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Maintenance Claim From Mother - Poland


Richthecat 6 | 58
22 Feb 2018  #1
Maintenance Claim From Mother

Hi looking for some legal advice. I am a Brit but have been living and working in Poland for a couple of years. The situation is as follows. My wife and her mother have been estranged for some time now with no contact but we have found out she is claiming that she has not enough money to live and is seeking maintenance payment from us to help her live. Whilst I understand that there is some validity in the thought that regardless of relationship the responsibility to look after a parent remains. In this situation the money is not needed as her mother has a boyfriend and can live but on paper she appears to be poor therefore she is using the court process to sue for a monthly payment.

My questions are as follows

Will the court only look at my wife's income or will mine also be included as hers is minimal therefore a payment would also be as such.

How can we prove she is lying about how much money she has?

Can the court force us to sell assets to pay for her Mother

Many thanks in advance
dagenhamdave 1 | 11
22 Feb 2018  #2
What are you talking about? You don't have any legal obligation to your mother-in-law in the UK. Tell her to go hang!
terri 1 | 1,624
22 Feb 2018  #3
If the mother-in-law lives in Poland, she can take her daughter and son-in-law to Court for maintenance payment for her. The Court will decide on the house income (that is all the income that comes into the house) in order to determine how much the daughter must pay as maintenance for her own mother.

It is up to you to gather documentary evidence to prove that the mother has adequate income to live on. Unless she is married to the boyfriend, or you can prove that he pays the mother an amount every week/month, the court will not take his income into account. I bet that when she goes to Court, the mother will say that this is a casual friend and he is under no obligation to give her a penny or a zloty.

Get a good solicitor/lawyer and read up on all similar cases that have gone through the courts in Poland.
OP Richthecat 6 | 58
22 Feb 2018  #4
Thanks terri,

Ouch so I am also responsible for my mother in law great... One more question if I may I have heard of a process where you can separate marrital assets and income. Normally done pre marriage but can be done post I have been told If I do so will this exclude my income and assets. and yes dragenhamdave she does live in Poland unfortunately
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,519
22 Feb 2018  #5
Jesus Christ that is the craziest thing I've ever heard. I never knew that a person could demand payments from their son/daughter in law.... ridiculous if you ask me...

As delph so eloquently put it, I'd tell her to hang. Anyway, with the way courts are in Poland there's a good chance that the court will side with her over you merely over the fact that you're a foreigner and hence unequal in Polish courts. Its quite sad as there's numerous court cases where people have lost a totally valid claim that'd be accepted in just about any OECD country but lost because they're a foreign resident.

My mind is blown.... this makes me want to get married even less now....
delphiandomine 83 | 17,668
22 Feb 2018  #6
I never knew that a person could demand payments from their son/daughter in law...

It is crazy, but the way of thinking is that the parents paid to bring up the child, so there's now responsibility in reverse to maintain the parents if needs be. I've heard some real horror stories, including children being forced into paying to maintain a drunken parent for many years.

infor.pl/prawo/alimenty/inne-alimenty/77873,Czy-dzieci-maja-obowiazek-placenia-alimentow-na-rzecz-swoich-rodzicow.html

(wasn't me that told her to go hang :P)

Normally done pre marriage but can be done post I have been told If I do so will this exclude my income and assets.

You need to get a legal opinion on this, I'm afraid. The courts may see it as an artificial attempt to separate your income in order to avoid paying the alimony payments, so you'd be be best to get someone to tell you definitively as to how the courts would perceive it.

Yes, the court can force you to sell assets if you don't make the required payments. What would normally happen if you fail to pay is that the court would appoint a balliff, who would then seize your assets accordingly to pay the debts. However, if there has been limited contact with the mother prior to the case, it's possible to apply to the court that the parent had no interest in the child until it was seen that there was cash to be had.

So, the first step is to find a female lawyer with a reputation for being nasty. Is your wife an only child?

I'd also read this, point 4 is particularly relevant:

finanse.wp.pl/alimenty-na-rodzica-jak-ich-uniknac-6114358255581313a

You don't have any legal obligation to your mother-in-law in the UK.

Even if they were married in the UK and lived in the UK, the mother in law could still sue in the Polish courts to get the alimony payments and to enforce the payment through European systems.
OP Richthecat 6 | 58
22 Feb 2018  #7
Thanks for the response

My wife is not an only child but her siblings live in England so it appears she has come after us as we are the easier targets as we live here.

I do agree that there is a responsibility to parents and if the claim was truly for food and shelter I would pay it but with her weekly visits to the nail bar hairdresser and beautician I think food is not what she wants funding here. Money for us is not easy Polish salaries joy so I don't see why my family should go without to find her so I will take all steps to prevent this.

Does she have to sue all siblings??
delphiandomine 83 | 17,668
22 Feb 2018  #8
Essentially, what you can do in this case is request for the richer siblings to take on the burden. It should be pretty straightforward - your lawyer will petition the court to chase them for the alimony instead, because they live in the UK and have considerably higher incomes as a result. However, it's also a wise idea to gather as much evidence as possible that she's not struggling for cash.

