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Maintenance (for unmarried couples)

Child maintenance

Parents are at all times financially responsible for their children. This also applies if a child is not born to a married couple or registered partners. Even if the biological father has not acknowledged the child, he is still responsible for contributing to the cost of raising and caring for the child. What is deemed to be a reasonable contribution and in keeping with the child’s needs depends on the specific circumstances. Our lawyers can advise you about this. 

Spousal maintenance

Partners who have never been either married or registered as partners are not legally obliged to contribute to each other's maintenance. They may nonetheless feel morally obliged to contribute and wish for this reason to fix a level of mutual contribution. A cohabitation agreement may also contain a clause obliging the partners to continue to pay maintenance to whichever partner earns the least after their separation. Our lawyers can inform you about the possibilities and the tax implications.

If the partners are obliged to pay maintenance to each other following the termination of a marriage or registered partnership, the amount concerned might need to be changed at a later stage in the light of changed circumstances. One partner may be earning more and the other partner less; or other circumstances may have changed such that the originally agreed level of maintenance payments is no longer reasonable. In such cases, the court may be requested to set a new level of maintenance if the partners fail to reach a mutual agreement, in which case we will be pleased to assist by giving you expert advice. Our policy is to start out by trying to reach an agreement with your former partner, and going to court at a later stage only if unavoidable.

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