12 June 2023

Child and spousal maintenance indexation 2023

By Susan Meijler

Every year, child and spousal maintenance is increased by the annual indexation. Today, I will explain more about the indexation of child and spousal maintenance in 2023.

The Minister for Legal Protection (Minister voor Rechtsbescherming) determines annually, around October/November, by what percentage maintenance will increase from 1 January of the coming year. This applies to child and spousal maintenance stipulated in a divorce settlement, parenting plan or determined by the court. This means that if you are the former spouse paying maintenance, you will have to start paying more per month from 1 January 2023.

Indexation rate

The rate by which maintenance increases is determined by the Minister for Legal Protection. When determining the rate, the Minister for Legal Protection takes into account wage increases and/or decreases. The wage index is set by Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS). Statistics Netherlands takes into account wage trends in the business sector, government and other sectors.

In previous years, the annual indexation rate was expressed as a percentage:

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
1,3% 1,7% 0,9% 0,8% 1,3% 2,1% 1,5% 2,0% 2,5% 3% 1,9%

For the coming year, 2023, the rate is 3.4%.

Maintenance amount adjustment

The former spouse paying the maintenance, the maintenance debtor, is obliged to implement the increase himself/herself and transfer to his/her former spouse receiving the maintenance, the maintenance creditor, the correct indexed amount of maintenance. The maintenance debtor may not be aware of the statutory indexation. If this is case, the maintenance creditor should not hesitate to point this out to the maintenance debtor. The maintenance debtor is obliged to implement this increase unless statutory indexation is excluded.

No statutory indexation

Under Article 1:402a(1) of the Dutch Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek), the amount of maintenance increases annually. It is also possible, however, that statutory indexation does not apply. This is the case if the court has ruled that statutory indexation is excluded, if different agreements have been made in this regard, or if the maintenance was determined before 1 January 1973. Exclusion from statutory indexation is only possible, however, with regard to spousal maintenance. Statutory indexation always applies to child maintenance. Child maintenance must always be indexed.

Indexation not implemented

Should the maintenance debtor fail to implement the legal indexation, it is possible to retroactively claim the unpaid maintenance for a maximum period of five years. It is, of course, incumbent on the maintenance creditor to point this out to the maintenance debtor and request payment of the unpaid amount. Depending on the amount of maintenance, this may be a considerable amount.

An example

In 2022 maintenance is set either by the court or included in a divorce settlement at an amount of €1,000. This amount was increased by 3.4% with effect from 1 January 2023. This amounts to an increase of €34. As of 1 January 2023, an amount of €1,034 should therefore be paid to the maintenance creditor by the maintenance debtor.

Suppose that in 2018, maintenance is set at €1,000. Then this maintenance should be indexed as of 1 January 2019, and every year thereafter. The table below shows the effect of annual indexation on the amount of maintenance determined in 2018.


Year Indexation rate Amount including indexation
2019 2,0% € 1.020,00
2020 2,5% € 1.045,50
2021 3,0% € 1.076,87
2022 1,9% € 1.097,33
2023 3,4% € 1.134,64

The table above shows that maintenance of €1,000 assessed in 2018 will be €1,134.64 on 1 January 2023.

More information

If you have questions about the legal indexation of alimony, or have any other family law questions, then I will of course be happy to help you.

Susan Meijler

Susan Meijler


Susan Meijler is a well-experienced and versatile lawyer at GMW lawyers.

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