Parental care is an important aspect of divorce proceedings. Specifically, child maintenance is an important matter that needs to be taken into consideration as parents are obliged to support their child(ren) jointly and according to their ability to do so. Section 36 of Law 216/1990 provides that maintenance is regulated by the Court following an application submitted by a parent or the beneficiary or the Director of the Social Welfare Services.
The amount of maintenance is determined based on the needs of the child considering the standard of living before the divorce and the income of the parents. Moreover, the maintenance amount includes all the necessities for the sustenance and welfare of the child, and the expenses for the child’s education. In addition to this, in case the parent against whom the maintenance order is issued receives a thirteenth or fourteenth month pay, then the maintenance amount may include a thirteenth or fourteenth monthly payment as well.
Nevertheless, pursuant to section 38 a child maintenance order can be modified in case there has been a change in the circumstances. Precisely, the Court can modify the maintenance order, if for example, the needs of the beneficiary have increased or if the income of the parent that has to pay maintenance has decreased. In some cases, the maintenance order can be terminated. Additionally, the maintenance amount increases automatically by 10% every 24 months (2 years).
A minor child cannot appear in court but is represented by its parents who jointly exercise the duties of parental care. Nevertheless, when the child becomes 18 years old, then it is able to appear in court to safeguard its interests.
Maintenance of adult children:
The provisions of Law 216/1990 impose that the parents are obliged to support their children even after they become 18 years of age under special circumstances. Section 33(2) of Law 216/1990 provides that parents are obliged to support their children in order for them to to continue their education, during their military service in the National Guard and also in case they are incapacitated or disabled.
Usually, when children turn 18 years of age they cannot support themselves financially because they are still studying or carrying out their National military service. Therefore, the parents should maintain and support their children financially. This legislation aims to establish the necessary conditions for the child’s development and education by means of a court judgement.
Parental care and child maintenance after divorce are two highly sensitive matters that need to be handled carefully. The family lawyers of Michael Chambers & Co. LLC are able to advise you on all aspects concerning divorce, parental care and maintenance after divorce. If you wish to speak to one of our lawyers in absolute confidence, then please contact us: [email protected]