Both parents are liable to provide child maintenance according to their own financial capacity. Maintenance security aims at ensuring a child's maintenance until he/she is 18 years old. Maintenance security includes both child maintenance allowance and child support.
The parent, with whom a child is not living, is liable to pay a child support. The support may be confirmed by a mutual agreement or by a court decision. It is paid every month in advance or at a specified time.
A child welfare officer in the Family Affairs Unit confirms the child support agreement. If the liable party fails to pay child support, the money can be recovered on a voluntary basis or through legal recovery proceedings. Kela is in charge of legal recovery proceedings.
Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland) pays the child maintenance allowance if the liable parent who is to pay the child support fails to pay it, or if he/she is insolvent.
Maintenance allowance may also be paid by Kela should the paternity of the child born out of wedlock be unconfirmed or paternity inquiry and maintenance agreement not yet concluded.