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Alimony or basic obligation?

The contribution to the child’s maintenance and education costs (more often referred to as “child support”) is set by the Family Justice Judge when the child’s parents separate (whether child ‘a divorce or a separation between cohabitants).

It is the parent who does not usually reside with the child who has to pay this contribution to the parent to whom the child is entrusted.

However, parentage between the parent and the child must be established. The father does not have to pay, for example, a pension for the benefit of the first child of his ex-wife, born of a previous union. In addition, the child must really be the responsibility of the parent who claims the pension, which is not the case if the child is entrusted to social services.

Most of the time, alimony is paid monthly. It is only exceptionally that it can take the form of capital. In the latter case, a sum of money is then paid to a specific body which will then pay the contribution to the maintenance and education of the child in the form of an indexed monthly pension.

The judge takes into account, in determining the amount of the pension, a certain number of elements, such as the age of the child, his state of health, his educational level, the social environment to which he belongs …, but he must also seek to know the amount of resources and expenses of each of the two parents.

There is no scale and the amount of the pension, for a substantially identical situation, may vary from judge to judge.

However, it should be noted that in terms of resources, the judge tends to deduct the annual net salary (amount that appears on the tax return or the tax notice) to which must be added the possible additional income (rental or capital income, for example).

As for expenses, this is most often:

  • rent charges (or credit and condo fees, if you are a homeowner)
  • taxes, taxes (housing and land), television fees
  • electricity bills, gas, water, telephone
  • insurance (house, possibly car)
  • Mutual fees
  • any credits contracted
  • canteen fees, tuition, nursery, nursery
  • transportation and recreation expenses

The pension fixed by the judge is accompanied by an indexation clause (usually the INSEE index of consumer prices). It will therefore be necessary to re-evaluate the amount of the pension each year, on the anniversary date.

Alimony is paid by one spouse to the other until the child reaches the age of majority or, beyond that age, until the child has completed school and found a job stable whose salary allows him to live decently.

It should be noted that alimony may, if a new fact occurs (loss of employment or professional promotion, remarriage or new cohabitation, birth of a new child …), be revised (upwards or downwards) if not completely removed.

It is then up to the parent, who sees his or her personal or professional situation changed, to refer the matter to the Family Court Judge for a change in support payments.