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Is not paying alimony considered a crime?

According to the Penal Code, Organic Law 10/1995, of November 23, of the Penal Code.

"Anyone who fails to comply with the legal duties of assistance inherent to parental authority, guardianship, custody or foster care or to provide the legally established necessary assistance for the support of their descendants, ascendants or spouse, who are in need, will be punished with imprisonment for three to six months or a fine of six to 12 months ".

According to what the Civil Code establishes, parents have the fundamental duty to ensure the needs of their underage children who are not emancipated and in such effects one of those duties inherent to parental authority is the obligation to feed them.

"Non-emancipated children are under the parental authority of the parents. Parental authority, as parental responsibility, will always be exercised in the interests of the children, in accordance with their personality, and with respect for their rights, their physical and mental integrity.

In this article, from the Forcam Abogados office, we are going to analyze and break down the penalties established by the criminal code and the way to compensate for incurring in crimes of omission or non-payment of alimony, when the same alimony is owed by a spouse in favor of a youngest son.

What duties does parental authority include?

To watch over them, have them in your company, feed them, educate them and provide them with comprehensive training.

In the event that the father is found guilty of the crime of omission of parental duties, the Judge or Court may impose, motivated, the penalty of special disqualification for the exercise of the right of parental authority, guardianship, custody or foster care for a period of four to ten years. 

The law also establishes that “Whoever fails to pay for two consecutive months or four non-consecutive months any type of economic benefit in favor of their spouse or their children, established in a judicially approved agreement or judicial resolution in the cases of legal separation, divorce , declaration of nullity of marriage, filiation process, or maintenance process in favor of their children, will be punished with a prison sentence of three months to one year or a fine of six to 24 months.

Anyone who fails to pay any other economic benefit established in favor of the payment of alimony, declared by judicial agreement and cases of declaration of nullity of marriage or process of marriage, will be punished with the same penalty of three months to one year or a fine of 24 months. food.

How is the economic damage caused by defaults on the alimony obligation recovered? 

The reparation of the damage from the crime will always entail the payment of the pensions due, in the amount and amount due by the parent or former spouse incurred in serious misconduct, until the time of the trial for non-payment of alimony.

How is the request and the declaration of non-payments made?

As recommended by our criminal lawyers, it is necessary that the person who is suffering the lack of payments makes the complaint, according to what the Penal Code establishes: "They will only be prosecuted after a complaint by the aggrieved person or his legal representative. As long as two months have passed since the lack of payments began.

Except in the case of the complaint that the minor must make, when he / she is unable to make it, and that is why our penal code establishes that “When the minor is a minor, a person with a disability in need of special protection or a person helpless, may also denounce the Public Prosecutor "

To file a complaint before a judge for a lack of alimony payments, it is ideal to have the advice of criminal lawyers who are experts in the matter, since it is related to criminal law.

The penalty for not paying alimony, whether sentenced to prison or a fine, must be registered in the Registry of Prisoners and Rebels and generates a criminal record.

The obligation to pay alimony is an obligation of an essential duty, which is linked to the human right to food and dignified treatment, enshrined in the declaration of the universal rights of children and adolescents.

The allegation that there are no means to cover alimony is not valid once the complaint is made, when the obligor verifies that he cannot make the necessary payments, he must execute a procedure to regulate alimony, so that the judge according to the request and ends of law order a pension adjustment.


Contact us, and our lawyers specializing in criminal law will study your specific case. 

At Forcam Abogados we have offices in Barcelona, Tarragona, Reus and Tarrega.