Family Law, Poland

Child maintenance

In Poland the law does not determine the amount of a child maintenance depending e.g. on the age of the child. The extent of a child maintenance is fixed by the court depending on the reasonable needs of the child and on the earning and financial capacity of the person required to pay it. Moreover, there is a principle that children have the right to have the same standard of living as their parents, even if they do not live together. This means that the parents are obliged to ensure as high a standard of living for their children as they do. It should also be emphasized, that as regards the obligation to pay child maintenance, both legitimate and illegitimate children have equal rights.

Parents are obliged to provide child maintenance to a child who is not able yet to provide for himself/herself, so also even after his/her eighteen birthday if he/she wishes to continue his/her education. Parents are obliged to provide maintenance to a child even if they earn the lowest income possible. It is necessary, though, to ensure a fair balance between the duty to provide for the reasonable needs of the person entitled to maintenance and the earning capacity of the person paying maintenance. Satisfying the claims for child maintenance should not lead to poverty of the parent obliged to provide maintenance.

Before awarding a maintenance allowance, the court is obliged to investigate the financial situation of a parent in order to ensure that the extent of a child maintenance is proportionate to his/her income, as well as to examine the reasonable needs of the child. Therefore a parent might be required by the court to prove his/her earnings by presenting to the court e.g. an employment contract or other documents proving his/her income. The Polish law does not specify a maximum amount of the child maintenance, which the court might oblige a parent to pay.