The indexation figure for both child maintenance and spousal maintenance is set every year. This is done in order to ensure that maintenance payments keep pace with inflation, which pushes up prices and (usually also) wages every year. Inflation has the effect of reducing the purchasing power of a set amount of maintenance. Index-linking ensures that those receiving maintenance payments do not need to adjust their lifestyles due to the falling (real) value of their maintenance.
So, if you’re making maintenance payments to a former spouse, don’t forget to raise the amount concerned. And if you’re receiving maintenance payments from a former spouse, don’t forget to check that he or she has raised your maintenance payments with effect from this month in line with the annual indexation figure.
Using the LBIO’s maintenance indexation calculator to calculate your maintenance
In October 2020, a figure of 3% was set as the indexation percentage for 2021. This means that maintenance payments should be raised by 3% with effect from 1 January 2021. You can use the maintenance indexation calculator on the (Dutch-language) website of the National Maintenance Collection Agency (LBIO) to calculate your new amount of maintenance.
Can you decide not to index-link your maintenance payments?
You may have decided, in consultation with your former spouse, not to index-link your maintenance payments. You can find out whether this is the case by consulting either the parenting plan setting out the arrangements in relation to child maintenance or the divorce settlement, which contains all the various arrangements made in relation to your divorce.
What if your former spouse refuses to index-link the maintenance payments?
But what if your former spouse does not raise the maintenance payments in accordance with the indexation figure? If this happens, we would advise you first to tell your former spouse that he or she is obliged to do so and to ask him or her to pay the correct amount. If your former spouse still refuses to pay the new amount of maintenance including indexation, you can then ask the LBIO to collect the amount owing to you on your behalf. They will do this free of charge.
Interested in finding out more about the indexation of maintenance, or about maintenance in general?
If so, do feel free to get in touch with me of one of my fellow family lawyers. We’ll be only too pleased to help.
Originally this article was written by Marjolijn Boezaard-van Diepen (no longer employed at RWV Advocaten)