I previously discussed the changes taking place with regard to alimony. At the time, there was a particular debate about child support in response to the policy document submitted in September 2011 by Ard van de Steur (VVD) and Jeroen Recourt (PvdA) to Fred Teeven of Security and Justice . Now the focus is on partner alimony. Many feel that legislation in this field should change too.
Partner alimony bill
On Wednesday 20 June 2012, PvdA, VVD and D66 presented a Bill aimed at cutting partner alimony. This mainly concerned the duration of partner alimony. In the Bill, the duration was reduced to a maximum of 5 years instead of 12 years, as is currently the case. In a marriage which has lasted less than 3 years, there is no right to partner alimony.
There are two exceptions to this rule:
– if children are involved, alimony must be paid until the youngest child is 12;
– if the marriage has lasted longer than 15 years, alimony will be paid for a maximum of 10 years.
Ex-partners can obviously still reach different agreements, also regarding the duration of the alimony payments. This already happens in practice. Under current law, it is not possible to reach agreements about alimony prior to the marriage, for example in prenuptial agreements, but the proposers of the Bill feel that this should be possible. A new feature is that the Bill provides for a phasing-out scheme and that no indexation will be applied. According to VVD, PvdA and D66, this scheme will provide an incentive for a partner to gradually enter into employment or expand their working hours. The Bill includes more changes, but it would be too much to expand on them here. If you have any questions, you can always call me or send me an e-mail.
The background to the Bill is to promote women’s emancipation. The political situation in the Netherlands has a major impact on whether this Bill will actually be implemented. What happens if the Kunduz Accord does not go ahead, for example? The last word on this has not yet been spoken.
My professional association, the Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (VFAS) will also study the Bill. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.