|Abstract: ||Šiuolaikinėje visuomenėje vis daugiau santuokų, kuriose abu sutuoktiniai yra lygiaverčiai partneriai, kurie dirba ir yra pajėgūs save pilnai išlaikyti. Kita vertus, vis dar didžiojoje dalyje santuokų, vienas iš sutuoktinių yra labiau finansiškai pasiturintis nei kitas. Matoma, kad įstatymas numatydamas, materialiai nepakankamai apsirūpinusiam sutuoktiniui, išlaikymą, suteikia lygiavertę teisę po skyrybų susikurti naują, pilnavertį gyvenimą. Keičiantis visuomenei, keitėsi ir požiūris į santuoką ir išlaikymo skyrimo reikalingumą, nutraukus santuoką dėl sutuoktinio kaltės. Su naujai priimtu Lietuvos Respublikos Civiliniu kodeksu griežčiau apibrėžtos pasekmės sutuoktiniui, dėl kurio kaltės iširo santuoka. Dėl šios priežasties ir griežčiau buvo apibrėžtas išlaikymo klausimas kaltajam, dėl santuokos nutraukimo, sutuoktiniui. Bėgant laikui visuomenėje daugėja diskusijų dėl santuokos nutraukimo, kai vienas iš sutuoktinių kaltas dėl santuokos iširimo, pasekmių. Išlaikymo klausimas, buvusiam sutuoktiniui, svarstomas, jeigu jis pilnavertiškai materialiai nesugeba savimi pasirūpinti. Tačiau kaltajam sutuoktiniui, dėl santuokos nutraukimo, taikoma sankcija, eliminuoja teisės įtvirtintas prezumpcijas, kuriomis remiantis, sutuoktiniui reikalingas išlaikymas. Deja išlaikymo reikalingumas sutuoktiniui nedingsta. Dėl šios priežasties galima manyti, jog nustačius, kad sutuoktinis yra kaltas dėl santuokos nutraukimo, teismas visiškai nebeatsižvelgia į kaltojo sutuoktinio interesus ir dažnai pagrįstus jo materialinius poreikius. Ši norma, kad kaltasis, dėl santuokos nutraukimo sutuoktinis, netenka teisės į išlaikymą iš buvusiojo sutuoktinio, neturi jokių išimčių bei išlygų. Matoma bendra tendencija, jog skirtingos pasaulio valstybės yra pripažinusios, kad išlaikymas yra reikalingas ir būtinas, jeigu nustatomas jo reikalingumas. Tačiau skirtingose pasaulio valstybėse santuokos nutraukimas, dėl sutuoktinio kaltės, vertinamas skirtingai. Vienose valstybėse nutraukiant santuoką, net nesvarstoma, ar santuokos iširimą galėjo įtakoti, kurio nors iš sutuoktinių kaltė, bei kaltės faktoriaus atsiradimas, neturi įtakos išlaikymo teisei. Kitose valstybėse, kaltės faktoriaus atsiradimas, turi didelės reikšmės skyrybų proceso eigai taip pat ir išlaikymo teisės taikymui.|
In the contemporary society, there is an increasing number of marriages where both spouses are equal partners, both employed and able to sustain themselves. On the other hand, in the majority of marriages one of the spouses is usually still better-off financially than the other. The spouse who for substantiated reasons requires to be provided with sustenance, has the right to demand it both within the marriage and at the moment of marriage termination. It us thought that the court, by adjudging alimony to the spouse with insufficient income, ensures equal rights to starting a new, fully-fledged life. As the society became more modern, the attitude towards the guilt factor in marriage and the necessity of adjudging alimony after a marriage was terminated due to a spouse’s fault, changed. In contemporary society, the connection between the guilt factor and the right to alimony is more and more often understood and valued differently by spouses. For this reason, disputes arise in the process of divorce when attempting to prove which of the spouses is at fault for the disintegration of the marriage, and as a result the spouses become involved in even harsher objections and disagreements. The disintegration of a marriage depends on numerous factors, which most often depend not on one of the spouses, but on both of them. Based on the analyzed literature and case-law, the process of proving the guilt factor often-times complicates the divorce process and the issue of alimony. Lithuanian legislators have transferred the familial law provisions from the Code of Marriage and Family to the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, stressing the contractual elements of marriage. In the newly-approved Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, the consequences for the spouse who is at fault for a disintegrated marriage were more strictly defined. For this reason, the alimony issue for the spouse at fault for a disintegrated marriage was also more strictly defined. Losing the right to alimony is defined in law as a certain sanction issued against the spouse, who is at fault for a disintegrated marriage. According to the old Code of Marriage and Family, the fault of one or both spouses for the disintegration of marriage did not have an absolute significance and upon marriage termination it was not settled on absolute terms. Currently, as opposed to the other two cases of marriage termination, upon mutual agreement of the spouses and upon request of one of the spouses, the issue of alimony is strictly defined only when the marriage is being terminated due to the fault of one of the spouses. However, divorces due to the fault of one spouse are currently becoming increasingly more relevant and differently regarded. There is an increasing number of discussions on the consequences of marriage termination when one of the spouses is at fault for the disintegration of the marriage. One of the consequences