Family abandonment is based on the fact that an individual intentionally refuses and abstains from paying contributions when this obligation has been established by a judgment and rendered by a decision.
The penal code mentions that a person who no longer fulfills his obligations towards his family, and in particular to his children, for more than two months, is commiting an offense punishable by law.
Family abandonment is a violation, when a person who has been ordered to pay alimony, child support or other contribution will not fullfill his legal obligations.
Parental obligation is not only limited to the payment of alimony or child support . Indeed, if one of the parents does not inform the other party on his change of residence within one month, his responsibility and duty may also be challenged.
Although family abandonment is most often between parent and child, this notion does not necessarily concern children. Family abandonment can also be defined when a person no longer fulfills his family obligations toward his own parents, spouse, or grandchildren.
Family abandonment should not be associated with the notion of deprivation of food and care of a minor. This is an another offence.
What the law says?
Article 227-3 of the Penal Code states that: “The fact, for a person, of not executing a judicial decision or one of the titles mentioned in 2° to 5° of I of Article 373-2- 2 of the Civil Code requiring him to pay for the benefit of a minor child, a descendant, an ascendant or the spouse a pension, a contribution, subsidies or benefits of any kind due by reason of one of the family obligations provided for by the Civil Code, by remaining more than two months without fully obey this obligation, is punished by two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 15,000 euros. »
Family abandonment is punishable by imprisonment, just like any offence.
The limitation period in the event of abandonment of the family is three years, as for all crimes.
What are the conditions that need to be gathered to establish family abandonment?
Several conditions must be met to have a case of family abandonment :
- A court decision must have taken place related to a pecuniary obligation. Indeed, a person cannot be prosecuted for abandonment of family for non-payment of alimony. The family affairs judge must therefore have fixed the payment of a contribution.
- The non-performance of the family obligation must last for at least two months. Otherwise, the non-payment of the contribution does not constitute an offense of family abandonment.
- Abstention from its obligations must not be voluntary. On the contrary, a person who does not pay contributions because he does not have the material means cannot then be condemned for the offense of abandonment of family.
The intervention of the private detective
In this type of litigation, calling on a private detective makes it possible to locate the debtor but also to provide all the necessary evidence concerning the debtor’s income, professional activity or even hidden assets.
The detective works in close collaboration with bailiffs who can issue a summons or deliver a service.
The evidence collected by the private detective will be materialized by photos, videos, written summaries of findings and testimonies. All those key documents will be compiled in an investigation report subject to confidentiality and admissible in front of the competent court of law.
To establish his investigation report, the private detective will operate using different methods: address tracking, surveillance, tailing, and administrative investigation.
But also the private investigator can offer his services to a person looking for a new evaluation and revision of the payments when the personal and professionnal situations of the parties concerned have changed.
In any case, do not hesitate to contact Agora Détectives, the director , Anthony CAUDAL can advise you on the best strategy .