On 1 January 2020, the time has come: the new legislation on partner alimony will enter into force. What exactly does this new legislation mean?
The main point of the new law is to reduce the maximum duration of the obligation to pay partner alimony from the current 12 years to half the duration of the marriage to a maximum of 5 years from the date of divorce. The aim is to create a balance between the position of the person obliged to pay alimony and the position of the person entitled to the alimony.
There are three exceptions to this new rule:
- If, at the time of submission of the divorce application, the duration of the marriage is longer than 15 years and the age of the person entitled to the alimony is at most 10 years lower than the state pension age applicable at that time, the obligation ends when the state pension age has been reached. This is a maximum of 10 years if the person concerned is exactly 10 years before the state pension age at the time of divorce. The possible postponement of the AOW pension age afterwards does not affect the duration of the obligation. Therefore, this exception applies to long-term marriages, because a maintenance period of 5 years in that case is too short for the person entitled to partner alimony to adapt to the new law.
- The second exception concerns families with young children. In this case, the obligation continues until the youngest married child reaches the age of 12. The maximum duration of the alimony is therefore 12 years.
- The third exception is a transitional arrangement that extends the duration of maintenance for those aged 50 and over who are entitled to alimony if the marriage has lasted at least 15 years. Those who were born on or before 1 January 1970 will receive a maximum of 10 years of alimony instead of a maximum of 5 years of alimony. Thus, this applies to persons who are 50 years of age or older at the time it takes effect.
Please note, that a partner’s obligation to pay partner alimony will immediately and irrevocably stop if the person who receives the alimony marries someone else, enters into a registered partnership or starts living together with someone else.
There will be no changes in the area of child support. The current rules will continue to apply. This means that the legal obligation to pay child support ends when your child reaches the age of 21 years.