What is child maintenance?

If you divorce, separate or terminate a registered partnership, the two of you must make financial arrangements for the care and upbringing of the children. This is called child maintenance.

Agreeing on the amount of child maintenance

The two of you can decide on the amount of child maintenance together. The court will then assess the amount. If it is too low, the court will change the amount. If you are unable to reach agreement, the court will set the amount. The agreements you make will be incorporated into the parenting plan.

Child maintenance to the age of 21

The parent is obliged to pay child maintenance until the child turns 21. If children aged 18 to 21 work or receive student finance, this will have an effect on the amount.

Unpaid child maintenance

If a parent fails to pay the child maintenance owed, the custodial parent can ask the National Maintenance Collection Agency (Landelijk Bureau Inning Onderhoudsbijdragen, LBIO) to help.

Yearly maintenance adjustment

Maintenance amounts are adjusted once a year, on the basis of the rise in average earnings. This is called indexation. In November the government agency responsible sets the percentage by which child maintenance amounts will automatically change on 1 January of the new year.