Bill for state alimony fund to reach government in April
A bill on family benefits signed by Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna (IRL), which calls for the creation of a state alimony fund, will be forwarded for consideration to other ministries on Monday and is expected to reach the government in April.
"The Family Benefits bill should reach the government in April, and in accordance with the government's action program the alimony fund is planned for 2017,” Tsahkna said.
According to Tsahkna, child support currently owed by about 8,000 parents exceeds €14m. Currently one in four children is growing up in a one-parent household, the poverty of which is many times higher than in two-parent families.
The government approved the plan for creating an alimony fund together with its functioning principles in July 2015.
According to the bill now introduced, if a parent ordered to pay child support still refuses their obligation to pay four months after the court ruling has taken effect, the state will pay the child-raising parent €100 a month starting from 2017. In return, the state will collect that sum from the alimony-dodging parent.
Also this year, tougher regulations aimed at collecting support payments will take effect. Starting March, courts will have the right to suspend parents' driver's licenses, hunting and weapons permits as well as other government-issued privileges.