Dads (as in the case that a mother is obliged to pay child support) who pay child support are required each year to pay a bonus – a 13th annual payment, an aguinaldo for alimony, if you will –  will now have until December 21 to pay up.

In Costa Rica, dads are required to pay an annual bonus for child support or face prison until they do

A change in legislation extended the payment by date from the previous deadline of December 15.

Bill 21,175, “Ley para la razonabilidad en la fecha de pago de aguinaldo por pensión alimentaria” (Law for the reasonableness of the payment of bonus for child support), was approved a majority of legislators (38) last Thursday.

Many who pay child support begin to be concerned if their employer will pay the aguinaldo (annual bonus) before the December 15 deadline to pay the alimony bonus, if not would enter in default, which could mean temporary detention (prison) until payment is made.

The change to December 21 coincides with the employer responsibility to pay the aguinaldo by that date.

“That difference, between the maximum date for people who pay alimony to pay the bonus and the date by law they receive the aguinaldo from their employer, is inconsistent and creates a complex environment for families and also in those having to pay it”, said legislator Ivonne Acuña, of the independent bloc Nueva República and the sponsor of the bill.

Acuña added that the approval of the law will bring peace to families and most importantly, it will ensure the interest of the children in whom that money is intended.

“That is why it was necessary to change the maximum date on which this commitment should be canceled and later than the date it is received from employers,” said the legislator.

In Costa Rica, all employees (private and public) receive, under law, the aguinaldo. For simplicity’s sake, the bonus is equivalent to one month’s salary of the past year.