Each year, child and spousal alimony (maintenance) is increased by annual indexation. The Minister for Legal Protection determines annually, around October / November, by what percentage the alimony will increase. This applies to child and spousal alimony that is laid down in a divorce agreement, parental plan, or established by the court. This means that if you are the one paying the alimony, you will have to pay more per month.
The percentage by which alimony increases is determined by the Minister for Legal Protection. When determining the percentage, the Minister for Legal Protection takes into account wage increases and / or wage decreases. The wage index is determined by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In doing so, Statistics Netherlands looks at salary development in the private sector, the government and in other sectors.
In previous years, the annual indexation in percentages was:
For the coming year, 2021, the percentage is 3%.
Alimony amount adjustment
The person paying alimony, the maintenance debtor, must adjust the amount and transfer the correct, indexed, amount to the person receiving alimony, the maintenance creditor.
It may be that the maintenance debtor is not aware of the statutory indexation. In that case, as a maintenance creditor, do not hesitate to point this out to the maintenance debtor. The maintenance debtor is obliged to implement this increase, unless statutory indexation is excluded.
No legal indexation
Pursuant to article 1: 402a paragraph 1 DCC, the amount of alimony increases annually. However, it may also be the case that statutory indexation does not apply. This is the case if the court has made a decision in which it is determined that statutory indexation is excluded, or if deviating agreements have been made about this, or if the alimony has been determined before 1 January 1973. Exclusion from statutory indexation is only possible, however, in the case of partner alimony. The statutory indexation of child maintenance cannot be excluded. Child support should always be indexed.
Should it be the case that the debtor has not implemented the statutory indexation, it is possible to claim the unpaid maintenance over a maximum of five years, with retroactive effect. It is of course up to the maintenance creditor to point this out to the maintenance debtor and to request that the unpaid amount be paid. Depending on the amount of the maintenance, this can be a considerable amount.
In 2020, alimony was set (by a judge or included in a divorce agreement) at an amount of € 1,000. This amount will be increased by 3% from 1 January 2021. This amounts to an increase of € 30. As of 1 January 2021, an amount of € 1,030 must therefore be paid by the maintenance debtor to the maintenance creditor.
Suppose that in 2017 the alimony was set at € 1,000. In that case, the maintenance must be indexed as of 1 January 2018 and every year thereafter. The table below shows what the annual indexation does with the alimony amount determined in 2017.
||Amount incl. indexation
The above overview shows that alimony of € 1,000, which was determined in 2017, amounts to € 1,093.02 as of 1 January 2021.
Advice about child and spousal alimony?
If you have any questions about the legal indexation of maintenance or if you have any other questions about family law, I will of course be happy to help you.
This blog was written in close collaboration with Bianca Kok-Beekhuizen, legal assistant of the Family and Inheritance Law section.