France launched service making deadbeat mother and father pay little one assist

  • France initiates a new government service that makes parents who do not pay child support pay.
  • In a tweet on Tuesday, French President Emmaunel Macron noted that 30% to 40% of child support payments were unpaid, “an unbearable situation for hundreds of thousands of single parents.”
  • A quarter of all families in France are led by single parents, 85% of whom are mothers.
  • You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.

France is launching a new government service with the power to withdraw money directly from the bank accounts of parents who do not pay child support to help many families, the vast majority of whom are single mothers, get out of precarious financial situations.

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a tweet denouncing unpaid child support as “an unbearable situation for hundreds of thousands of single parents” before visiting a benefits agency in Tours, central France on Tuesday that offers the new service.

“Thank you” for the action, said a single mother of three to Macron, explaining in detail her personal situation, which included domestic violence and harassment by her ex-husband as well as deep financial difficulties. “It’s a great relief,” she said.

The mothers who spoke to Macron have not given their names for privacy reasons.

The French authorities estimate that between 30% and 40% of child support payments are either not paid, only partially paid or too late, leaving at least 300,000 families in financial uncertainty.

– Emmanuel Macron (@ Emmanuel Macron) January 5, 2021

Single parents represent one in four families in France, 85% of whom are mothers. A third lives below the poverty rate.

It is important for these families to receive child benefit – an average of 170 euros per month for each child.

The measure also aims to prevent financial pressures and threats sometimes posed by dead parents.

Under the new system, any mother or father can apply for the new government service, regardless of whether the other parent disagrees. Once the service is in place, the service takes over paying the money until the child is 18 years old.

The issue was brought up in 2019 during Macron’s “grand debate” to allow the French to voice their grievances after weeks of anti-government protests against the yellow vest denouncing social injustice.

“I was impressed with the number of women who told me they couldn’t live decently because their maintenance wasn’t paid,” Macron said at the time.

Other European countries have similar problems

Many countries across Europe face similar problems.

In neighboring Belgium, dead parents have been a problem to the point that the government has taken action by setting up a special service to help people in their legal quest to get the money owed and to issue advances when necessary.

Last year, the Czech government proposed a program to ensure the payment of child benefit to single parents, which is due to come into effect on July 1st. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs estimates that the state will initially cover child benefit payments of up to 3,000 Czech crowns ($ 140) per month for approximately 24,000 children. The government will then demand the money from those who have not paid.

In Germany, it is estimated that around half of all alimony payments from divorced parents are either not paid or not paid in full. In cases where the parents are too poor, the state pays child benefit until the children are 18 years old.

In Poland, a 2007 law established a fund that pays up to 500 zlotys (US $ 134) for children who are not supported. Before doing this, parents can seek a court order to try to get the money, but only about 13% of the overdue or unpaid alimony is cleared.

In many other countries, such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, the main claim is brought to the court, which often leads to lengthy delays and costly proceedings before a decision is made.


Raf Casert in Brussels, Karel Janicek in Prague, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Derek Gatopoulos in Athens, Aritz Parra in Madrid and Barry Hatton in Lisbon have contributed to the story.

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