MOSCOW, May 26 (RAPSI) — The Government Law-Making Commission has approved a legislative initiative aimed at improving the system of prosecution for willful neglect to pay alimony, the press service of the Association of Lawyers of Russia informs RAPSI.  

Every year, officers of the Federal Bailiff Service make several thousand decisions declining initiation of criminal cases over willful neglect to pay alimony, frequently on the grounds that defaulters made certain payments, even if irregular and insignificant ones. Thus, in 2019, 8,000 such decisions were made, for eight months of 2020, the respective number made 4,400, the press service quotes Chairman of the Board of the Association of Lawyers of Russia Vladimir Gruzdev as saying.

Moreover, according to Gruzdev, already initiated cases are often closed at the requests of prosecutors.

There have been developed amendments to the Criminal Code, as well as the Code of Administrative Offenses, to the effect that citizens would not be able to avoid responsibility for non-payment of alimony on formal grounds, like transfers of some meager amounts. It is worth reminding that currently a two-stage system of bringing to responsibility for non-payment of alimony is in place in Russia. First time offenders are brought to administrative responsibility. Repeated violations are punishable under criminal law the Chairman of the Association observed.

Earlier, a plenum of the Supreme Court of Russia explained that those underpaying alimony-related debts could be brought to responsibility.

The statistics of the Supreme Court of Russia demonstrate that in 2020, 95,100 people were administratively punished for failures to pay alimony without legitimate reason; 37,900 people were brought to criminal responsibility; 19 people were brought to justice for non-payment of alimony to their parents, Gruzdev summed up. He believes that the said legislative initiative will close the loophole for unscrupulous alimony debtors.