Under Slovak family law, who can apply for recognition of alimony and what criteria does the court use to determine the amount of the alimony? In addition to answering the above questions, this article provides you with a brief insight into the current decision-making practice of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (“SC SR”) regarding alimony. 


The basic legal framework for alimony is provided by Act No. 36/2005 Coll. on the Family and on Amendments and Additions to Certain Acts (“Family Act“). The most well-known type of alimony is undoubtedly the alimony obligation of parents towards their children, which is regulated by Sections 62 to 65 of the Family Act as a legal obligation of parents, which lasts from the birth of the children until they are able to support themselves. Thus, a child reaching the age of majority does not necessarily remove the alimony obligation of the child’s parents, since, according to the professional literature and established case law, a child is only capable of supporting him/herself if he/she is able to meet his/her own living needs, or if he/she is adequately healthy, and there are opportunities for him/her on the labour market, for example, until he/she has graduated from university. Thus, even while a child is at university, the alimony obligation of parents towards a child may continue.

It follows from Section 77 (1) of the Family Act that the right to alimony is not subject to limitation. However, rights to individual regular alimony payments, colloquially referred to as “alimony instalments”, are subject hereto. For this reason, beneficiaries should bring their claims, i.e., the “outstanding alimony instalments”, before the court as soon as possible, and at the latest within three years from the date on which they became due.

For the sake of completeness, we would like to point out that in the case of minor children, the court may, if there are reasons worthy of special consideration, also award the alimony for a period of three years retroactively from the date of the of the beginning of the proceedings, whereas the alimony may be awarded in favour of entitled adults only from the date of the beginning of the court proceedings.

The Family Act also stipulates the alimony obligations of children towards their parents, between other relatives and between spouses, as well as the alimony to a divorced spouse or the alimony and reimbursement of certain expenses to an unmarried mother. In connection with this, we would also like to point out the statutory binding criteria which the court is obliged to take into account when deciding on the amount of all categories of the alimony, which are the justified needs of the creditor, the abilities, opportunities, and financial circumstances of the debtor (i.e., the person who pays the alimony). The court’s final decision on the amount of the alimony will therefore always depend on the circumstances of the particular case. The only exception is the alimony of parents in respect of their dependent minor children, for which the Family Act sets the minimum mandatory amount at 30% of the minimum subsistence level for the dependent minor child, which, as of today, amounts to EUR 36,80 (i.e., 30% of EUR 122,77).


Below we attach a brief summary of recent decisions of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic dealing with the issue of alimony:


  • Legal presumption under Section 63 (1) of the Family Act – Resolution of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic, Case No. 6 Cdo/107/2022 of 29 September 2022

Section 63 (1) of the Family Act provides for a legal presumption according to which the court, in the event of non-compliance with the obligation, assumes the average monthly income of the obligor to be twenty times the amount of the minimum subsistence level, i.e., for the year 2024 in the amount of EUR 122,77 * 20 = EUR 2455,40. The above-mentioned obligation is regulated by the law as an obligation of the parent (who has income from other than dependent activity subject to income tax) to prove it to the court, to submit supporting documents for the assessment of his/her financial circumstances and to enable the court, by disclosing data protected under a special regulation, to ascertain also other facts necessary for the decision.

The Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic ruled in the discussed case that the legal presumption under Section 63 (1) of the Family Act should be applied even if the obligor has fulfilled his/her obligation towards the court, but has not proved his/her income credibly. Moreover, in the reasoning of the said resolution, the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic emphasizes that when ascertaining the financial circumstances of the obliged parent, the activity of the entitled parent is also important, as he/she has the opportunity to draw the court’s attention to the existence of other assets of the obliged parent (e.g., cars, other motor vehicles, real estate, illegal/untaxed income, etc.).

The mother of the minor, as the appellant in the present case, considered that the father of the minor had not credibly proved his income in the proceedings, even though he had formally submitted a tax return to the court (monthly income of EUR 600 to EUR 800), but his expenses exceeded his income (monthly expenses of EUR 955 as admitted by him) and, according to the appellant, he had, moreover, pursued financially demanding hobbies, such as buying a motorbike, etc., and therefore, according to the appellant, the Court of Appeal should have applied the presumption of law pursuant to Article 63 (1) of the Family Act.


  • Non-award of alimony to a child due to conflict with good morals – Judgment of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic of 29 June 2023, Case No. 5 Cdo/188/2022

Pursuant to Section 75 (2) of the Family Act, alimony may not be awarded if it would be contrary to good morals, which is not the case with alimony for a minor child. From the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic of 29.06.2023, Case No. 5 Cdo/188/2022, it is possible to deduce situations where the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic would not uphold the claim of an adult child for alimony precisely because it is contrary to good morals; namely the following situations may be involved: the situation of a child who has inherited a large fortune (from persons other than his parents) or has become very successful at a young age (e.g., in business, sports, or the arts) and has acquired large financial resources, many times above the circumstances of his parents. If he/she is a student or a minor, he/she has the right to claim alimony from his/her parents, but it would be contrary to good morals to award alimony to the child, given that his/her financial situation is far better than that of his or her parents, in view of the comparison of their assets.


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