Useful information for persons liable for maintenance | Our Services | KelaSkip to content

Useful information for persons liable for maintenance

A person liable for maintenance is a parent who is required to pay child support under a child support agreement or court order.

If you are liable for maintenance and you have neglected to pay child support, the resident parent (the parent who lives with the child) can apply for child maintenance allowance from Kela. When the resident parent applies for child maintenance allowance on the basis of not having received child support, Kela will let you know when the claim has been initiated.

You will be able give Kela your own view on

  • why the child support has not been paid
  • the amount of child support debt (unpaid child support payments)
  • other factors that may affect our decision on the child maintenance allowance issue 

If your whereabouts are not known, the child maintenance allowance can exceptionally be granted also without hearing you.

Granting child maintenance allowance

If child maintenance allowance is granted, Kela will pay the child maintenance allowance to the resident parent and collect all unpaid child support payments from you, including late payment interest, and all future child support payments due every month. These child support payments that are to be collected are called child support debt. The recovery of the child support debt will not be interrupted even if you appeal against the decision on child maintenance allowance or the decision on exemption from payment of child support debt. Read more about the recovery of child support debt and how to apply for exemption from payment.

The amount of child support, as well as to what extent possible payments of child support made so far have been accepted, is written in the decision on child maintenance allowance, as these facts affect the starting date of the right to child maintenance allowance. The decision cannot be appealed insofar as concerns the amount of child support and child support debt because Kela does not make the decision on the amount of child support. The amount of child support can be changed only by making a new agreement on the matter in the child welfare supervisor’s office or by initiating a legal case in a district court.

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Last modified 7/2/2024