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What is alimony?
There are two forms of alimony: spousal alimony and child alimony.
Spousal alimony is a form of maintenance you have to pay to your ex-partner after the divorce. If you were married or registered partners, you will pay or receive this amount. Receiving and paying spousal alimony has an impact on the income tax return.
When you have a child together, both parents remain responsible for the care and costs of the children up to the age of 21. In child alimony, it doesn’t matter if you were married or registered partners. The point of child alimony is that the child’s living situation decreases as little as possible. Child alimony does not affect the income tax return.
When do you receive alimony?
You will receive spousal alimony if you have too little financial resources to support yourself. The lifestyle during the marriage or registered partnership is also taken into account. You can request child alimony if your child’s legal parent earns more money than you do. Between the ages of 18 and 21, this form of alimony is often paid to the child, because the child is financially responsible now. Read more about receiving maintenance here.
When do you pay alimony?
In this case, of course, you must pay the spousal alimony if your ex-partner has too little income to support him- or herself. The lifestyle during the marriage or registered partnership is taken into account. Read more about maintenance payments here.
The amount of the alimony
How do you determine the amount of spousal alimony? You can discuss this together and record it in a ‘divorce settlement’. In practice, it is often difficult to agree on the terms, because they cannot agree on the amount. In this case, it is wise to involve a mediator or a lawyer. If it is still not possible to arrive at an appropriate amount, the judge will make a decision. The judge looks at the following points when making the decision:
- Need: This is the amount needed to live the same lifestyle during the marriage.
- Earning capacity: here they look at the income of the receiver.
- Capacity: here they look at how much can be paid according to a capacity calculation.
When determining child alimony, the needs of the child and the capacity of the ex-partner are taken into account. First, the amount for the need is calculated and after this, the capacity of the parent is calculated.
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