From January 2023, the calculation of the support capacity for partner alimony will no longer take into account the actual housing costs but a flat-rate housing cost of 30% of the net disposable income, the so-called "housing budget".
When calculating child support, the court already assumed that parents spend 30 per cent of their net disposable income on housing. A housing burden of 30 per cent of net disposable income is considered common and reasonable. The differences between calculating child and spousal support will be levelled as much as possible by the amendment.
Living expenses are defined as the (bare) rent or mortgage costs (including interest and repayment, fixed owner's expenses of €95 per month) but also any higher energy costs (outside the social assistance standard) or maintenance costs of the own home.
Calculating with a flat-rate housing cost is simpler. The outcome is predictable and less likely to lead to discussion. In principle, a higher housing expense will no longer be included in the alimony calculation. This is for the account and risk of the obligated party. A lower housing cost will in principle not be taken into account either. The obligated party then has to pay less alimony than based on his actual living expenses.
Exceptions are possible, however. It sometimes happens that the obligated party cannot avoid spending more on housing than the determined housing budget. If these higher living expenses are not avoidable and not culpable then the court can take them into account.
If there is a shortfall in the alimony recipient's needs, this can be a reason to take into account lower living expenses of the obligated party. However, the expenses must then be permanently significantly lower than the housing budget. This will not be the case if someone has temporarily moved in with family or friends in connection with the divorce
Upon request, the court can compare the income of both parties.
Generally, it is considered reasonable that the partner receiving alimony should not have more to spend than the obligated ex.
Currently, the so-called "jus comparison" still applies. This looks at what free spending space remains after the basic necessities of life have been met.
This will also change in the new year. It will then look at what both parties actually have to spend. This should be the same after alimony has been paid. The income comparison will include special costs that are not culpable and not avoidable, as well as costs of the children, insofar as they are not reimbursed from a child budget.
Do you have questions or need advice on current or future maintenance obligations? If so, please contact one of our lawyers without obligation. We will be happy to assist you.