Reducing alimony: 10 tips


Reducing alimony: 10 tips


If spouses separate, there is usually alimony to be paid to the financially weaker party, known as separation maintenance.

If there are joint children, child support must be paid.

If parents go into a nursing home, the social welfare office will contact you for so-called parental maintenance.

The maintenance payment is always calculated from the income. As a rule, however, it is not simply the net income, or the profit in the case of self-employed persons, that is relevant here. Rather, the so-called income relevant to maintenance will have to be determined. This means for the breadwinner that he/she makes as many deductions as possible from net income. The amount determined at the end is then only the maintenance-relevant income.

1. work-related expenses:

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has expressly approved the use of lump sums in the context of work-related expenses. A lump sum of 5% of the net income can be deducted – at least 50 EUR, in the case of marginal part-time work also less, and a maximum of 150 EUR per month.

2. Travel expenses to work

Here, 0.30 EUR per kilometer can be deducted, starting from the 31st kilometer. EUR 0.20 per kilometer, reduced.

3. Debts

Debts are almost always deductible. In the case of separation maintenance, they should already have been served before the separation, so that they are considered marriage-defining.

4. Stock options

Proceeds from stock or stock options are only part of salary from the date of transfer and not from the date of commitment. In addition, they would have to be used for current living expenses in order to be added to the income.

5. Capital income

These should always be used to determine the income relevant to maintenance. But from this income should be deducted income-related expenses, such as especially deposit fees and bank charges. For separation maintenance, this income must also have already flowed before the separation.

6. Income from renting and leasing

These do represent income, but only after deduction of income-related expenses (property management, maintenance costs, loan and financing costs, etc).) these are relevant for the maintenance payment.

7. Budget savings

If the dependent lives with another person in the same household (e.g. the spouse with new partner), it is assumed that savings are then made. As a rule, 10% of uncovered needs can then be used as fictitious income. The alimony payment is then reduced by this amount.

8. Obligation to work

The person in need of alimony must, to the extent reasonable, reduce the alimony burden. So he/she must go to work if this is possible. Especially in the area of separation maintenance, the obligation to work begins after the end of a separation year. Here, the alimony payment can then be reduced or even cancelled. Caution: when caring for children under the age of three or disabled children, employment is superfluous.

9. Maintenance obligation towards third parties

Alimony payments to others are always relevant. How exactly, can not be generalized. Here it depends on the maintenance hierarchy. Maintenance for minor children is to be fully deducted in the separation maintenance and the parents maintenance for example.

10. Pension expenses

In addition to the cost of health insurance, deductions for retirement, accident and unemployment benefits are deductible from income.

Child support and separation maintenance: in addition to primary retirement provisions amounting to approx. 20 % of the gross income is a secondary old-age provision as an additional old-age provision. This amounts to a maximum of 4% of gross income from employment. In the case of parental maintenance this is 5.

Caution: If the income is not sufficient to ensure minimum maintenance for a minor child, even in the event of a shortage, no additional retirement provision is generally accepted.

In the case of separation maintenance, the additional old-age provision can also be taken up for the first time after the separation – it is nevertheless relevant to maintenance.

The self-employed pay the contributions for old-age provision themselves. Whether this is done in the statutory pension insurance, professional pension institution or other forms of provision in doubt pension insurance, real estate, savings accounts (disputed), does not matter.

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