Partner alimony less common, but higher amounts paid

31/10/2012 15:00

In 2011 the courts ordered partner alimony payments in almost one in six divorces. This is slightly less than a decade ago, but the amounts involved are higher. There has not been much change in child alimony during this period. The amounts paid in child alimony rose far less than in those in partner alimony.

Monthly partner and child alimony

Monthly partner and child alimony

Partner alimony in one in six divorces

In 5.2 thousand instances in 2011 the courts ordered alimony to be paid to the woman. This is nearly 16 percent of the divorces granted by the courts that year. In 2001 it was nearly 18 percent. Then the amount paid in half the cases was over 450 euro a month. By 2011 the median amount of alimony had increased to 650 euro. This 44 percent increase equals twice the inflation for this period.
Part of the cause of this rapid rise is that people now divorce at a higher average age. Because a higher age often means a higher income, this also leads to higher alimony payments. In less than 1 percent of the divorces women pay alimony to men.

Monthly partner alimony, 2011

Monthly partner alimony, 2011

One sixth of the people receiving alimony are paid more than 1600 euro

There are large differences in the amounts of alimony paid, depending on the income of the ex partners. In a third of the cases when alimony was granted in 2011 the monthly amount was less than 400 euro, in a sixth it was over 1 600 euro.

Monthly child alimony, 2011

Monthly child alimony, 2011

Child alimony

The courts annually grant alimony to children in nearly six in ten divorces involving under-aged children. In 2011 this was over 300 euro a month in over half the cases. This is 23 percent more than a decade ago and almost equal to inflation in this period. Child alimony depends on the number of children. The amount exceeded 500 euro in one in ten cases when one child was involved, and three times as often when two or more children were involved in the divorce.


John de Winter and Arno Spranger