The amount of maintenance paid for children and spouses is subject to annual statutory indexation. Each year, the amount by which maintenance payments are to be raised is determined by the Minister of Justice. This will also apply to the maintenance payment stipulated in your divorce agreement or temporary court order.
In respect of 2014, the percentage is 0,9%. This means the allowance concluded in your divorce agreement or temporary order will be automatically raised by 0,9% as of 1 January 2014. This percentage is based on the wage index determined by Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek/CBS).
The person paying the maintenance is obliged to adjust the amount him/herself without a request to that effect from the entitled party. However, it is advisable to remind your ex-spouse in case he/she fails to make the necessary adjustment.
Reclaiming unpaid maintenance
Fortunately, any unpaid amount can be claimed retrospectively within a maximum period of five years.
For example, in practice, this means that when your maintenance in 2009 was € 1.000, the new alimony as of January 1st, 2014 will be € 1.072,98.
If you have not been paid the indexation amount over the years, my advice is to inform your ex-spouse in writing pointing out he is legally obliged to pay.
There are, as ever, a couple of exceptions to the indexation rule when different arrangements have been made. This is the case when indexation is excluded (temporarily) by the judge or if the maintenance agreements date from before 1 January 1973; any arrangements made before this date about how the amount is to be increased will apply unimpaired.
Should you have any questions on this subject or any other subject of family law, please don’t hesitate to contact me.