There are two types of alimony: spousal alimony and child alimony. Child support applies to all forms of relationship, so not only to ex-married people . Spousal maintenance only applies between ex-married couples. Our office is specialized in calculating and determining both types of alimony. On this page we explain partner alimony.
How is alimony calculated
Alimony is calculated by lawyers. There are also calculation programs on the internet, but those programs are too simple for many situations. The alimony is calculated with the help of the Trema standards. This is a kind of guideline that is regularly updated. The guideline states how the financial capacity of the partner who has to pay is calculated and how the need of the party receiving the maintenance is calculated. Alimony is not a penalty or fine that can become infinitely high, the calculation is meant to be objectified. This means that with equal incomes and with equal other circumstances (amount of housing costs, distribution of care, etc.) the alimony is always calculated in the same way. In reality, no two cases are the same and you can approach alimony in different ways. There are also cases in which the Trema standards do not apply, for example when moving to another country with a different price level.
Alimony in consultation divorce and mediation
If you can discuss the consequences of the divorce with your partner, you can divorce through our office through mediation. This also includes an alimony calculation. We can calculate and discuss different variants. This gives you insight into the question of how high the alimony could be if you go to court for it. Then you don’t really have to go to court, but you agree with each other how high the alimony is. This is laid down in a covenant. If you agree on all points, the divorce is filed and no more court hearing is needed. This route has great advantages. It is cheaper, no court hearings are required, you have no uncertainty about the outcome of a lawsuit and the law allows you to include certain agreements in the covenant that a judge cannot impose in a disputed divorce. It is also possible to buy off the alimony by paying a lump sum payment in one go.
Alimony in the event of a fight (both have their own lawyer)
There are also cases where both parties need their own lawyer because they have a strong disagreement about alimony (and perhaps other parts of the divorce as well). Then the judge determines the alimony. The (former) partner who needs the maintenance can apply for a provisional provision. This is a quick procedure, in which other questions can also be decided, such as who can stay in the house and who should take care of the children for the time being. If you do not request a preliminary injunction, it can take many months before the alimony is definitively determined in the main proceedings (the divorce must be requested within 4 weeks after the preliminary injunction). In a disputed divorce, both parties have their own lawyer, who each make their own alimony calculation. These calculations are not always the same and that can be for a variety of reasons. The judge then takes the plunge.
Maximum alimony period
How long alimony has to be paid depends on the situation. How long did the marriage last? Are there children? In general, a maximum of 12 years applies. In 2013, politicians tried to shorten this term, but that bill was rejected.
Change of circumstances
Once alimony is established, life goes on. Anything can happen; the alimony payer loses his job or starts earning more; the recipient of alimony remarries or receives an inheritance. Such events work through to the alimony calculation: a different amount would roll out if you make the calculation again. But the alimony agreed or determined by the court remains in force and then a party may need to change the amount. This can be done through consultation, but also through a procedure if consultation fails. If you go to a lawyer for this type of case, it is important that you bring all papers about the divorce, such as a covenant, the divorce decision, other decisions, income data, and so on.
The alimony amounts are adjusted every year because prices and wages increase annually due to inflation. So you don’t have to go to court for this. The partner who pays the alimony must implement the indexation on its own initiative, otherwise there will be a arrears.
Collection of overdue alimony
Alimony that has been recorded correctly (via a lawyer) can, if necessary, be collected by a bailiff. The assignment is done through a lawyer.
More information about Alimony