MOSCOW, January 23 (RAPSI) - A bill introducing new safeguards with respect to housing rights of children of divorcing couples into the Russian Family Code passed its third and final reading in the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on Thursday.

The initiative envisages that a parent residing separately from a child is to be made to take part in additional obligations relating to the provision of the minor with housing accommodation.

At present, the Family Code determines that in the absence of an agreement and under exceptional circumstances, like serious illnesses or permanent injuries of children, or if children of majority age are incapable of work, either parent may be made by a court to take part in covering additional expenses relating to such circumstances. Due to the fact that the Code provision focuses primarily on illnesses, although the list of circumstances is open, in their practice courts tend to narrowly determine expenses to be compensated as those related to the state of health of children.

The bill’s sponsor, the government, seeks to include in the list of exceptional circumstances the lack of housing accommodation suitable for permanent stay and some other additions.

The Cabinet of Ministers believes the proposed changes will move courts to examine in detail each child’s unique situation and make rulings on the basis of the balance between the interests of the child and the parent, who provides alimony.