Questions and Answers on alimony advance

What is the alimony advance?

With the advance on maintenance payments, the state assumes the maintenance payment for the minor child temporarily or for a longer period of time in place of the liable parent in the event of default, in order to avert financial hardship and quickly close the liquidity gap that arises.

The Federal Government covers 40% of the benefits and the Länder 60%.

When can I get an advance on maintenance payments?

The prerequisite is that the parent with whom the child lives is a single parent.

If the parents are married, an advance on alimony can be paid from the time of separation - a divorce is irrelevant. Partners live separately if there is no domestic community between them and one partner clearly does not want to establish it because he or she rejects the cohabitation. It is not necessary for one partner to move out to separate. However, experience has shown that the advance maintenance payment funds then check the eligibility requirements more strictly. The claim is not applicable if the caring parent remarries and only comes into existence again when the new spouse is physically separated. The single parent is entitled to the advance maintenance payment regardless of his or her own income situation. Even if the other parent is completely unknown or has dropped out completely, e.g. in the case of half-orphans, the advance maintenance payments are paid. Half orphan's allowance is credited against the advance maintenance payment. Basically it does not matter whether the child was conceived by a one-night-stand or in a long-term relationship. The caring parent does not owe an explanation of the reasons for the separation from the other parent, nor for his or her unwillingness or inability to pay. However, it is important to note that the separation is unplanned for the caring parent. The comprehensive protection provided by a state advance payment without a means test is limited where the mother herself planned to conceive by means of an anonymous sperm donation (e.g. in vitro with an anonymous sperm donation abroad) and helped to plan the loss of the child's father as a maintenance payer. In this case, the unforeseeability of the loss of maintenance is missing. Then the possibility remains of applying for SGB II benefits, which is closed to mothers who, from their own income or assets, can cover not only their own needs but also those of the child.

Is the nationality or residence of the child in Germany decisive for the advance on maintenance payments?

The entitlement is not limited to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, but also applies according to the European law provisions on the free movement of workers if the child lives with the single parent in another EU country and the single parent works as a cross-border commuter in Germany in a not only marginal employment relationship. 

It is not a prerequisite that the child has German nationality. In addition to children with German citizenship or citizenship of another EU country and who are entitled to freedom of movement, the following groups are also entitled according to § 1 Absatz 2a Unterhaltsvorschussgesetz:

(2a) Ein nicht freizügigkeitsberechtigter Ausländer hat einen Anspruch nach Absatz 1 oder Absatz 1a nur, wenn er oder sein Elternteil nach Absatz 1 Nummer 2

1. eine Niederlassungserlaubnis oder eine Erlaubnis zum Daueraufenthalt-EU besitzt,
2. eine Blaue Karte EU, eine ICT-Karte, eine Mobiler-ICT-Karte oder eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis besitzt, die für einen Zeitraum von mindestens sechs Monaten zur Ausübung einer Erwerbstätigkeit berechtigen oder berechtigt haben oder diese erlauben, es sei denn, die Aufenthaltserlaubnis wurde

    a) nach § 16e des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zu Ausbildungszwecken, nach § 19c Absatz 1 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zum Zweck der Beschäftigung als Au-Pair oder zum Zweck der Saisonbeschäftigung, nach § 19e des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zum Zweck der Teilnahme an einem Europäischen Freiwilligendienst oder nach § 20 Absatz 1 und 2 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zur Arbeitsplatzsuche erteilt,
    b) nach § 16b des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zum Zweck eines Studiums, nach § 16d des Aufenthaltsgesetzes für Maßnahmen zur Anerkennung ausländischer Berufsqualifikationen oder nach § 20 Absatz 3 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes zur Arbeitsplatzsuche erteilt und er ist weder erwerbstätig noch nimmt er Elternzeit nach § 15 des Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetzes oder laufende Geldleistungen nach dem Dritten Buch Sozialgesetzbuch in Anspruch,
    c) nach § 23 Absatz 1 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes wegen eines Krieges in seinem Heimatland oder nach den §§ 23a, 24 oder § 25 Absatz 3 bis 5 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes erteilt,

