Part 1 of this blog series on maintenance calculation for internationals talked about maintenance for children of internationals. After a divorce within an international family, often the ex-spouses spread over different countries. Contact between the non-caring parent and his/her children therefore incurs more costs than compliance with contact arrangements within national borders. How does the maintenance (alimony) calculation deal with these extra costs?
Additional care costs for internationals
In the determination of child maintenance, the court takes into account a care discount on the side of the parent obliged to pay maintenance. This discount on child support represents the share of this parent in the care (the amount of days per week/month the parent takes care of the child). This is no different for international contact arrangements. Then, however, often the discount on child support (for the parent who has to pay maintenance) is only 15%, as the time the children spend with the non-caring parent is often short.
This parent does however incur more costs to see his/her child than a parent residing in the Netherlands. This includes items such as airline tickets and accommodation: maintaining a home or renting an apartment in the Netherlands. These additional care costs are not taken into account in the care discount. These additional care costs are usually included in the determination of the financial capacity of the expat responsible for paying maintenance. How this happens depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. Case law on the matter shows a varied picture.
In the determination of the amount of additional care costs, it is also important to know whether or not the employer provides an allowance for family visits. Some employers pay a ‘home leave allowance’, which then reduces the additional care allowance.
Case law shows that a certain sum in additional care costs will be included ‘in all reasonableness’. This reasonableness assessment can turn out differently in each case. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Learn more in part 3 of this series: Partner maintenance
Marjet Groenleer is an attorney-at-law and associate partner at GMW lawyers in The Hague. She has been active in family law for more than 15 years, focused on on (international) divorces. Marjet is a trained divorce mediator with the vFAS (Dutch Association of Family mediators and lawyers).
Marjet has a particular interest and a profound knowledge of the international aspects of family law. She is an expert in dealing with complex financial and multi-jurisdictional cases of an international family breakdown. Because of her experience and previous jobs, she is familiar with several foreign legal systems. A great number of her clients are expats. She understands the needs of expats working for the various international organisations and companies based in The Netherlands, specifically in the area of The Hague (lsuch as EPO, Estec, OPCW, NATO, the tribunals, ICC, Shell, etc.)
Marjet worked as a lecturer in International Civil Law for several years and at the Court of Appeals in The Hague in the family law sector. Today, she is a deputy judge in the Court of Appeals in Amsterdam. Marjet publishes regularly in professional journals and keeps you informed of the various complex aspects of (international) divorces with her weblogs.