When Is The Maintenance Debtor Going To Prison? Here Is The Amendment To The Act! – Credit for Indebted People


 As results from the KRD data – most of the debtors paradoxically do not live in large metropolises … but in small towns! Every tenth inhabitant of the town up to 20,000 it is included in the bases of indebted people, for a total sum of PLN 8.4 billion. This is not much – considering that the unpaid maintenance obligations are currently over a dozen or so billion zlotys! Ba – record from the provinces of Mazovia and ego can boast of debt on children, the total amount of p Rawa   669 thousand from ł! The second inhabitant of Silesia, which has collected almost 629 thousand, does not look much worse . zł.   for unpaid maintenance … Worse, such “pineapples” are not without a penalty – because the law is on the side of the aggrieved party.  


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Condemned to debt …  

From 1 June 2017, along with the amendment to the Criminal Code, a new law came into force concerning sanctions for people who refuse to pay child support. And so, in the light of the rules in force – every debtor who fails to fulfill his / her maintenance obligation must take into account not only the imposition of a fine, but also the limitation or imprisonment of up to 2 years.  

This is mainly applicable to payers whose total amount of maintenance obligations will reach the equivalent of at least three periodic benefits or if the delay in repayment of non-periodial maintenance will be at least 3 months. The adjudicated changes came into force at the end of May 2017 and their author is the Ministry of Justice.  

How was it before the amendment? Recall that in the light of the old regulations, it was only punishable to “persistently evade” before regulating children’s benefits, and only when the person receiving alimony “exposed” the basic needs of life “exposed”.


Stricter and easier penalties for debtors!  


Thus, Polish law provides for much more severe penalties for maintenance debtors. However, such people can also count on a “reduced fare”. The condition is one – all outstanding benefits, the payer must settle, within 30 days from the date of the first hearing. Then he will also have the opportunity to avoid consequences and will not get to the prison. Nevertheless, the new rules contain one catch. Namely – the Ministry of Justice did not foresee one. Some prisoners may be released for crimes before the amendment is introduced …  





In general, new regulations have been introduced to make it more difficult for alimants to cleverly “evade” children’s payments. There were cases when the defendant only paid part of the awarded amount. Many of them also carefully hid “real” income and owned property. In the “no way out” situations, they capitulated and left abroad only to “leave their mark after them”. Those who stayed in the country effectively:  

  • Overstated expenditures on maintenance and fulfillment of basic needs,  
  • They rewrote real estate and movables to a loved one,  
  • They invented illnesses and even diseases to justify the need to pass a certain amount to their needs.


Prison for maintenance!  

According to art. 209 of the Penal Code, the evasion of the maintenance obligation has certain consequences:  

1. Whoever avoids the maintenance obligation specified in the court decision, settlement before court or other body, or other contract, if the total amount of arrears, as a result of arrears is equivalent to at least 3 periodic benefits or if the delayed payment other than periodic at least 3 months, subject to a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment for up to one year.  

1a. If the perpetrator of the act specified in § 1 exposes the person entitled to the inability to meet basic life needs, he or she shall be subject to a fine , restriction of liberty or imprisonment of up to 2 years.  

2. The prosecution specified in § 1 or 1a is pursued at the request of the aggrieved party, the social welfare body or the authority taking action against the maintenance debtor.

Derogations from imposing a penalty  

Therefore, the Polish law presupposes that prosecution of the debtor’s debtor is carried out at the request of the victim or a social body involved in helping the family. Therefore, if the victim receives financial support, by virtue of various benefits, which are paid in case of ineffective execution – then   the alimanager is prosecuted from office!  

The debtor will then avoid the penalty only if he has paid the entire outstanding amount within 30 days of the date of the first interrogation. However, in the case of defendant’s problems with the settlement of the debt, it is possible to make up for it, in the form of electronic supervision – i.e. SDE. It is an electronic bracelet, which the perpetrator can wear – provided that you do not stay outside the country.

Before the debtor goes to prison …  

Whether a person who has a problem with regulating child support goes to prison depends on a few issues. In the end, the court may set a fine or only a restriction of liberty. The first solution – and therefore the fine is awarded in the daily rate. It can not be lower than PLN 10 and higher than PLN 2,000. zł. Therefore, to determine its height, several factors are taken into account:  

  • The debtor’s income and his assets  
  • Personal and family relations of the prosecuted  
  • The earning potential of the indebted  





A European order for payment? …

European Arrest s Payouts can automatically download the awarded amount of the debtor’s bank account. Of course, this is possible after the creditor has sent the claim in advance. On the basis of this regulation – the court is looking for the perpetrator throughout the EU. The exception is Denmark, which does not take part in this procedure. And if the defendant’s country of residence is “discovered” then the court in Poland, sends the application to the competent state authority. In this case, the defendant, within 30 days of the delivery of the letter, has the right to challenge the claim! If he opposes – the ENZ’s application loses its force and the case is transferred to the civil procedure of the country in which the order was issued! However, the lack of any answer means for the institution to agree to the execution of the order to collect a specific sum.  

Detailed information on how to complete the application and how to issue a warrant in individual countries can be found on the website of the European Judicial Atlas in Civil Matters.

Register of Persistent Debt Brokers

The Ministry of Justice and the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights plan to increase the recovery of maintenance, with the help of RUDA – that is, the so-called Register of Persistent Debt Brokers. This special base is to be a “whip” for parents who do not fulfill their obligation to pay maintenance. The register is to include personal data of debtors lying with maintenance, for more than 3 months – and for which a bailiff or other state authority has initiated enforcement proceedings. Information placed in the system will be public. The new project also includes:

  • the possibility of executing “diets” received by defendants,
  • activating the perpetrators of maintenance for public works,
  • as well as crackdown on employers employing debtors “in black”.

The draft amendment has been directed to inter-ministerial and social consultations.

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