Rising gas and energy prices can have a major impact on anyone’s monthly expenses, causing financial hardship. The one-time compensation option offered by the government is generally insufficient to cover the additional monthly costs. This can lead to additional monthly costs of hundreds of euros. The result may be that the stipulated alimony obligation cannot or can no longer be met. Can this be a reason to change child and/or spousal support?
Yes, this is possible by reaching mutual agreements through mediation. Or through a modification procedure through the court. Below we give you a roadmap and some tips if you can no longer meet your child support obligations.
- Do not stop or change child support payments unannounced. If the child support contribution is not paid, the person entitled to child support can hire the LBIO or the bailiff to still collect the child support contribution. This incurs additional costs.
- Contact the child support recipient and indicate that payment of child support obligation is not possible. Then try to come to mutual agreements, preferably through mediation, on a (temporary) reduction or (temporary) suspension of the alimony obligation.
- If mutual agreement cannot be reached then the court can be asked to reduce the alimony contribution. Alimony obligations generally take precedence but current high energy and gas prices are not reflected in the applicable alimony standards.
- Child support is usually not changed until from the announcement that can no longer be paid or from the filing of the petition with the court. Therefore, we recommend initiating child support reduction proceedings as soon as possible if it is not possible to reach mutual agreements.
If you find yourself in (acute) financial distress that prevents you from meeting your child support obligation, please contact one of our family law attorneys.