What Is Alimony;Complete Legal Guide

Explain what this maintenance mechanism for children consists of and describe what a maintenance judgment consists of.

It is the obligation to give food. In the case of boys, girls and adolescents, it also includes basic and secondary education and the learning of a profession or trade.

Who are beneficiaries of alimony?
Children until they reach 21 years of age unless they are studying a profession or trade, in which case they will cease at 28 years of age or are affected by a physical or mental disability that disables them to subsist on their own.

Who must provide alimony to the children?
Both parents in proportion to their economic capabilities.

Who is responsible for the personal care of the children?
In case of separation, the personal care of the children corresponds to the father and mother. Both, although they live separately, will participate actively, equitably and permanently in the upbringing and education and maintenance of their children. Personal care may fall to one of the parents by agreement or court resolution, but the other must always contribute to the maintenance. If you do not do so, you can sue for alimony.

Pregnant adolescents also have the right to demand alimony for their unborn child, without the need for a legal representative.

When does mediation operate and when does judicialization operate in alimony cases?
Mediation is a mandatory instance in matters of maintenance, prior to the possibility of prosecution. The parties can go directly to a private mediator or to the centers tendered. In those cases where the mediation does not reach agreements or one of the parties does not attend the summons of the mediator, a certificate of unsuccessful mediation is delivered, which enables them to demand maintenance through the written presentation sponsored by a lawyer before the court of competent family.

Is an attorney required to file a maintenance claim?
Yes, you always need a lawyer to sue, unless the judge makes an exception for good reasons.

What must be proven in the food trial?

  • The kinship bond with the defendant: by means of a birth certificate or marriage book.
  • The needs of the child: through a list with their respective proof of expenses for food, education, recreation, housing, health, clothing, transportation, electricity, water, gas, telephone, etc.
  • The economic and patrimonial capacity of the defendant: through salary settlements, income tax declaration, fee tickets and history of his patrimony or affidavit. If sources of income are hidden or false records are presented, you risk penalties with prison terms.

While the trial is underway, is the plaintiff without alimony?
No, in the first judicial action of a maintenance lawsuit, the judge has the obligation to set the amount of money that the defendant must pay for the minor children while the maintenance judgment is processed and until a sentence is passed definitive. This is known as temporary food.

How is the alimony ordered by the judge received?
It is also possible that certain payments made in kind are imputed to alimony, a situation that the court will regulate in the judgment. For example: the payment of the tuition (s). The court may also have other payment channels.

What are the established amounts to request alimony?

The minimum amount is equivalent to 40% of a minimum income in the case of a single child. If you have more than one child, the minimum amount for each of them equals 30% of a minimum income.

The maximum amount may not exceed 50% of the total income of who will pay the pension.

What happens if the defendant does not pay alimony?
The judge can:

  • Suspend your driver’s license for up to six months.
  • Withhold your return on rent.
  • Punish anyone who collaborates in hiding the defendant in order to prevent his notification or the fulfillment of his parental obligations, with the penalty of night imprisonment for up to 15 days.
  • Order a night arrest (22: 00-06: 00 hrs.) For up to 15 days. If the arrest has been completed, the defendant stops paying the corresponding pension the following month, the judge can repeat this measure until the full payment of the alimony owed is obtained.
  • Order full arrest for up to 15 days, if you do not comply with the decreed night arrest or do not pay alimony after two periods of night arrest. In case of new breaches, the judge may extend the arrest for up to 30 days. Both in the case of night arrest and full arrest, if the defendant is not found at the address indicated in the file, the judge must adopt all the necessary measures so that the arrest is carried out.
  • Instruct the defendant’s employer (if he is a dependent worker) to deposit the money corresponding to the pension and the fine that the law establishes as a sanction for the employer becomes effective.
  • Order its establishment or prohibition to leave the country until the payment of the debt is made. You can also request arraigo from the court when there are reasonable grounds to estimate that you will be absent from the country and will not leave a guarantee for the payment of the regulated or court-approved pension.
  • Request solidarity payment from your partner.
  • Request that guarantees be established on the assets of their property, in order to ensure the payment of the pension. For example: if the defendant owns a house, he can request that the rental income of that house be imputed to food, or that he be prohibited from selling it to ensure the payment of future pensions.
  • Seize and auction the assets of the defendant, until the full payment of the pension. The most frequent is that a sum of money is fixed to pay monthly, by means of deposit in a special bank account in the name of the plaintiff. If the defendant is a dependent worker with permanent employment, the judge will order the employer to deduct the alimony directly from his salary and deposit it in a Banco Estado account determined by the judge.


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