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Costa Rica Child and Spousal Support Obligations

Child Support obligations in Costa Rica should not be taken lightly.  The local media recently reported on the case of an American resident in Costa Rica that was thrown in jail for missing a child support payment.   He had been ordered to pay $7,500 US dollars per month for the support of his 6 year old daughter.

The Costa Rican Child and Spousal Support law (Ley de Pensiones Alimentarias) provides support for the child of a marriage and in certain circumstances for the spouse in the relationship.  The support award can cover any of the following:

1. Food

2.  Housing

3.  Clothing

4.  Education

5.  Medical Attention and Medicines

6.  Entertainment

7.  Transportation

8.  Utilities

9.  Other expenses deemed necessary by the Court.

The support award also requires the payment of an additional month of payment during the first week of December for the so called Christmas bonus (Aguinaldo).

Who may be subject to a lawsuit for support obligations.   You would be surprised.  Not only is this type of legal proceeding open to the spouse or minor children of the marriage.  The law also allows your college student to sue you for support.   Children between the ages of 18 and 25 may sue their parents for support so long as they are enrolled in college and are getting good grades towards a professional degree.  In addition the law allows the parents to sue their children for support under certain circumstances.

Failure to pay the support ordered by a Costa Rican Court can result in jail time for the offending party.   

 

 

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