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Alimony was created to limit the disparities that may exist within a family following  a separation  . What are the different criteria used to determine its amount?

The different forms of alimony

Alimony exists within an exclusively family framework, that is to say recognized by the Civil Code. This includes ascendants (parents, in-laws, grandparents, etc.), descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) and spouses. The Civil Code does not recognize cohabitation. Divorced spouses can ask for alimony under the duty of relief and if they are separated, they will ask for a  contribution  to the expenses of the marriage.

How is it calculated?

Alimony is not a percentage of a salary. We will compare the needs of the one who claims it and the state of fortune of the one who will pay for it. Account will therefore be taken of resources (salaries, income from property, family allowances, income from assets, etc.) and absolutely necessary current expenditure (housing, taxes, food costs, education of children, etc.). This is a very precise assessment made on a case-by-case basis and the magistrate, if called upon, may possibly take into account the living environment (which may be easier from one family to another) and also if the recipient of the alimony has possibly remarried or is cohabiting.

What about children?

There is a reference table for contributions due to children. This table is based on three essential criteria: the debtor’s income, the number of dependent children and the mode of custody (normal, alternate or reduced). This reference table is not mandatory and can be revised according to the reality of the child’s needs.
The amount of the pension per child is calculated in proportion to the income, net of the subsistence minimum (€514), of the debtor parent. This proportion is different according to the total number of dependent children of the debtor parent (regardless of the union from which they come) and the extent of the right of access and accommodation (reduced, classic or alternate without sharing of the burdens spontaneous).
For example, a debtor parent with an income of €1,000, 2 dependent children, who exercises a classic right to housing for his two children, the amount of the pension will be calculated as follows (subject to the judge’s assessment): AP =
( 1000 – 514) = 486; 486 x 0.115 = €56 per child (a total of €112 for both children)

What is the process?

In the event of an amicable agreement, it is possible to regularize an “amicable separation pact” which will freeze the question of the amount of maintenance between spouses or for children. When this agreement is not possible, you have the possibility of making a request to the family affairs judge of the regional court. The latter will render a judgment or order immediately enforceable, even in the event of an appeal, and non-compliance with which may be sanctioned.

Can it evolve?

The amount of alimony changes naturally since it is linked to changes in the cost of living. The method of calculating this indexation is always specified in the court decision. It is possible to request the revision of this alimony when the initial criteria have been modified (unemployment, drop in resources, etc.). This revision can be revised upwards or downwards.
DAMY Law Firm , Nice, How to assess your alimony? 2022