Agreements must be made in the case of divorce, end of a registered partnership or breakup of a relationship. These include agreements about the costs of the children. This is also known as child support. There are various ways of dealing with this and one that is less well known is the child support account. I will explain this in this blog.
What is a child support account?
A child support account is a bank account that is used after the divorce, end of the registered partnership or the breakup of the relationship to pay the costs of the children. The amount that the parents have to pay into the child support account each month is calculated in proportion to their financial means. Agreements are also made on the type of expenses to be paid from the child support account. These are daily costs, such as food, drink, toys, etc. and/or the costs not strictly related to their home such school, clothes, sports, music, etc. A frequently heard benefit of a child support account is that it provides parents with transparency. A disadvantage, on the other hand, is that discussions sometimes arise between parents as to why certain expenses were incurred.
When should a child support account be opened?
I usually only see a child support account in my practice as an attorney-mediator. Or when I reach an agreement with the attorney of the other parent. One important precondition is that the parents are able to communicate well with each other. What happens if the parents are unable to reach agreement or they simply not want a child support account? For example, when they no longer want to be financially linked to each other? Then we have to calculate what the amount of child support will be: a monthly amount that one parent will pay to the other.
Can a court decide what amount should be deposited in the child support account?
The Court of Amsterdam recently decided it could not. This case involved two parents who were involved in divorce proceedings, but were able to reach agreement after the hearing. They agreed to open a child support account for their child for the costs not strictly related to their home, such as school, clothes, sports, music, etc. However, they did not agree on the amount and therefore asked the court to rule on it.
Unfortunately for these parents, the Court of Amsterdam ruled that it could not do so because there was no legal basis for doing so. Despite the positive fact that these parents were able to reach an agreement, their request was not accepted and the court only determined a monthly amount of child support. However, the Court of Amsterdam did give the parents a message: they can deduce themselves what amount the parents can deposit in the child support account from the monthly amount of child support and the corresponding child support calculation.
Personally, I have my doubts about this ruling. I believe that the law does provide a basis for the court to decide the amount to be paid by the parents into a child support account. On the other hand, it is an understandable ruling. As mentioned, good communication is an important prerequisite for a child support account. It is clear from the rest of the ruling that they are incapable of doing so.
Do you have any questions about alimony? Please do not hesitate to contact me.