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PACE urges measures to ensure parents pay child maintenance promptly

PACE has urged European countries to ensure that child maintenance payments – made by one parent to another who is caring for children after a separation – are made promptly and in full, calling for the fostering of “a culture of payment”.

When the parent who is supposed to pay does not do so, the state should step in to make “advance” child maintenance payments, recouping the sums involved from the debtor parent later, the Assembly’s Standing Committee said in a resolution, based on a report by Gisela Wurm (Austria, SOC).

Parents who intentionally refused to pay, or only partially paid, these allowances to exert “psychological pressure” on the other parent should face criminal sanctions, the parliamentarians said.

Pointing to the growing number of bi-national marriages and relationships, the Assembly also called for expanded judicial co-operation across borders to ensure payment and recovery of child maintenance.

“Non-compliance with child maintenance payment obligations significantly affects mothers with day-to-day care responsibilities financially, adding to the inequalities that women face in the world of work,” the parliamentarians said. “All single-parent families should have access to child maintenance.”