On Tuesday, February 26, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments to the Maintenance Guarantee Fund Law, developed by the Ministry of Justice and the Maintenance Guarantee Fund, providing to impose the suspension of a permit for acquisition, bearing, implementation and storage of weapons upon debtors of maintenance. Additional amendments provide for changes that will facilitate fulfilment of the obligation of payment of maintenance and recovery of maintenance to be paid out from the State budget.

Amendments, which provide to prohibit debtors of maintenance to acquire, bear, implement and store self-protection, hunting, sports and collection weapons, are developed with a purpose not to permit situations, when the debtor, who fails to provide his child with maintenance, at the same time spends financial means for activities and hobbies, requiring financial investment. In accordance with the data provided by the Maintenance Guarantee Fund Administration, approximately 500 debtors of maintenance own one or several firearms in December 2018.

At the same time the draft law defines circumstances, upon the establishment of which, on the basis of law it is to be presumed that the debtor of maintenance avoids the fulfilment of the duty of providing support. The above mentioned will enable to apply criminal liability in a more efficient way to debtors of maintenance in accordance with Section 170 of the Criminal Law. Amendments to the Law provides certain exceptions, giving a reason to presume that the debtor is not able to fulfil the obligation to pay maintenance due to objective reasons, for example, if a debtor is a disabled person of the group I or II and he does not have any property or income. At the same time it should be emphasized that establishment of circumstances due to which the person cannot be called to criminal justice will not release the debtor from obligation to provide the child with means of support.

Amendments to the Maintenance Guarantee Fund Law provide a regulation in addition, driven towards providing an opportunity for debtors to settle their obligations voluntarily. Namely, lawful interest will be covered for those debtors of maintenance, who will cover their principal debt to the Administration of the Maintenance Guarantee Fund within a time period of two years from the day of amendments to the Law coming into force.

The draft Law includes also several other amendments, the purpose of which is to ensure effective administration of state funds and to promote recovery of paid-out funds to the state budget.

The draft law “Amendments to the Maintenance Guarantee Fund Law” will come into force at the same time with the draft Law On the State Budget for 2019, while changes with regards to restriction to prohibit acquisition, storage, bearing and implementation of weapons - at the same time with the Law On the Handling of Weapons.

The above mentioned draft law is still to be reviewed by the Saeima. It is possible to become acquainted with the draft law on the webpage of the Cabinet.