Non-payment of aliment becomes social problem in Azerbaijan: SURVEY

Non-payment of aliment becomes social problem in Azerbaijan: SURVEY

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 15 / Trend , K.Zarbaliyeva /

According to the State Statistics Committee, in Azerbaijan, 79,900 marriages were concluded and 7,900 divorces were registered last year. In the majority of the divorced families, children grow harmed materially and morally. The payment of the alimony, set by the court, in the divorced families had become a problem. Along with the fact that the bitter results arising from this problem leave indelible traces in children's life, it also has a certain impact on society.

A total of 22,268 cases concerning the alimony have been under execution of the Justice Ministry's Central Bailiffs Department in six months of 2009. This number comprises 36-37 percent of the total number of cases, which are under execution. Some 1,636 cases were fully fulfilled. These include cases closed due to child's reaching the age of majority and cases resolved on the basis of agreement.

Currently, 20,634 court decisions on alimony are under the execution of the department.

The cases on alimony submitted for execution increased in number in 2009, compared to 2008, head of the department, Khanlar Zeynalov told Trend on Sept.15. 

For the six months of the year, administrative protocols were filed to courts with regards to 219 persons who evade the payment of aliment, 184 of which were satisfied, 17 are in the process of legal proceedings, 18 were rejected.

Materials on 91 people who refused to pay aliment were referred to the police and other authorities, and 37 people were made criminally responsible under article 176 (fraudulent evasion of child support) of the Criminal Code.

Ministry official said that the problems that arise during the execution of court decisions regarding aliment derived for the reasons of unemployment of persons, who must provide child support, for the absence of their source of additional income, dismissal of these people. The department appeals to employment centers for providing jobs for unemployed persons and for the purpose of implementation of court decisions. Zeynalov said that in some cases they are able to achieve to provide these citizens with job.

Under the Family Code, parents can conclude a contract on payment of alimony to the underage children. However, the court is eligible to solve this issue unless similar contract exists between the parents.

The legislation defines the size of the alimony in the way as follows: a quarter of the amount of wages or parents' other income for one child, one third - for two, half - for three or more children. The sum can be increased or reduced by the court depending on the financial conditions of the defendant and taking into account other factors.

In case of absence of contract between the parents, the court can determine a stable amount of the alimony.

The court determines the stable sum taking into account the maximum support of the children at the same level, as well as the financial state of the parties and other factors.

According to the decree by the Cabinet of Ministers dated 23 May 2001 on the determination of wages received in manat and foreign currency and (or) other forms of income of parents, who must pay aliment, it is defined from which incomes will be charged aliments.

Last year, the courts have considered 2,025 cases demanding payment of aliment. 661 of them are linked with an increase in the amount of aliment.

The courts have not many claims for aliment, judge of the Supreme Court Asad Mirzaliyev told told Trend . The judge, who considers judicial experience in this regard as satisfactory, said that the main problem in dealing with cases on aliment arises if factually the defendant is not working, but he has some additional revenue, which he hides from the court.

"The defendant is not working, but the claimant claims that the defendant has additional facilities. In the process, the claimant can not prove it. And during the inspection it is revealed that none of the facilities is recorded in the name of the defendant," said Mirzaliyev.

According to the judge of the Supreme Court, as compared with past years, appeals to the courts to determine a stable amount of aliment has increased.

"If the amount of wage of the defendant is unstable, the law allows to establish a stable amount of money. The amount depends on the property of the defendant and according to law, is established in amount of one-quarter of his income. If there are changes in marital status, the aliment payments can be revised," said the judge .

Mirzaliyev said that the main problem occurs with the execution of court decisions on aliment. "The main problem arises during implementation of decisions. The structure dealing with execution of the decisions should investigate the problems and prepare concrete proposals for their solution," said Mirzaliyev.

The judge said that if it is impossible to determine the location of the defendant, instead of him the aliment is paid by the state, which will take that amount from the defendant when he is found.

Mirzaliyev does not justify the fathers who do not pay aliment because of unemployment.

"If the parent produced a child, he should take care of him/her. Father must legally earn and maintain the child. It is true, there is a problem of unemployment. The state is trying to solve this problem, open new jobs. Steps are taken to protect low-income families. But this does not justify the fathers who refuse to support their children. If the father is physically health, he should work and pay aliment. Now there are enough jobs in the private sector. Only a desire is necessary for it," said Mirzaliyev.

