Collecting alimony

If the ex-partner does not fulfill his or her alimony obligation, this can have unpleasant consequences for the person receiving the alimony: due to a lack of money, the children may have to make concessions and miss out on fun trips or new clothes. This is also an unpleasant experience for the parent when bills are left unpaid. How can this alimony be recovered if the ex-partner refuses to cooperate? This article discusses child support, the same rights and laws also apply to spousal support and should be read as such.

Visiting arrangements do not include a viewing fee

A common occurrence is that parents keep their children away from the other parent if alimony is not paid. Or the paying parent no longer provides maintenance when he/she is no longer allowed to see the children. Child support is intended for the children for their upbringing and needs, and may therefore not be used as viewing fees. Visitation arrangements and alimony must therefore be viewed separately.

Arrange mutually

When maintenance is no longer paid, the collecting parent can write a letter, call or visit the EU partner. Perhaps it is possible to reach a solution through a good conversation. Children also benefit more from parents who can interact with each other in a normal adult way. The good example starts with the parents. If the paying ex-partner has received no or less income and is therefore no longer able to pay, he/she can submit a request to the court for a reduction in alimony. A lawyer is needed for this.

Through the lawyer

If the ex-partner does not respond to a letter or conversation, the lawyer who handled the divorce or alimony may be able to exert more pressure by means of a letter. This is often enough to induce payment. The lawyer will send the paying ex-partner a letter containing the legal obligations he/she must comply with.


Sometimes the letter from the lawyer is not enough. The demanding ex-partner can go to the LBIO: the National Office for the Collection of Maintenance Contributions. Conditions for this are that the alimony is at least 1 month in arrears and not more than six months. The alimony must also be legally recorded in court. The LBIO will first send the paying ex-partner a letter requesting payment. If no response is received, the LBIO will contact a bailiff and, in the latter case, seize the wages of the paying ex-partner. Garnishing wages is fairly new. However, the LBIO cannot collect alimony if the paying ex-partner has no or insufficient income or assets, if the place of residence is unknown or if other creditors such as the tax authorities have priority.

LBIO costs

The collecting partner pays nothing for the work performed by the LBIO. The paying ex-partner pays a compensation in the form of storage costs. Any bailiff costs are also for the paying ex-partner. When the paying ex-partner has paid alimony properly for at least six months in a row, the case will be closed and transferred back to the ex-partners themselves.