Child maintenance or support: how much?
The law provides whether a person is obliged to provide maintenance to another person. The obligation of parents or stepparents to support their minor and young adult children or stepchildren is independent of the question whether there is any need. The Alimentatienormen [Maintenance Standards] working group provides concrete guidelines with regard to the costs related to minor children. To determine the need for a contribution to the costs of care and upbringing of children, a system has been developed – together with the Dutch National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud) – based on Central Bureau of Statistics Netherlands (CBS) figures and incorporated in a report titled “de kosten van kinderen ten behoeve van vaststelling kinderalimentatie” [the costs of children for the purpose of the determination of child maintenance]. This system resulted in a table called “eigen bijdrage kosten van kinderen [“parental contribution costs of children”]. Based on the age of the children belonging to the family and the net disposable family income at the time of the actual separation of the parents, the table will show the costs of minor children not covered by child benefit.
What are the legal standards?
The legal standards for the determination of the amount of child support to be paid are the needs of the person entitled to support and the financial capacity of the person(s) having a duty to provide financial support.
The persons having a duty to provide financial support to the maintenance recipient are to contribute according to their ability. The Alimentatienormen [Maintenance Standards] working group provides concrete guidelines on the basis of which the ability to pay of the person(s) having the duty to provide financial support may be established.
How can I increase/reduce child support?
If the parents fail to agree on a different amount of child support, the court may change it at the request of a parent if there is a change of circumstances. A court decision on child support may also be changed if it did not meet the legal standards to begin with because the court’s decision was based on incorrect or incomplete information. A maintenance agreement made between the parents may also be changed if the agreement was made with a gross failure to recognise the legal standards.