3. eine in Nummer 2 Buchstabe c genannte Aufenthaltserlaubnis besitzt und im Bundesgebiet berechtigt erwerbstätig ist oder Elternzeit nach § 15 des Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetzes oder laufende Geldleistungen nach dem Dritten Buch Sozialgesetzbuch in Anspruch nimmt,
4. eine in Nummer 2 Buchstabe c genannte Aufenthaltserlaubnis besitzt und sich seit mindestens 15 Monaten erlaubt, gestattet oder geduldet im Bundesgebiet aufhält oder
5. eine Beschäftigungsduldung gemäß § 60d in Verbindung mit § 60a Absatz 2 Satz 3 des Aufenthaltsgesetzes besitzt.

 
 

How does the application for an advance on maintenance payments proceed?

The maintenance advance funds exist at the youth welfare offices.

The caring parent does not have to chase after the defaulting other parent himself/herself, but should be able to concentrate on childcare tasks and his/her own professional career. However, he or she must cooperate with the maintenance advance fund and provide evidence of the personal efforts required to collect child support. This also includes identifying and naming the other parent, or in the case of a one-night stand, the man potentially eligible as the father of the child, and - in the further course of the proceedings - possibly also conducting paternity and child support proceedings before the family court. Very strict requirements are sometimes imposed by the advance maintenance payment funds on the fulfilment of the obligation to cooperate. In order to ensure that advance maintenance payments are approved and continue to be paid in the long term, the parent caring for the child should work together with the maintenance advance fund with as much commitment as possible. The maintenance advance fund is responsible for the collection of the maintenance arrears from the parent who is actually responsible for maintenance, and the maintenance claim is transferred to this fund by law to the extent of the maintenance advance payment made by it. The maintenance advance fund itself has the power to have the claim to back child support and also the child's current maintenance claim against the parent who is obliged to pay cash maintenance determined by court.

 

How much is the alimony advance?

The advance on maintenance payments is intended to provide only a basic provision and, irrespective of the income of the parent liable for cash maintenance, only covers the minimum maintenance (reduced by the full amount of child benefit) in accordance with

Even if the parent who is obliged to pay cash maintenance has a high income and child maintenance has therefore been set at a higher level in the Düsseldorf table, the minimum amount of maintenance remains the same for the advance on maintenance. In contrast to the payment amount according to the Düsseldorf table, where only half of the child benefit is deducted, the whole child benefit is deducted for the advance maintenance payment. The minimum monthly alimony is

1. in der ersten Altersstufe bis zum vollendenten sechsten Lebensjahr 393 € ab dem 1. Januar 2021,
2. in der zweiten Altersstufe vom sechsten bis zum 12. Lebensjahr 451 € ab dem 1. Januar 2021,
3. in der dritten Altersstufe vom 12. bis zum vollendeten 18. Lebensjahr 528 € ab dem 1. Januar 2021.

Hiervon ist jeweils das Kindergeld in voller Höhe abzuziehen, das im Jahr 2021 für ein erstes und zweites Kind 219 €, für ein drittes Kind 225 € und für jedes weitere Kind 250 € beträgt..

Beispiel:

Der Unterhaltsvorschuss für ein Kind, das acht Jahre alt ist, und für das Kindergeld für ein drittes Kind bezogen wird, beträgt im Jahr 2021 also 226 € (= 451 €- 225 €).

For how long can I get the advance on maintenance payments?

The entitlement to claim exists without restriction for the period up to the child's 12th birthday.

In addition, a claim to benefits up to the child's 18th birthday exists only if no social welfare benefit according to SGB II (so-called Hartz IV) is drawn for the child or if the need for assistance could be avoided by the maintenance payment and the caring parent himself or herself earns an income of at least € 600 - whereby the child benefit is not taken into account. In the past, the advance maintenance payment was limited up to this age of the child and was also limited to a benefit period of 72 months. This maximum period of payment has been abolished by the reform on 01.07.2017 (§§ 1, 2 Unterhaltsvorschussgeldgesetz). 

Rechtsanwalt Wolfgang Sattler, Fachanwalt für Familienrecht und Fachanwalt für Sozialrecht

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