Myth or truth in divorce: with a week-on-week-off arrangement, you don’t pay alimony.
23 July 2023
This is a misconception. The statement needs to be nuanced.
When parents each take responsibility for the children’s residence half of the time, their in-kind contribution is equal: 50% with the mother and 50% with the father.
However, even with an equal in-kind contribution, it is possible that one of the parents may still have to pay alimony.
To determine if alimony is owed, two elements must be considered: not only the residence arrangement but also the financial situation of both parents.
The law stipulates that both parents, whether they live together or not, must contribute to the upbringing costs of their children in proportion to their means.
It would not be fair for a parent with a significantly limited budget to bear the same expenses for the children as the other, more affluent parent. In such circumstances, alimony may be appropriate.
Parties can agree on a monthly amount that one parent will pay to the other as alimony due to the difference in their incomes.
If parties cannot reach an agreement, they will need to initiate proceedings in the Family Court.
The court will then, based on Article 1321 of the Civil Code, examine which parent is entitled to alimony and determine the amount per month and per child.
The following elements are taken into account:
- The nature and amount of the resources of each parent.
- The cost of the child.
- The nature of the extraordinary costs that can be taken into account, the portion of these costs that each parent must bear, and the terms for the use of these costs.
- The residence arrangement for the child and the in-kind contribution of each parent to the child’s maintenance due to this residence arrangement.
- The amount of child benefits and any social and tax benefits of any kind that each parent receives for the child.
- The income that each parent may receive from the enjoyment of the child’s property.
- Special circumstances.
- The share of each parent in assuming ordinary costs.
Important to know is that by means, all professional incomes, movable and immovable incomes of the parents, as well as all benefits and other means that guarantee their standard of living and that of the children, are meant.
In addition to the residence arrangement, the determination of alimony also considers the costs that must be incurred for the children, the amount of the growth package received, which parent receives the tax and social benefit, whether the parents share living expenses with another partner or not, etc.
Based on all this information, it is then determined whether you are liable for alimony and how much the alimony amount will be.
In conclusion, it is not correct to state that there can be no alimony in the case of a week-on-week-off arrangement.