Monday, November 16, 2009

Developments in Polish Family Law

In November 2008, in Poland, the Family and Guardianship Code of 25th February 1964 (hereinafter ‘Family Code’) was changed.  An amendment came into force on 13th June 2009, mainly concerning relations between children and parents and introducing significant changes in the establishment of motherhood and fatherhood, parental authority, contacts with children, alimony and guardianship of minors.

Previously, the Family Code did not have any provisions regarding the establishment of motherhood.  However, the development of new techniques of artificial insemination questioned and weakened the dictum mater simper certa est, making some changes necessary.  According to the present wording of Family Code, the mother of the child is the woman who gave birth to the child.

Parental authority has been changed in this way, taking into consideration the partnership between children and parents.  On the one hand, in cases when a child is able to act alone, the child should listen to the opinions and recommendations of the parents.  On the other hand, parents should listen to the child before making any decisions regarding the child’s assets or the child personally.

The right to contact belongs to each parent regardless of parental authority.  Parents are able to make an agreement establishing the rules regulating each parent’s manner of contact with their common children.

A child may claim subsidies from the parents as long as the child cannot support himself.  However, the parent of a child coming of age may defeat the claim by showing that the subsidies create excessive detriment and the child does not attempt to gain the qualifications that would enable him to support himself.        


Posted by Guest Blogger Anna Stępień-Sporek, Associate Professsor, University of Gdańsk School of Law


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