On 1 July 2021, Act No. 588/2020 Coll., the Surrogate Maintenance Act for dependent child came into effect.
The purpose of this act is help to single parents and their dependent children who do not receive a set amount of maintenance from the other parent or from the person who has a maintenance obligation to the dependent child. Surrogate maintenance is a kind of social benefit provided by the state. The amount of surrogate maintenance will be limited to the maximum of CZK 3.000,- monthly. In general, however, the amount of the surrogate maintenance will depend on several factors.
All dependent children who permanently reside in the territory of the Czech Republic and the obliged parent does not fulfil their maintenance obligation will be entitled to this benefit. Dependent children are all children up to the end of compulsory schooling and children who continuously prepare for a future profession up to the age of 26. An exception to the preceding sentence is made for children who, because of their illness, cannot consistently prepare for a future occupation or cannot be gainfully employed because of their illness.
There is requirement of execution proceeding against the obliged parent as a condition for entitlement to surrogate maintenance. An enforceable judgment itself will not be sufficient.
The competent authority for deciding on surrogate maintenance is the Labour Office of the Czech Republic. Proceedings for surrogate maintenance are initiated on the basis of a written request from the entitled person, to which it is essential to attach an execution title against the obliged parent. The state will then collect the amounts of surrogate maintenance from the obliged parent.
The Surrogate Maintenance Act will significantly help children from socially vulnerable families who have problems with the collection of maintenance from the obliged parent. It will mean a certain administrative and financial burden of the state, even though the benefit will be provided for a limited period of time (a maximum of 24 payments). The risk of a relatively low return of the money paid is considerable; after all it is obvious from experience of some European countries.