Child-based budget and alimony

Although the government strives to make the calculation of the child alimony as easy as possible in order for parents to calculate this themselves, the past year has showed that this has not been achieved once again. Every year the working group ‘alimony norms’ publishes recommendations on the way that alimony should be calculated.

There has been some changes since the start of 2015. Some fiscal benefits for single parents are abolished and replaced by a new amount that comes on top of the child-based budget of single parents. The name of this amount is ‘single parents’ title. How people should deal with this new policy has not been a question with a straight answer.

The working group has advised me to deal with this new calculation as follows.

Firstly it will be reviewed, using a Nibud table, what the average costs of a child are, depending on the income of the parents. This amount receives the label: need of the child. In this need of the child the amount of child benefits is already obtained, but the child-based budget that the custodial parent receives not yet.

The working group has decided that this child-based budget must be subtracted from the need of the child, leaving an amount for the parents to split between them, based on their financial abilities. The new single parent title should also be subtracted from this amount. The result of this new policy was that parents received almost no alimony any longer, because the subtraction made the alimony much lower than expected. This resulted in financial problems for the custodial parent. Several attorneys and other advocates spoke up against this new policy, because they noticed that the outcome of the calculation would be crooked. They plea for a summation of the child-based budget with the income of the receiving parent.

On Friday the 9th of October 2015 the Supreme Court offered clarity (ECLI:NL:HR:2015:2982). The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the opponents of the policy guideline from the working group. They decided that the child-based budget including the single parent title should be summed up with the income of the custodial parent, instead of subtracting it from the amount out of the table.

This ruling means that the alimony will be higher again in the new calculations, compared to the situation between 1 January 2015 until 9 October 2015.

So there is clarity, but how does this affect your situation? When you would like to know whether this new situation changes anything in you specific case related to child alimony, check www.rechtspraak.nl or contact our office.

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