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Contribution to marriage charges

Verified 20 October 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Are you married and you have to deal with the marriage charges? Each of you must contribute according to your financial means. If your spouse doesn't pay his or her share, you can force him or her to do so. You must turn to the Family Court (Jaf) and apply to contribute to the marriage charges. You can also ask them to revise the contribution amount.

The charges of marriage include all living expenses that life in common involves.

They shall include in particular:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Health
  • Child education
  • Recreational expenses

Each of you 2 must contribute the charges of marriage.

You can agree on the allocation (for example, by marriage contract).

In the absence of another choice, you must contribute based on your respective revenues.

Example :

If your monthly salary is €3,000 and your spouse's €1,500, you have to contribute two-thirds of the expenses of the marriage, and your spouse has to contribute one-third.

The contribution can be made in money. It can also be done in other ways (e.g., family duties for a stay-at-home parent, provision of housing by the sole owner spouse).

The obligation persists if you're separated.

Proceedings

If your spouse does not contribute or does not contribute sufficiently to the expenses of the marriage, you can ask the Family Court to compel him or her to do so.

The use of a lawyer is not mandatory.

You must submit your application to the court's secretariat-registry.

You can choose one of the following courts:

  • Place of your domicile (on the day of your application)
  • Place where your spouse resides in case of separation

You can submit your application by one of the following means:

  • On site
  • By mail RAR: titleContent
Who shall I contact

FYI  

before you turn to the judge, you should try to reach an agreement with your spouse. For example, you can send him a letter inviting him to talk or use a family mediator.

You must use the Marriage Expenses Contribution Application Form:

Application to contribute to marriage expenses

You must provide your spouse's address.

It is up to you to prove the situation and to set the amount of your application.

You need to contact obligatory at your request the following documents:

  • Full copy of your birth certificate (less than 3 months old)
  • Full copies of birth certificates of common dependent children (less than 3 months old)
  • Full copy of your marriage certificate or a copy of your family booklet
  • Copy of your identity document (national identity card, passport...)
  • Copy of any court decision that relates to your application (e.g., judgement of the child judge)

Depending on your request, you must also include the following documents:

  • Proof of domicile (rent receipt, electricity bill...)
  • Copies of your last tax notice and tax return
  • Copy of your last 3 pay slips
  • Justification of the social benefits you receive
  • Justification of your expenses and resources (e.g., tuition, medical bills...)

Depending on your situation, other documents may be requested by the judge.

Proceedings before the judge

You are called by mail RAR: titleContent at a Jaf hearing.

All 2 of you must present yourself in person, assisted or not by a lawyer.

You must explain yourself before the judge (oral procedure).

In case of absence, the judge may take one of the following decisions:

  • Do not review the case and postpone it
  • Judge with the only elements brought by the person present

FYI  

if you want to be assisted by a lawyer and your resources are low, you can have a legal aid, under certain conditions.

Decision of the judge and payment of the contribution

If your spouse does not fulfil his or her obligation to contribute to the expenses of the marriage, the judge determines the amount of his or her contribution.

The judgement is indicated to him by deed of the Commissioner of Justice (former judicial officer and judicial auctioneer).

FYI  

if your spouse does not pay the judge's contribution, you have multiple ways to get payment. If you appeal to a Justice Commissioner for get a direct payment, the expenses are paid by your spouse.

Challenge of judgement

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Your husband was present before the judge

Your spouse appeal within one month of notification judgement.

A lawyer is required.

Who shall I contact

Your husband was convicted in his absence

He can challenge judgement.

He has one month from the day he was personally notified of the judgement.

He has to send mail RAR: titleContentto the secretariat-registry of the court.

Who shall I contact

In case of change in your respective situations, the contribution amount can be changed (up or down) or deleted.

You must apply to the JAF: titleContent specifying the changes that have occurred (e.g. job loss).

Attach a copy of the previous court decision, along with the supporting documents for the changes.

You must use the following application form:

Application to contribute to marriage expenses

Who shall I contact

You must provide your spouse's address.

You need to contact obligatory at your request the following documents:

  • Full copy of your birth certificate (less than 3 months old)
  • Full copies of birth certificates of common dependent children (less than 3 months old)
  • Full copy of your marriage certificate or a copy of your family booklet
  • Copy of your identity document (national identity card, passport...)
  • Copy of any court decision that relates to your application (e.g., judgement of the child judge)

Depending on your request, you must also include the following documents:

  • Proof of domicile (rent receipt, electricity bill...)
  • Copies of your last tax notice and tax return
  • Copy of your last 3 pay slips
  • Justification of the social benefits you receive
  • Justification for changes in your situation that explain your request
  • Justification of your expenses and resources (invoices for tuition fees, medical care...)

Depending on your situation, other documents may be requested by the judge.

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