Partner alimony calculation for expats

Marjet Groenleer

The previous two blogs on alimony calculation for expats focused on the costs of expat children (blog 1 and blog 2). This blog focuses on partner alimony, which is determined by the available means in the marriage. The income of expats is often built up of a basic income plus different types of allowances. The question arises: what is the effect of these allowances on the alimony? To what extent do these allowances form part of the available means in a marriage?


The most common allowances are the household allowance, dependency allowance, the expatriation allowance, and the education allowance (for the children). Others are the hardship allowance, the post adjustment allowance and the housing allowance. Organisations such as EPO, Estec and OPCW have such allowances. The UN and ICC work with a post adjustment, for example. All allowances serve a specific goal. It would take too long to explain these in detail here.

The influence of allowances on the need

The needs of the alimony recipient are set at the amount required to maintain a position that is reasonably suitable for him or her in view of the available means of the marriage. Although the so-called 60% rule is still applied in practice in standard cases, in expat situations (certainly not standard cases) this rule is less suitable.

Case law on this differs from case to case. Allowances are sometimes taken into account and sometimes not. It depends on whether the alimony recipient lives in the Netherlands or abroad, with costs of living taken into account. 

In soms cases allowances are viewed as a source of income which both parties were used to and on which the spending pattern was based. The alimony recipient, after having moved to another country, still lives abroad and therefore still has, more or less, expat status. Thus, the associated costs may be included in his or her needs.

In conclusion

The allowances form part of the available financial means of the spouses. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, they are included in the determination of the needs of the maintenance recipient for partner alimony. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


This article was updated November 2017. 

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