February 19, 2021


How much child maintenance do I have to pay in the event of divorce or separation in Spain?

In order to determine the amount of child support to be paid, the economic capacity of the parents must be examined, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the needs of the child or children, taking into account the custody regime, whether it is shared or sole custody in favour of one of the parents.

The minimum amount of child support or "vital minimum" is the amount that the parents must contribute to cover the most essential expenses for the care of the minor children.

According to the jurisprudence of the Provincial Courts in Spain: "this vital minimum constitutes a maintenance allowance in favour of the children that usually ranges between 150 and 200 euros, which is usually fixed by the Courts".

If I can prove that I have no resources, can I be exempted from paying child support?

No. The provision of child support for minor children is an unavoidable obligation of parental authority.

Even in situations in which the parents find themselves in a difficult economic situation, even precarious, it should be taken in mind that the duty to provide child support is a natural right and is one of the obligations with more ethical content of the Spanish legal system, as set out in Article 39.3 of the Spanish Constitution.

Therefore, lack of financial means is no excuse. What can be requested is a contribution proportional to income, for example, 70-30% or the modulation finally established by the Court.

This has been established by various provincial courts, including those of Girona, Barcelona, Vigo, Pontevedra, Vizcaya, La Coruña, Seville, Madrid... The Courts have also established that both parents must contribute with a minimum amount to meet the basic needs of the child.

Should I pay child support to the mother or the father of the child?

The beneficiary of the child support is the child, so more and more often the Family Courts are determining that child support should be paid into a joint account in which the expenses of the common child, including the ordinary expenses and the necessary extraordinary expenses, will be paid by direct debit.

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