Family law

What is alimony?

In case of divorce, the payment of alimony from one spouse to another can be set up to ensure the needs of children and their standard of living is not affected by the separation.


Definition and use of maintenance
Alimony is a monthly lump sum paid by the debtor towards the creditor. The parent receiving the pension is one in which the children of the couple will reside. It is set within the resources of the debtor and the creditor needs. It is used to cover all the daily needs of children, both leisure spending as general expenses, such as water and electricity. This is paid throughout the year and also during the holidays for children with the parent debtor.

In general, the amount corresponds to approximately 10% of net earnings of the debtor. It is set by the judge at the beginning of divorce. This amount will be reassessed or confirmed at the final judgment. To calculate the amount of alimony, the Department of Justice provides a reference grid of support, to assist judges to better establish it.

Problems and special situations
Alimony is automatically re-evaluated each year. It may be subject to a revaluation, at the request of the payer or the recipient. If a significant decrease in the relative wages of paying alimony, it can be lowered so that the payment is not too alters the standard of living of the debtor. The amount may also undergo a change in case of job loss of a parent; remarriage or the changing needs of children.

In case of non-payment, the recipient may initiate criminal proceedings if the pension has not been paid in full for over two months, which corresponds to an “abandonment of the family”. In the context of civil proceedings, the receiver can proceed in three different ways:

  • Direct payment of the pension may be provided by a third party payer, such as an employer or his bank;
  • The recipient may seek recovery by the Treasury;
  • If the pension has not been paid for two months or more, the family allowance fund – at the request of a parent – may provide for payment of the pension. This solution occurs only if the forced recovery did not work.