Maintenance for a child: amount and payment

Verified 03 June 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

What is child support used for? Every father and mother must feed, clothe, house and raise his child, even if he reaches the age of majority. This maintenance obligation applies to children born during or out of wedlock or adopted. The amount of maintenance shall be fixed either amicably or by the judge. A portion of the amounts paid can be deducted from your income taxes.

Whether you are separated or divorced, you must contribute to the upbringing and upbringing of your child (born during or out of wedlock, or adopted), even if you are of age.

The purpose of maintenance is to help the parent, with whom the child usually resides, or the person to whom the child is entrusted, to cover the costs of everyday life (clothing, schooling, leisure...) or more exceptional situations (medical expenses, hospitalization).

It is determined according to the resources of both parents and the needs of the child (age, health, disability...).

A parent can:

  • to pay support to the other parent with whom the child ordinarily resides or to the person to whom the child is entrusted, or
  • or to benefit from it.

Only the parent who justifies before the court that he cannot meet this obligation may, exceptionally, be exempted from it.

Please note

the income of the spouse or common-law partner of the person paying maintenance may be taken into account.

The amount of the pension is determined according to the income of the two parents, their expenses and the needs of the child. The elements taken into account include:

  • Tax Notice (where pay slips + property income appear)
  • Documents to establish the extent of your movable, real estate...
Divorced or separated parents

In case of contentious divorce, the Family Court Judge (Jaf) shall fix the amount of maintenance

  • during divorce or legal separation proceedings, or
  • after divorce or legal separation.

If you request a change in the Jaf's actions, you must use the form cerfa no. 11530 and transmit it or deliver it to the court.

Who shall I contact

In case of divorce by mutual consent, the pension is fixed amicably in the framework of the divorce agreement registered and published by the notary.

In case of body separation, the pension must be fixed amicably. It is, however, advisable to establish an agreement between you, date it and sign it. In case of disagreement, you must enter the Jaf.

Separation of unmarried parents

Parents who separate (end of life in a cohabiting relationship or dissolution of their Civil partnerships) can write a convention, called parental agreement.

This agreement lays down the conditions for the exercise of parental authority by each of the parents and the contribution of each to the maintenance and upbringing of the child (maintenance).

Parents can ask the director of the Caf: titleContent or the MSA: titleContent, the issue of a document permitting the compulsory payment of the fixed pension (enforceable title) by the Convention. For this, they shall not have initiated proceedings before the Judge for Family Affairs (Jaf).

Whether you are a Caf beneficiary or an MSA affiliate, you can apply online:

Public maintenance service

You can also apply using the following form:

Application for enforcement (court decision) of the parental agreement

This form must be signed and must be accompanied by the parental agreement and all the supporting documents required to study the file.

The parents will be informed of the decision that has been taken (enforceable title). You can avail yourself of it with third parties (examples: Treasury Public or Commissioner of Justice - former bailiff and judicial auctioneer). In particular to enable maintenance to be paid in the event of unpaid payments.

There is an indicative schedule of amounts to which the judge and the persons concerned may refer.

A computation simulator is also available:

Maintenance calculation simulator

Support may be paid in various forms.

In the majority of cases, this involves the payment of a sum of money every month, by check or by transfer (depending on what has been decided in the agreement or in the judgment).

Please note

the fact that the child is housed during the holidays does not lead to a reduction in the amount of the pension, as the latter is a flat-rate pension.

However, support payments may take other forms:

  • Direct support for your child's expenses
  • Amount of money administered by an organization that provides the child with an indexed annuity (i.e., a periodic payment based on a benchmark)
  • Enjoyment of property (example: housing)
  • Assignment of income-producing property to your child (examples: a rental property, rented farmland).

In general, you have to pay maintenance from the day fixed either in the judgment or in the agreement (between 1er and the 15th of each month). .

The payment of the pension does not automatically cease on the majority of your child. It continues until it becomes financially self-sufficient, including until the end of its studies. It may also continue for a child with a disability and a protected major.

Your adult child may be separated or divorced, to apply for maintenance to the family court judge on whose domicile he or she depends.


when you pay the pension, you must notify the beneficiary of any move and any change in your financial situation. You have to do it in the month of change. If you do not do so, you may be fined €7,500 and/or a 6-month prison sentence.

If the other parent does not pay you support, you can:

  • Send him notice, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, to pay you the amounts due.
    In that letter, you can remind him of his obligations and tell him that if he does not regularize the situation, a overlay forced may be exercised.
  • With a court decision setting the amount of maintenance, force it to pay you the amounts due

In any case, you can seek advice from a lawyer.

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