It's all detailed in the links that I gave. However, it might be a good idea to talk with the siblings and agree a common defence against this claim - they've got more to lose, so they should cooperate.

And yes, the court will take all the siblings into account. You can't just demand cash from one sibling and not another, as it's for the court to decide who pays how much, not the one making the claim.
OP Richthecat 6 | 58
22 Feb 2018  #9
Thanks for all the advice

Your a star
dagenhamdave 1 | 11
22 Feb 2018  #10
Sorry Rich, I didn't realise. Terrible laws in Poland. Once that generation has gone, life can go back to normal. What kind of relationship does this mother expect to have with her daughter and you once she's taken you to court? Great, so she might get a few zlotych, but at what price? I feel so bad for you and your wife. Good luck with it. I hope you find a way.
Sparks11 - | 335
22 Feb 2018  #11
also it doesnt seem they can demand huge amounts even if you are doing pretty well, unlike alimony. just enough to live. still, what a cow
Atch 17 | 2,880
23 Feb 2018  #12
but with her weekly visits to the nail bar hairdresser and beautician I think food is not what she wants funding here.

Rich, you could employ a registered firm of private detectives in Poland,to put her under surveillance for a few days. Their evidence is admissible in court. If you could gather enough evidence of 'luxury' or 'frivolous' spending, it might help. It would cost you a few hundred sterling so it's only worth doing if you're sure you can catch her out. But if so, it's worth it because it could save you thousands in the long run.

As regards to the assets, as far as I know, assets which you owned before your marriage, for example a house, are not included in marital property but check it out with the solicitor.

By the way, for down the road sometime, be aware of the law regarding inheriting your deceased relatives' debts.

I never knew that a person could demand payments from their son/daughter in law.... ridiculous if you ask me...

With respect Dirk, although you say 'we Poles' all the time, as a Polish-American, there's a lot of stuff you don't know about the realities of life in Poland. I'm surprised you don't know about that one actually. That's pretty much common knowledge. It also applies to child support. A second wife for example, is liable for child support for her husbands' children with his first wife. His child support payments will be determined from their joint incomes, not just his. So basically Dirk, if you get married and have a kid, then split up, your ex has custody, and you re-marry, your second wife's income is also up for grabs.
terri 1 | 1,624
23 Feb 2018  #13
I remember that not too long ago there was a case of a man who had abandoned his girlfriend when she gave birth to a child. He did not pay a penny/zloty throughout the child's life nor give any other form of support. Years later, he put a claim into Courts for maintenance from that very child. He was now a homeless alcoholic and the child had never even seen him throughout her life. As the child, now a married woman was a bit well-off, the Court decided that she must pay maintenance for the father, after DNA tests were ordered to prove that he was the father. This really disturbed me.
jgrabner 1 | 69
23 Feb 2018  #14
Terrible laws in Poland

the same law exists in Germany and Austria. Most often it is not the parent directly who sues the children but the social security agency who has to front the bill.

The son- or daughter-in-law is not liable for payment though, but since both incomes are thrown together it could be that the child has to pay more than she actually earns and his/her married partner has to cough up the difference.
OP Richthecat 6 | 58
23 Feb 2018  #15
Having obtained some leagal advice it very much appears some kind of payment is unavoidable the court will assess joint incomes and a Financail separation will not help as the assessment will take place on last years Tax return which took place when we were not financailly separate. Having looked at the claim the majority of her expenses are made up of rent and living expenses for an apartment "which she lives in alone" (not true) one thing that I don't understand is this apartment and expenses are completely unaffordable based on her declared income some 1200 pln rent alone is 1000 pln and her income and expenses have not changed for at least 2 years so the question is can we ask her to prove how she was affording it before. I know the answer to this but surely this is a question the court should ask??
terri 1 | 1,624
23 Feb 2018  #16
The mother in law will probably claim that she was using her savings to carry on living in the apartment. It is up to you to prove to the Court that this was not the case. You can question the rent payable and the size of the apartment. Photographs, neighbours, anything you can. I would gather as much evidence as you can. Start doing this now.

You can also gather evidence of how you spend your income e.g. food, flat and all associated costs, maintenance etc, car, all bills, children, doctors, anything you can think of. Get as many financial documents as you can well before you go to court.
G (undercover)
23 Feb 2018  #17
Terrible laws in Poland.

Why terrible ? It makes sense in quite a few cases. Another issue is that it has been applied terribly wrong sometimes but it just shows that Polish courts are crap, not any 8th wonder of the world that liberals are trying to make out of them.
kaprys 2 | 1,868
23 Feb 2018  #18
Try to gather evidence that she has more money that she claims.
Also she has to prove her low income doesn't result from her unwilligness to work or claim social welfare.
O WELL 1 | 158
24 Feb 2018  #19
Some old babcia in my wifes village in Poland gets around 2000pln a month from her 2 daughters after she sued them.Since she never worked in her life she dont get any pension from the govt and was never married legally.We dont know the whole story but couple of years back it was talk of the town there.

In Op case I would suggest get a fierce law firm and drag the case till she gets tired(also depends on her age) and her funds to sue dry(that will be my policy atleast).


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