Novella Jafaroglu, head of the Women's Rights Committee named after Dilara Aliyeva, thinks that the issue of non-payment of aliment has become a social problem. She believes that in addition to the impotence of the structure, which must deal with implementation of judicial decisions on aliment, the structure is not interested in it as well.

"It is widely spread in the experience of foreign countries. The state pays for the defendant's aliment, and later takes this amount from him. The child is not guilty that his/her father is not working, or he is not in the country. State should assume the severity of the solution of the problem. If this experience will be applied in Azerbaijan, the problem will be solved," she said.

Jafaroglu also supports establishing a stable amount of aliment.
"The state must calculate all the costs for one child until his/her 18 years of age, determine his/her consumer basket. On this basis, the minimum amount of aliment must be defined," said human rights activist.

Lawyer Gurban Mammadov believes that the main cause of non-implementation of court decisions on aliment is unemployment. "Due to the fact that most of aliment payers are unemployed, they have to pay them in cash, as well as through odd jobs. And this, of course, raises certain problems. Here there are two things. First, the payer of aliment can not find work and breaks appear in aliment payment for the objective reasons. Second, the payer of aliment deliberately hides income and knowingly evades the payment of aliment. To prove this fact is difficult (for this purpose, at the level of legislation, authority and means must be provided to executors), a lot of money and time are required for evidence."

According to Mammadov, while determining the amount of aliment, the courts violate the principle of equality before the law. "For example, an unemployed parent is charged at 20 manat, on the other - at least 69, but in other cases, 100 or 150 manat. In other words, the difference in the amount of aliment is present in the decisions of all courts. If one of the reasons is subjectivity of judges, the other reason is ambiguous and inaccurate position of legislation in this matter," he said.

According to the lawyer, in order to ensure normal development of children, legislation must necessarily determine the minimum amount of aliment. Mammadov also supports state's participation in resolving problem with aliment payment. "I believe that the state should define the minimum amount of aliment, pay it to children in need of this, and only then should require these funds from the person who must pay aliment. The fate of the child in no way should depend on the presence or absence of parental conscience .

The non payment of alimony has become a social problem said Taliya Ibrahimova, member of the law department of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs.

The committee received a lot of appeals in this regard. These appeals are mainly connected with non execution of the court sentences and the defendant's evasion of paying alimony, Ibrahimova said.

" The committee received 37 complaints concerning the non-execution of court sentences on alimony in 2007, 62 in 2008 and 75 in the six months of 2009. The number of such appeals grows every year," Ibrahimova added.

The member of the committee said that they have developed relevant proposals to the Family Code and will submit them to the Parliament in the near future. She said the committee is holding exmination to determine a minimum amount of alimony. One of the proposals is to determine a minimum amount of the alimony.

The committe has also proposed to create the Alimony Fund to ensure fulfillment of court decisions on payment of alimony. "The Fund will provide necessary aid to children through public funds. The responsible party will repay a debt to the government. The same practice was applied in foreign countries and it has justified itself," Ibrahimova said.

Ibrahimova believes such organization cannot be established in the near future due to the financial and economic crisis. Ibrahimova considers toughening of penalties on persons who does not pay alimony as one of way outs of this problem: "This should be applied to the persons who deliberately avoid paying the alimony".

Some countries use alternative punishment against those who evade the payment of alimony. Such practices can be used in Azerbaijan, Ibrahimova said. In Russia, mobile phone operator warns the defendant of the need to pay alimony. Some countries deprive people, who do not pay alimony, from a driver's license, Ibrahimova added. 

The question of alimony is under discussions, Chairman of the Parliamentary Socio-Political Committee, Hadi Rajabli, told Trend .

According to Rajabli, it was proposed to include provision to the Family Code, which will draw movable and immovable property of the unfair parent to pay alimony.

"This practice is used in several countries. If one does not pay alimony in Russia, a penalty is imposed on the property. Besides, the person, who did not pay the alimony, is not allowed to leave the country," Rajabli added.

According to Rajabli, the question of determining the minimum amount of alimony in accordance with the minimum wage is also under discussion.

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