Partners who have decided to divorce still have many things to arrange before they are separated. In case they have children together, the paths will never really part. The higher-earning partner often has to pay alimony for the lower-earning ex-partner. Initially, the ex-partners will try to agree on a financial arrangement together. If this fails, the judge will have to make a ruling. The amount of alimony will then be determined by the judge. He takes into account the financial capacity of both ex-partners. If the income of the two former partners differs greatly, the alimony obligation will be higher. The judge will pay attention to the needs of the lowest-earning partner, but will assume reasonableness. He could decide that the alimony will be lower and that the ex-partner in question will have to look for a job. In many cases it is not possible to determine a reasonable alimony. If both ex-partners live on benefits, it will be difficult to make good agreements.
How do I apply for alimony?
The claimant submits the request to the court in a petition. The other party can also tell his or her story in a statement of defense. At the final hearing, the ex-partners can explain their story. By properly substantiating the petition or defense, the judge can form a clear picture of your position. How much alimony someone will receive depends on the judge’s opinion, but it is possible to get an indication of the amounts in advance. You can find this on the internet or at NIBUD.
How much alimony am I entitled to or do I have to pay?
You will find various calculation tools on the internet to determine the amount, but you can also contact the National Institute for Budget Information (Nibud). You can order the Alimony Money Guide for a fee. This clearly describes how the judge will determine the rights and obligations. The judge takes the following matters into account, among others:
- The amount of income of both partners
- The amount of the benefit for both partners
- Other incomes
- The amount of the remaining mortgage where one of the two continues to live
- How much debt both ex-partners have
When does the right to alimony expire?
In the event of major income shifts, the judge may be asked to re-examine the obligations and rights. If there are other changes as a result of which one of the ex-partners considers a higher or lower alimony to be reasonable, the alarm can also be raised. If the alimony recipient starts living together, gets married or enters into a registered partnership, the rights to alimony lapse. For example, if the paying ex gets married, this may have consequences for the ability to pay. This could be a reason to reduce alimony.
Alimony for the children
The divorcing parents are also obliged to contribute financially to the children. This applies at least until the children are 18 years old. It may also be mandatory if the children are not yet 21 years old. The parent who provides daily care receives alimony. Up to the age of 21, they are expected to contribute if the children follow a study. The alimony is then paid directly to the child. In co-parenting, no alimony for the children is usually agreed. The ex-partners are free to make different agreements.