Many divorces also involve alimony. Good legal advice is crucial to achieving a favourable result.
Rights and obligations
A divorce does not not mean that it is the end of the partners’ respective (financial) duty of care. After a divorce, the partner who is less prosperous can request partner alimony. This quite often leads to problems which GMW lawyers can solve.
How is partner alimony calculated?
Partner alimony is determined on the basis of the needs of the party entitled to alimony and of the capacity of the person obliged to pay alimony to do so. This is specialist work and not simply a question of calculations with a computer. A knowledge of the law, jurisprudence and practical experience are all essential. GMW lawyers has this knowledge and experience.
First, the need of the party entitled to alimony is determined on the basis of the level of prosperity during the marriage. For several reasons it is advisable to decide on a (net) monthly sum to meet the requirements of the person who wants or needs the alimony. This can be done on the basis of mutual consultation or through the court. The income which the party entitled to alimony which can reasonably earn themselves is deducted from that sum. The result is a monthly sum necessary to live on. Does that sum actually have to be paid? That depends. In fact, it’s also necessary to determine whether the party obliged to pay alimony has sufficient financial capacity to be able to provide for the needs of the party entitled to the alimony. This is determined on the basis of guidelines drawn up by the judiciary (“Trema norms”). The guidelines form the basis for determining and calculating the capacity. Knowledge and experience of jurisprudence are essential. The lawyers at GMW who specialise in alimony can help you.
How long does partner alimony continue?
Until the first of January 2020, the maximum duration for paying partner maintenance has been set at 12 years. After the first of January, the rule is as follows: the duration of the obligation to pay partner alimony is limited to half the duration of the marriage, with a maximum of 5 years.
Exception 1: if the spouses together have children under the age of 12 at the time of divorce, the obligation to pay partner alimony does not end until the time when the youngest child turns 12.
Exception 2: if the spouses have been married for 15 years or more at the time of divorce and the recipient of the alimony is 57 or older, the obligation to pay partner alimony does not end before the alimony recipient reaches the age of 67.
Exception 3: if the spouses have been married for 15 years or more at the time of divorce and the recipient of the maintenance allowance is then between 50 and 57 years old, the obligation to pay partner maintenance ends after 10 years.
In order to qualify exceptions 2 and 3, note that the legal text does not work with ages, but with the year of birth (1 January 1970: 50 years if the date of entry into force of the new law becomes 1 January 2020) and the year on which the state pension age is reached (on average 67 years).
The longest period applies if the main rule coincides with one or more exceptions.
Can it be changed?
Once partner alimony has been agreed or determined by the court, it can be changed if the financial or family situation of the ex-partners changes. A change can also sometimes be made if the partner alimony was determined on the basis of incorrect figures.
Is it tax deductible?
In the Netherlands partner alimony is progressively taxed for the recipient and deductible for the party paying it. Different rules apply for the commutation of partner alimony. Many expats do not pay income tax in the Netherlands and for them, partner alimony is not deductible. The specialists at GMW lawyers have the knowledge to be able to assist you in your specific situation.
Why choose us
GMW lawyers can calculate the amount of alimony to be paid, an important part of any divorce. We specialise in drafting agreements, giving advice and conducting proceedings regarding alimony for an ex-partner and maintenance for children, often for clients in complex situations including as internationals, entrepreneurs, directors, main shareholders and with complex family situations.
If you have a question about partner alimony, please contact us to discuss your situation; we’ll be glad to help.
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