You live in the Netherlands as a divorced expat. At the time of the divorce, you and your ex-partner made agreements about child maintenance and/or partner alimony (maintenance), or a decision was taken by the court. However, as an expat in the Netherlands, there is a good chance that your situation will change. Below is a discussion of what a change in your situation means for the maintenance you receive or pay.
Changes in circumstances can lead to adjustments of the maintenance
Dutch law stipulates that the amount of maintenance can be changed if the maintenance no longer meets the legal standards due to a change in circumstances. The criterion used here is that there must be a legally relevant change in circumstances before the maintenance can be changed. A legally relevant change of circumstances means that the change is of such a magnitude or influence that it has consequences for the contribution you can pay. Minor changes, such as a wage increase or decrease of a few tens of euros, therefore in most cases do not lead to a relevant change of circumstances.
Change in circumstances as a maintenance payer
As a maintenance payer, it may happen that your income changes. One change could be that you have children in a new relationship. Other examples of changes in circumstances are that you are no longer entitled to the 30% ruling in the Netherlands, or you change jobs or you move abroad. If such a change affects what you can contribute to your ex-partner, both you and your ex-partner can request a recalculation of the maintenance.
Change in circumstances as a maintenance recipient
If you receive maintenance, a change of circumstances may also occur. For example, you are moving abroad. In most cases, this will mean that Dutch law no longer applies to the maintenance, but the law of the country to which you are moving. This may result in a change in the (amount of the) alimony. Also if you receive maintenance and start working (more), there may be a change in circumstances that affects the contribution(s) you receive. In such cases, you and your ex-partner can request an adjustment of the maintenance.
If something changes in your situation as a maintenance payer or recipient, we recommend that you contact a lawyer. Together with the lawyer, you can determine whether the change in your situation means that the contribution to be paid or received has to be changed. The lawyer can recalculate the maintenance for you. In addition, the lawyer can assist you in consultation with your ex-partner in order to reach agreements in mutual consultation about a new contribution. In the utmost case, a lawyer can assist you in court proceedings to adjust the maintenance to your new situation.
If you need advice on adjustments of maintenance, please contact us for assistance.
Lise-Milou is a family lawyer focussed on assisting expats living in the Netherlands with international divorces. This includes issues relating to access arrangements, parental authority, maintenance and (international) relocations, as well as maintenance calculations (child maintenance and partner alimony), settling prenuptial agreements and dividing the community of goods. Known for her efficiency and commitment to her clients, Lise-Milou excels at making complex issues understandable, to the advantage of her clients. She not only focuses on the legal side of the case, but also takes into account the personal circumstances of her clients.