Making Delinquent Parents & Businesses Pay

At the moment, it is very difficult for a parent to get child maintenance payments from a parent who has moved across borders and gone into another member state. Hopefully, that is about to change. Proposals are underway by the European Commission to help parents caught in this situation.

Delinquent Cases

Approximately 134,000 child maintenance claims include cross-border situations each year, according to commission estimates. Of those, 67,000 are thought to be problematic cases where one parent won’t pay to help with child support.

The new proposal by justice commissioner Viviane Reding attempts to make these cross-border claims easier by creating a European Account Preservation Order.

A court, in this situation, would issue an order to a bank telling it to put aside the amount owed to the creditor from the delinquent’s bank account.

Helping Those in Need

The proposal would also help small businesses and online companies that try to receive payment from people and organizations in other member states. The commission estimates that about 1 million small businesses are faced with this issue and that about €600 million a year is lost because a small business simply finds it too overwhelming to purse expensive legal fees to hunt down the company and force them to pay.

In March EU member states will meet with the commission to discuss the proposal. The part of the agreement that is the stickiest is that governments will have to disclose bank account details for debtors.

Time will tell if delinquent parents and businesses will have to face the music and pay up what they owe.

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