A divorce does not mean an end to the duty of spouses towards each other. After divorce the spouse with the least means can request payment of alimony. 

How is alimony calculated?

Alimony is determined on the basis of both the needs of the maintenance creditor and the capability of the maintenance debtor. The lowest of the two maximizes the alimony. In the first place the needs of the maintenance creditor are determined on the basis of the living standard of the family during the marriage. Then the personal income that the maintenance creditor can reasonably acquire is deducted where after it is determined whether the maintenance debtor has sufficient financial resources to meet the needs of the creditor. The courts have developed guidelines (“Trema Standards”) to calculate the need and the ability to pay, now that this is not regulated by law. Despite the Trema standards, calculating alimony requires customized advice.

How long does alimony have to be paid?

Alimony lasts 12 years, unless the marriage lasted less than 5 years and has remained childless. For these short, childless marriages, the duration of the maintenance is equal to the length of the marriage. In exceptional circumstances, the recipient of the alimony may request the court to extend the period of 12 years. A shortening of the period of 12 years (“mitigation”) is also possible in some cases. Alimony ends in all cases when the maintenance creditor lives with a new partner, although that may be hard to prove.

Can alimony be modified?

Alimony which has been agreed upon or determined by the court may be modified if the financial situation or family situation of the former spouses change unless parties have made different arrangements. If the alimony has been determined on the basis of false information, modification may be possible. It depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular situation whether alimony can actually be changed.

Is alimony deductible?

The party that receives alimony is taxed progressively and the paying party may deduct the paid alimony. Different rules apply if alimony has been bought off. Many expats do not pay income tax in The Netherlands. For them, alimony is not deductible. The specialists of GMW advocaten avail of comprehensive financial and tax expertise in order to assist you with your specific situation.


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