• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • Information on maintenance claims against person living within the United States of America.


    The basis for pursuing maintenance claims:


    The Republic of Poland and the United States have not signed any convention concerning maintenance issues. Accordingly, the United Nations drafted the New York Convention of  June 20th , 1956 on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance. Poland ratified this Convention and therefore is one of its parties. The U.S. did not adhere to the Convention; therefore, the procedures laid down in the Convention cannot be applied.

    In September 1988, on the basis of the American Association of Child Support  conference in New Orleans on the enforcement of American Courts’ judgments on child support  cases, Polish Minister of Justice adopted a declaration (with focus on reciprocity principle) on recognition of foreign judgments in child support  cases. As an answer to this declaration, several Departments of Justice (see states below) adopted the declaration (with focus on reciprocity principle as well) on recognition of Polish judgments on child support  cases. It is, however, necessary to mention that application procedures described later may also apply in case of the states which did not adopt this declaration.   

     Therefore, the Minister of Justice of Poland assigned the task of accepting the child support applications to the Presidents  Judges of the Regional Courts as of 15 November 1988.  


    Application procedures


    The recovery of maintenance from the person living within the United States of America concerns only child support applications. In exceptional cases, the Court may order spouse maintenance provided that this application was submitted with the child support application.

    In case when a child out of wedlock applies for the maintenance, it is necessary to submit Court’s decision on paternity establishment or recognition of paternity . According to the American law, child support  can be ordered on the basis of a notary declaration filed by the child’s mother under penalty of perjury stating the truthfulness of the Defendant’s paternity. The Court, however, may reject such a declaration if it is not confirmed by the Defendant. Therefore, the Court’s decision on paternity establishment is necessary.

    The application may include the eligible persons’ request for ordering current and overdue maintenance payments, including benefits from Child Support  Fund which can be claimed for in a separate application. An appropriate  department of Social Insurance Company (ZUS) should be indicated.

    As to the form of application and additional documentation, it is necessary to address the Regional Court which the child is subjected to. Having completed the application, the Regional Court sends it directly to the appropriate State Court in the U.S.




    Having analyzed the motion for recognition  of the adoption judgment issued by a  Polish court, an American State Court registers it and sends a notice to the defendant (obligor). After the American State Court issues a proof of acknowledgement about acquainting with the contents, this decision can be considered a judgment issued by the American Court with all the legal consequences for the defendant (obligor). This also means that the defendant  is granted the rights to defend and appeal. Therefore, it is impossible both for District Courts in Poland and Consulates of Poland to determine the exact time by which the claim will be processed, i.e. when the child support  will be paid.


     Although the problem of legalizing the Polish Courts’ decisions on adoption cases concerning obligors living within the U.S. seems to have been solved, the procedures of enforcement may vary in different   states. The child maintenance is enforced by the Child Support Services located in every state. We strongly encourage to contact them in case of any questions or problems.

    The states that adopted the declaration (with focus on reciprocity principle as well) on recognition of Polish Courts’ judgments on maintenance cases:


    Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.


    Print Print Share: