An important subject on the agenda in case of a divorce or termination of cohabitation is maintenance. This can concern child maintenance or spousal maintenance.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance will be owed if at the time of the separation joint children are involved or if there is joint custody [link naar gezag, moet nog geschreven worden] of the children. This concerns minor children, therefore children younger than 18 years of age. The parent with whom the minor child lives is the person with the right to child maintenance and to whom the child maintenance must be paid. Children from the age of 18 can also have this right. We call this maintenance for young adult persons. If child maintenance was recorded prior to the 18th birthday of the child, this arrangement will automatically continue after the 18th birthday. If there was no arrangement, the child can personally make a claim to this. However, it is subject to the condition that the child cannot personally provide for his or her living costs, for example if the child is studying. The maintenance is owed in accordance with the law until the 21st birthday of the child, regardless of whether the child will continue to study for longer. It is of course possible that an agreement is reached that covers this period, for example in the parenting plan.

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance can also be on the agenda. The law only gives the right to this after a divorce or termination of a registered partnership. Consequently, according to the law no right to spousal maintenance exists after the termination of cohabitation. However, a cohabitation contract can possibly include the right to spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is owed for a duration of 12 years after termination of the marriage or registered partnership. If the marriage or registered partnership has lasted for less than 5 years and no minor children have been born, the duration of the right to spousal maintenance is not 12 years, but equal to the duration of the marriage/registered partnership. The statutory period is only on the agenda for as long as the person entitled to receive maintenance needs a contribution to their costs of living. There can be derogating agreements reached regarding the duration of the right to contribution.


It is possible to reach agreements in mutual consultation regarding the level of maintenance. If this is not successful, the court must be applied to in order to determine the level. This can be amended at a later date if there is a change of circumstances. This can be the case if the income changes, for example in case of dismissal. However, your expenses can also change or the circumstances on the part of your ex-partner may change. We can of course always examine together with you whether the situation has changed in such a manner that an amendment is appropriate.


Every contribution is indexed annually as at the 1st of January. In this way the contribution will keep in line with the increasingly higher costs of living and with the increase of wages. The indexation percentage is always recorded annually and made known from the middle of November through various websites such as the LBIO ((National Maintenance Collection Agency) website. The indexation can also be excluded if the income of the person obliged to pay maintenance does not increase annually or the increase is less than the wage index. Parties can discuss the exclusion. If this is not successful, the court can be applied to so as to exclude the indexation. AK Advocaten can make calculations for you, provide you with advice and bring proceedings when it concerns the determining of child and spousal maintenance, the amendment thereof and any exclusion of the indexation. If you have any questions, please phone us or send us an email. Please contact us. Family Law