is the loss of the right to receiving alimony from the former spouse. It can be seen from the principles of familial law that the mutual financial support of the spouses has always been important. The issue of alimony is only settled in court when deemed necessary. Alimony is provided to the former spouse only if they are unable to sustain themselves financially due to disability or old age. Also, the law defines a necessity for alimony if the former spouse is raising an under-age mutual child. However, sanctions applied to the spouse at fault for the termination of marriage, such as revoking the right to alimony, eliminate the conditions set by law. Unfortunately, the spouse’s need for sustenance does not disappear. Even if conditions exist, under which the court should adjudge alimony, if it is assessed that the spouse in need of alimony is at fault for the termination of the marriage, the conditions substantiating the need for alimony become absolutely meaningless. Because of this, it can be stated that upon assessing that a spouse is at fault for the marriage termination, the interests of the spouse at fault and their often-legitimate needs are not taken into account by the court at all. By not granting the right to alimony to the spouse at fault, the court revokes their right to a materially full-fledged life. This norm that the spouse at fault for the termination of the marriage loses their right to alimony from the former spouse, has no exceptions or reservations, which also presupposes its strictness.
A general trend can be seen in most states globally to acknowledge that alimony for the former spouse is required and necessary if the need for it is ascertained. However, in different states the attitude towards marriage termination due to the fault of one of the spouses and the connection between the guilt factor and the right to alimony remains varied. The possibility to terminate the marriage due to the fault of one of the spouses is available in Belgium, Italy, France, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and other foreign countries. In these European Union member states, the assessment of the fault factor has a significant influence on the divorce process, as well as the application of the right to alimony. In other European Union member states, such as Sweden and Hungary, the basis for guilt and its connection to the alimony rights are regarded in more modern terms. In Sweden, upon terminating a marriage, it is not even considered whether or not the disintegration could have happened due to the fault of one of the spouses. Also, the issue of alimony is not considered to be related to the fault of a spouse. In Hungary, the emergence of a basis for guilt may be significant when settling the issue of alimony. However, as opposed to Lithuanian law, in Hungary the fault of a spouse cannot influence adjudging alimony to the spouse at fault for the disintegration of the marriage in absolute terms. In non-European Union states, such as the United States of America, based on joint legal principles of the states, the issue of adjudging alimony to the former spouse who is at fault for the termination of the marriage, is not as strictly regulated as in Lithuania. The states may limit or revoke alimony if the spouse demanding alimony was at fault for the disintegration of the marriage.
Therefore, the objective of this paper is to answer the question whether the loss of the right to alimony of the spouse at fault for the termination of marriage is reasonable, by proving or disproving the hypothesis that the regulation of the mutual financial support of the former spouses when the marriage has been terminated due to the fault of one of the spouses is implemented too strictly.
To fulfil the objective, the concept of the legal relationship of alimony in Lithuania has been defined. In order to define the general features of the concept of alimony, the alimony law has been briefly reviewed in states such as Italy, France, Latvia, Poland, Belgium, Sweden and Norway. The case-law of the Republic of Lithuania was analyzed, aiming to reveal the unique features of the application of the loss of the right to alimony when the marriage was terminated due to the fault of one of the spouses. The rights and obligations of the spouses regarding mutual financial support were reviewed both in cases of non-determined fault and in cases when the marriage was terminated due to the fault of one of the spouses. The problems regarding the application of the “guilt” factor when terminating the marriage due to the fault of one of the spouses were analyzed. Foreign countries where the guilt factor applies were reviewed as well as its influence on adjudging alimony in such foreign countries as France, Poland, Latvia and Belgium. In order to reveal the problems within the alimony law, some foreign countries were reviewed, where the guilt or its influence on the right to alimony is not strictly regulated, such as Hungary and the United States of America. Also, comparisons were made with the Swedish legal regulation in terms of alimony rights, highlighting the fact that the norms established in Sweden are cardinally different from the norms in Lithuanian law.