10 June 2024

Child and spousal maintenance indexation 2024

By Susan Meijler

Every year, child and spousal maintenance is increased by the annual indexation. In this article, I will explain more about the indexation of child and spousal maintenance in 2024.

Anually, around October/November, The Minister for Legal Protection (Minister voor Rechtsbescherming) determines by what percentage the maintenance will increase as of the 1st of January of the coming year. This applies to child and spousal maintenance stipulated in a divorce settlement or parenting plan, or that has been determined by the court. This means that if you are the former spouse paying maintenance, you will have to start paying more each month as of the 1st of January 2024.

Indexation rate

The rate by which maintenance increases is determined by the Minister for Legal Protection. When determining this 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 2023
1,3% 1,7% 0,9% 0,8% 1,3% 2,1% 1,5% 2,0% 2,5% 3% 1,9% 3,4%

For this year, 2024, the rate is 6.2%.

Maintenance amount adjustment

The former spouse paying the maintenance, the maintenance debtor, is obliged to implement the increase themselves, and to transfer the correct indexed amount of maintenance to his/her former spouse receiving the maintenance, the maintenance creditor. 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. Exclusion from statutory indexation is never the case for 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, up to 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 2023, maintenance is set, either by the court or included in a divorce settlement, at an amount of €1,000. This amount was increased by 6.2% as of the 1st of January 2024. This represents an increase of €62. As of 1 January 2024, an amount of €1,062 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 Ammount incl. 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
2024 6,2% €1204,99

The table above shows that maintenance of €1,000, assessed in 2018, will be €1,204.99 on 1 January 2024.

More information

Do you have questions about the legal indexation of alimony? Or any other family law questions? Please feel free to contact us.

Susan Meijler

Susan Meijler

Lawyer

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

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