordance with the Family Law, allowance should be paid, considering the needs of all children supported by the parent. If the enforcement of child support at the previously established amount leads to another child being less provided for financially, the court may decide to reduce the allowance payments.

To initiate the process of reviewing the allowance amount, the parent must file an application in court, attaching evidence that proves the change in their financial situation or family circumstances.


Eesti Firma OÜ — Your Legal Partner in Family Matters

Eesti Firma is your reliable partner in resolving child support matters in Estonia. We offer a comprehensive approach to the legal support of cases related to alimony, covering all stages from initial consultation to active representation of your interests in court.

Experienced Child Support Attorneys

Our team consists of experienced attorneys specializing in family law who will thoroughly analyze your case, prepare all necessary documents, and effectively represent your interests in alimony court case.

From Initial Consultation to Court Decision

We not only help you navigate the complexities of Estonian family law but also provide support in dispute resolution, helping to achieve a fair and lawful solution.

By turning to Eesti Firma, you can be confident that your rights and interests will be protected in the best possible way in any alimony matter.


Get professional legal assistance with child support today!

If you’re facing difficulties with alimony payments or collection, our team of attorneys is ready to offer you their professional assistance.

Our firm’s experienced lawyers specialize in solving complex issues related to alimony, including through legal proceedings. We understand the importance of having reliable support in these sensitive matters and guarantee a personalized approach and effective legal solutions for each client.

Eesti Firma: Your Reliable Legal Helpers in Child Support Matters!

Our experts have deep knowledge and many years of experience in family law. We guarantee confidentiality, attentive consideration of your problems, and strive to provide maximum comfort and confidence in resolving your legal issues.

FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Here, we have gathered answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the enforcement, calculation, and payment of alimony. This section will be useful for both those who are obligated to pay alimony and those who receive it.

Our aim is to provide you with detailed and useful information that will help navigate child support matters in Estonia and understand your rights and responsibilities. Don’t let legal questions go unanswered.

  • Who can demand child support?

    Alimony can be demanded by children under 18 years of age, or by those who continue their education in a school, technical school, or university after reaching adulthood, but no longer than up to the age of 21.

  • What are the main principles of child support enforcement in Estonia?

    The main principles are that alimony is determined by the court and is intended for financial support and meeting the basic needs of the children.

  • How is the amount of child support calculated?

    According to legislation, the amount of alimony cannot be lower than the minimum sum established in Article 101 of the Family Law, calculated based on the Consumer Price Index and the average gross salary.

  • Can the amount of alimony be changed?

    Yes, the amount of allowance can be changed by the court in case of changes in financial circumstances or the needs of the child.

  • How long do you need to pay child support?

    Alimony is usually paid until the child reaches 18 years of age but can be extended if an adult child continues education in school, technical school, or university.

  • What happens if you don’t pay child support?

    A non-payer of alimony may face criminal liability and/or commencement of compulsory enforcement of allowance through a court bailiff.

  • Can allowance be paid directly to the child?

    In special cases determined by the court, alimony can be paid directly to the child, but typically it is transferred to one of the parents.

  • Does cohabitation of parents affect child support?

    Cohabitation of parents and joint household management with the child is a significant circumstance and will be considered by the court in deciding on allowance.

  • Can child support be agreed upon outside of court?

    Yes, parents can enter into a child allowance agreement at a notary.

  • What evidence is needed for alimony enforcement?

    It’s necessary to detail and explain the financial position and needs of the child.

  • What are the rights of the parent paying alimony?

    The parent paying allowance has the right to participate in the child’s life, communicate with the him, and receive information about his well-being.

  • Can there be a waiver of child support?

    A waiver of alimony is not possible in any case, as it unequivocally does not correspond to the interests of the child. The only thing a custodial parent can do is not enforce the child’s right to compulsory collection of allowance.

  • What are the rules for paying alimony in joint child-rearing?

    In joint child-rearing, alimony may be reduced or canceled depending on the circumstances.

  • Does a new marriage affect child support obligations?

    A new marriage in itself does not affect allowance obligations unless there is a change in financial circumstances and the number of potential dependents entitled to receive child support.

  • Can alimony be set in kind?

    In very rare cases, allowance can be set in kind, but this model must correspond to the child’s interests and be approved by the court.

  • What is the process for appealing a child support amount decision?

    A decision on the amount of alimony can be appealed to a higher court within legally established timeframes.

  • What additional expenses can be included in child support?

    Alimony can include expenses for education, medical care, and other special needs of the child.

  • How is child support enforced if a parent evades payment?

    In such cases, one can apply to a court bailiff for compulsory enforcement of child support, including the possibility of levying execution on the non-payer’s property and income.

  • Can the amount of child allowance be more than the legal minimum?

    Yes, the amount of alimony can be increased by the court depending on the circumstances of the case, the child’s needs, and the parents’ financial situation.

  • Do the debts of one of the parents affect the amount of allowance?

    A parent’s debts are not grounds for changing the amount of alimony.

  • Is it possible to receive allowance if the child lives abroad?

    Yes, alimony can be paid for a child living abroad, provided international agreements and Estonian laws are observed.

  • Is it possible to receive alimony from a parent living abroad?

    Yes, there are international agreements that allow for the collection of child support from a parent living abroad.

We hope this FAQ has been helpful in elucidating key aspects of alimony obligations in Estonia. Remember, each case is unique, and if you have additional questions or require more specific legal assistance, we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified lawyer.

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