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What is the judicial measure to help manage the family budget?

Verified 05 October 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Family benefits are not used to cover the needs of children? A judicial measure to help manage the family budget can be implemented. It is intended to help manage the family benefits received for children. The judge orders this measure in the context of the protection of children. The administration of family benefits is entrusted to a third party. The measure shall be implemented for a maximum period of two years. Parents can challenge the decision.

The judicial measure to assist in the management of the family budget makes it possible to re-establish good management of family benefits in the interests and needs of the child.

It is about supporting parents in protecting their children's needs (housing, health, education and maintenance).

The objective of the measure is to intervene as quickly as possible to teach the family a know-how. But also to prevent their financial and moral situation from worsening.

This measure:

  • Don't question parents' authority over children
  • Not intended to remove custody of children
  • Does not affect the ability of parents to make decisions for their children.

There are no socio-occupational criteria or age requirements. It's just that the conditions have to be met.

The legal aid measure concerns families who meet the following conditions:

  • They receive family benefits
  • They constantly face difficulties in managing their budget
  • Their financial difficulties have an impact on the living conditions and needs of children
  • One home care benefit is not enough.

Example :

Household help, support in social and family economy, intervention of an educational action service, payment of financial aid.

This judicial measure can therefore be implemented if the benefits are not used for the child's needs.

Please note

on the decision of the juvenile judge, the child benefit officer may also collect the accident at work pension when it is paid to the children in the event of the death of the parent.

People who can request the measure

The juvenile judge may be seized by one of the following persons:

  • One of the minor's parents (or legal representative)
  • The person to whom the benefits are paid
  • The public prosecutor which has taken over or is taken over by a third party (example: the Departmental Council)
  • The mayor of the municipality of residence of the parents with the body issuing these benefits (example: Caf: titleContent).

In exceptional cases, the juvenile judge may take action ex officio.

Information to third parties

The judge shall notify the persons, who are not the authors of the application, of the opening of proceedings:

  • Parent(s)
  • The Public Prosecutor
  • The body responsible for payment of family benefits (Caf: titleContent, MSA: titleContent)
  • The services of the department of the parent's home

In addition, the parent(s) shall be informed by the judge:

  • their right to choose a lawyer (or to ask for one of their own motion)
  • and the possibility of consulting their file at the registry of the court.

The documents in the case shall be consulted at the days and times fixed by the judge.

The lawyer may be issued with some or all of the documents in the file, but he cannot forward copies of the documents to his client.

Who shall I contact

Decision of the judge

The Juvenile Judge shall summon the recipient of benefits 8 days before the date of the hearing. He also advises the lawyer.

During the hearing, the judge hears the parents and brings to their attention the reasons for which the matter was referred to him.

The judge may hear any other person whose hearing appears to him useful.

He commented on the judicial measure to assist in the management of the family budget.

It may order that the benefits be paid, in whole or in part, to a delegate for family benefits (who is appointed by the judge).

To do this, the following 2 conditions must be met:

  • Benefits are not used for housing, maintenance, health and education needs of children
  • A home support benefit does not appear to be sufficient to re-establish independent management of benefits

If the judge so decides, the family benefits are paid (in whole or in part) to the delegate.

The delegate makes decisions by trying to get the family's agreement.

It is the guarantor of the proper use of family benefits.

Together with the family, he seeks to understand the origin of the difficulties and find solutions.

He advises parents to overcome their financial and budgetary difficulties.

It sets priorities in payments. However, it gives priority to family benefits for the needs and expenses of children.

It makes all decisions, in consultation with the parents, to meet the needs related to the maintenance, health and education of the children.

It supports the role of parents to help them plan for the future.

The delegate is accountable to the children’s judge for the evolution of the financial situation.

In the event of a significant disagreement, the children's judge can be entered by parents or delegate.

The measure may not exceed a period of two years.

It may be renewed by reasoned decision of the juvenile judge.

Depending on the financial situation and the management balance regained, the judge may interrupt the aid measure.

The judicial measure to assist the management of the family budget may, at any time, be amended in three cases:

  • Of its own motion by the judge
  • At the request of the Public Prosecutor
  • At the request of the persons who brought the case before the judge (e.g. the parent)
  • At the request of the Family Benefits Officer.

The decision which introduced the judicial measure to assist in the management of the family budget may be challenged before the court of appeal by the parties and by the delegate for family benefits within 15 days of notification.

The decision shall be notified within 8 days:

  • To the parties
  • To the Family Benefits Officer if appointed
  • To the body responsible for payment of those benefits
  • To the public prosecutor.

The measure continues to apply until the decision of the Court of Appeal.

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