We explain how much money you must have left according to the law when you pay child support.
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1. Deductible: How much remains despite child support?
Maintenance arrangements are made primarily with the child to be provided for in mind and are based on the income of the parents. These have the obligation to spend the financial means available to you for the care of their children. However, every last cent of the income of a person obliged to pay maintenance must be used to pay maintenance? There is a minimum amount set by law that the parent obligated to pay must have left each month for their own needs. This amount to secure one’s existence is called the deductible.
After a divorce, it is often the case that one parent is obliged to pay child support. The higher-earning partner must continue to financially support the lower-earning partner and especially the joint children after the separation. Especially if several children have to be supported, the alimony can account for a considerable part of the income.
2. Deductible vs. Need control amount
On the one hand, there is the central desire of all parents to provide for their children in the best possible way. So much for the moral aspect. On the other hand, a monthly child support payment has a strong impact on the financial situation in many cases. The monthly amounts to be paid are calculated based on the net income of the payer. The current reference values for the maintenance payment can be found in the Dusseldorfer Tabelle. In addition to the pure deductible, the so-called needs control amount can be read off here, which in the case of higher income- i.e. from the second income group onwards takes effect. This amount is not to be confused with the deductible. It serves the balanced distribution of income between the parents and their joint children and does not represent the subsistence level.
The so-called deductible (also known as personal needs), on the other hand, determines in a lump sum how much money the alimony payer must retain in any case to cover his or her own needs.
3. How much is the deductible?
The deductible should be able to cover the basic needs of the person obliged to pay maintenance. If one were to ask those concerned about the individual assessment of their subsistence level, the answers would certainly vary greatly. Therefore, legal guidelines have been established and adjusted over the years to the reality of life and the living conditions of those obligated to pay alimony.
Different constellations are taken into account when determining the amount of the deductible:
- Thus, there is the "deductible for employed persons who have minor children". under 21 years of age, who still live with their parents and are in school education, are treated the same as minors when calculating child support. You are considered a "privileged adult".
- For other children of full age, the deductible increases by a few hundred euros per month This is called the "large" deductible or "reasonable deductible designated. . This is also referred to as the "small deductible".
The exact figures for the current amounts of the deductible can be found here:
4. How is the deductible made up?
The deductible takes into account basic living costs. Therefore, it is also necessary to adjust the rates over the years at appropriate intervals to the reality of life.
In individual cases, of course, it must always be weighed up to what extent these lump sums are appropriate. The rent for an apartment can vary greatly from region to region. Unavoidable housing costs can increase the deductible accordingly.
5. Why do you need a deductible?
The deductible is useful in many respects. On the one hand, it avoids alimony payments driving the ex-partner into financial ruin. This would also not help the parent who is supposed to benefit from alimony. It is avoided that the state must step in afterwards for the payments. At the same time, the deductible is seen as a means of motivating the person obliged to pay maintenance. His acquisition achievements should also be worthwhile for him personally. The deductible is intended to ensure an adequate standard of living and to encourage the payer to generate sufficient income for himself and for the recipient of support on his own.
6. Child support takes precedence
Alimony payments can benefit different persons. Maintenance can be due for children, spouses and also one’s own parents. However, a parent’s obligation to his or her minor children is to be ranked highest in this regard. The deductible is therefore lowest in the case of child support. Unlike z.B. the ex-partner’s underage children are unable to support themselves and are therefore given priority for maintenance. If the child is of age and no longer lives with his parents, or is no longer in education, the deductible is higher. The child no longer has to be supported to the same extent and can also pay for at least some of his or her own maintenance.
7. What is reasonable?
The legislator also considers special efforts of the debtor to be reasonable. This can be legally required to work or earn more. Sufficient income must be provided. For example, child support payers must take on a second job or work overtime in order to be able to pay child support in full. Participation in further vocational training is also required if this subsequently allows a higher salary to be earned.
In the absence of corresponding reasonable efforts, payments may also be based on a fictitious income. So the question then is what the breadwinner could theoretically earn. This fictitiously calculated amount then forms the basis for the amount of maintenance and can also be compulsorily enforced if the debtor has assets.
8. This is how the deductible can be reduced
A change in life circumstances can also result in a reduction of the deductible amount. The deductible is calculated from expenses, z.B. for rent to be paid by a parent living alone. If the person obliged to pay maintenance moves in with a new partner, the costs for rent and living expenses are usually also reduced. Accordingly, the deductible can be reduced by up to 25%, d.h. a significantly larger portion of the income must be used for alimony.
ÄThe same applies to a new marriage. If the new spouse earns, it is assumed that the more of the debtor’s income is freed up for the latter’s payments. A new community of need is created. The spouse thus virtually provides the alimony payer with. This can even lead to the deductible being cancelled completely. Thus, the entire income flows into the maintenance.
9. How to increase the deductible
Higher rental costs
Since rent payments make up a large portion of the deductible, this factor can also cause the deductible to increase in rare cases. If higher rental costs are unavoidable for a debtor, they can be offset against the deductible and increase it.
The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has ruled that the person liable to pay maintenance in cash may also be entitled to the large deductible if grandparents are available who are capable of performing (BGH, decision of 27.10.2021, Az. XII ZB 123/21).
In the case to be decided, the parents of the father liable for maintenance had an income of 3.500 and 2.300 euros, so that they are actually able to pay and, as relatives in a straight line, are also obligated to support their grandchildren. However, the BGH noted that in this case it is an exception. Nevertheless, the father was able to successfully insist on a higher deductible.
The grandparents were also not asked to pay because of a loophole in the law: The child support advance fund had paid child support advances and could not demand reimbursement from the grandparents- the law does not contain a basis for claims by the maintenance advance fund against grandparents.
Important: The amounts mentioned here for the deductible are only legal guidelines. In individual cases, it is always the individual judgment of the court that counts.