Disparities in maintenance obligations for divorced parents

There remains a “grey area” in Belgium as to the amounts allocated for maintenance payments, for parents who have been through divorce proceedings.

The regions say that payments for two children vary between 33 and 500 euros in Wallonia, and between 38 and 600 euros in Flanders.

Researchers from the University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen), Elke Claessens and Dimitri Mortelmans, have reviewed the tax returns of nearly 2,500 divorced couples. Elke Claessens confirms that, “There are various systems in Belgium to determine the amount of maintenance payable.”

She goes on, “The choice of system varies from one region to another. The judges are legally obliged to take account of certain parameters, such as the combined parental income and family allowances, but they can choose which system of calculation should apply.”

The researchers are not arguing for a uniform system but they favour minimum thresholds and ceilings, so as to reduce the disparities in this regard.

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