Spain’s shocking 20% unemployment rate may not be so shocking after all, if we read a risible court ruling where a judge has to tell 3 grownups that they are not any longer entitled to child maintenance. The ruling decided on appeal a petition from a mother of three to the effect that her children were too old to be eligible for pocket money, since they were old enough to fend off for themselves in life. The first one, 34 years of age, was a doctor in law and now studying economics. The second one, 32 years of age, had passed her exams as a tax inspector in Madrid after 10 years of studying hard to become one, and a third one, still a student, had had a few jobs, but must have found it too much hard work. The appeal judge decided that, even though the obligation to support children did not cease when they became of legal age (18 years), it was not justifiable for 3 fully qualified university graduates over 30 years old to expect being maintained by the father. He added he could not accept their plight and expectations, in this day and age, and in a modern society full with opportunities, to be fed by the male progenitor as the contrary would equate to favouring a passive fight for life that could be end up in “social parasitism”. Needless to say, the Canary Islands, where these boys were once based, have a whopping 27% unemployment that has even merited an article by the Financial Times.
So now on to the more practical side of this post, it being the obligation of the non-custodian progenitor (non-resident parent in English legal terminology) to maintain the children after a divorce in Spain (or separation for that matter) is under way, and for a good few 10 years after they become legal adults (18), I thought that publishing the amounts due by him/her (in 95% of the cases it’s the father) would help have an idea of what should be expected to be paid, since knowing this information, and consequentially what a judge would be ruling on, will reduce the litigiousness of the marriage break up.
The tables below show what should be expected to be paid by the non-resident parent depending on 2 variables, the number of children and the employment situation of the resident parent. Additionally, the courts may introduce other variables that will reflect personal and family circumstances, socio-economic environment issues, location, etc., that will singularize the final amount to be paid in each separation and/or divorce case.
|Income||1 Child||2 Children||3 Children||4 Children|
The table below is applicable in the event that both parents have an income:
* NOTE: The amounts in this table have to be multiplied by 1.45 if there are 2 children, 1.65 in the case of 3 children, and 1.93 for four children. The amounts in the vertical axis correspond to the monthly income of the custodian progenitor (resident parent), and the amounts in the horizontal axis correspond to the non-custodian progenitor, both in in Euros.
The amount specified for child maintenance is subject to modification in the event of loss of job by the paying parent or increase of his/her living costs, or because the children receive an income as a result of getting a regular job or reach an age where it is no longer reasonable or ethical to maintain the payments (as per the case study of the Canary family).
Finally, Spanish legislators have introduced new legal reinforcement to deal with non-paying parents, inclusive of jail sentences, so if you are in this situation make sure that you don’t miss 2 consecutive payments or 4 non-consecutive payments, because prison terms are then readily available!