What if maintenance is not paid?
Verified 02 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
If the person who owes you maintenance (the debtor) does not pay it to you, you have different ways to get the unpaid amounts paid. In particular:
- Use the family mediation to try to find a amicable solution
- Benefit from financial intermediation. This service is now open to all types of maintenance documents (divorce decree, divorce by mutual consent or enforceable document issued by the Caf: titleContent or the AMM).
- Hire a direct payment procedure by using a commissioner of justice (formerly bailiff and judicial auctioneer). It is possible to start this procedure as early as 1er unpaid or on 1er partial payment, presenting the court decision awarding you maintenance.
This procedure concerns unpaid maintenance payments due in the future and those up to 6 months old.
- Get a bank account seizure or foreclosure by calling in a commissioner of justice (formerly bailiff and judicial auctioneer) and presenting the court decision awarding you maintenance
- Ask the enforcement judge one wage attachment at the registry of the court of justice of your domicile or that which owes you maintenance
- Entrust the recovery to the public treasury, after the failure of one of the previous proceedings in presenting the court decision awarding you maintenance
The action to obtain payment of the sums due to you is 5 years.
the offense of abandonment of family may also be held against the person who does not pay maintenance. This offense is punishable by 2 years imprisonment and €15,000 of fine.
Who can help me?
Find who can answer your questions in your region
- Telephone administrative information - Allo Public Service
The informants who answer you are from the Department of Justice.
Cost: free service
Service available at the following times:
- Monday: 8.30am to 5.30pm
- Tuesday: 8:30 to 12:15
- Wednesday: 8:30 to 12:15
- Thursday: 8.30am to 5.30pm
- Friday: 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m
- Family Mediation Center
- Agency for the Recovery and Intermediation of Maintenance Payments (Aripa)
- Civil Code: Article 2224Deadline and starting point
- Penal Code: Articles 227-3 to 227-4-1Abandonment of family
- Code of judicial organization: Article L 213-6Enforcement Judge
- Request for financial intermediation