The importance of the minor child’s interest permeates both the Hungarian and international family law regulations. The Act V of 2013 on Civil Code gives detailed provisions on child maintenance, nevertheless the Fundamental Law of Hungary also declares that every child shall have the right to the protection and care necessary for her/his proper physical, mental, emotional and moral development and it is the parents’ obligation to provide this care.

According to Hungarian law a minor is a person under the age of eighteen. In determining child maintenance, the child’s interest is of primary importance. Child maintenance is the parents’ joint responsibility regardless to whether they are married or unwed or do not live under the same roof at all. The parties may conclude an agreement on child maintenance, in the absence of such agreement, the court shall decide on child maintenance on the basis of the justified needs of the child, the income and property of both parents, other children, either own, or step-children or foster children, who live in the parents’ household and the occurrent own income/assets of the child if there is any. The needs are determined by the court taken into account personal real life situations.

Apart from the regulations on the obligatory maintenance of a minor child, the Hungarian law also has provisions on the maintenance of a child of majority age continuing her/his further higher education. The child of majority age who is fit for work, shall be entitled to maintenance if he or she is need of maintenance in order to complete his other further studies within a reasonable time. This applies in the overwhelming majority of the cases until the child’s first college/university graduate or latest by the age of 25. The parent may be ordered to provide maintenance to his child older than twenty five years only in particularly justified cases.


In case of spousal maintenance and cohabitant maintenance the basic requirement to be entitled to get maintenance is the lack of ability to maintain him/herself through no fault of his own and lack of unworthiness, whilst on the side of the person obliged to pay maintenance is the ability to provide maintenance besides his own subsistence and other maintenances that he is obliged to provide.

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