Child support

Child support is the property of the child and must be used for the benefit of the child, but the parent who receives the child support receives the payments in his or her own name. Parents are required to maintain their child until it is 18 years old.

Child-support agreements

  • Parents must determine child-support payments when they divorce, at the dissolution of cohabitation, and when changes are made with respect to the custody of the child.
  • Generally, the parent with whom the child lives and is domiciled claims child support.
  • Child-support agreements are not valid unless notarised by the district magistrate.
  • Child support agreements may be changed if circumstances have changed or if the agreement is not concordant with the interests of the child.
  • If there is a disagreement concerning child-support payments, the district magistrate shall be contacted.

The amount of child support

  • Minimum child support, which is called basic child support, is a certain amount which is revised annually.
  • Parents are free to negotiate additional child support, or child-support payments that are higher than basic child support. A parent with whom a child is domiciled and lives can also request a ruling by the district magistrate concerning an increase in child support.
  • If there are changes in the parents' or the child's circumstances, the parents can make a new agreement concerning child support, or they can petition for a revision and a ruling by the district magistrate.
  • The district magistrate will take the needs of the child and the circumstances of the parents into consideration when determining the amount of child support.
  • A special contribution from the child-support payer can be requested for expenses for special occasions in the child's life. Adolescents who have reached the age of 18 can also request a special contribution for education from the parent with whom they do not reside, up to the age of 20.

Payments and collection of child support

  • The Social Insurance Administration will arrange for the payment of minimum child support, if requested. Applications can be made from the office of the Social Insurance Administration and its branches.
  • A parent must arrange by him/herself for the collection of an additional child-support contribution, if payments are not processed through the Social Insurance Administration.
  • A child-support payer makes payments to Child Support Collection Centre, unless there is an agreement between the parents that payments should be made without the mediation of the Social Insurance Administration. A payer of child support can seek assistance from the Child Support Collection Centre if in default.

Links of interest

Laws and regulations