child maintenance

Child Maintenance in Germany Post Brexit and Covid

Support for single parents through the Advance Maintenance Act

Since the expansion of the Advance Maintenance Act (“Unterhaltsvorschussgesetz ”) in 2017, almost 840,000 children of single parents in Germany have received the advance maintenance payment (“ Unterhaltsvorschuss ”).

This is twice as many as in 2017 and around 40,000 more children than in 2018. In total, the state spent EURO 2.31 billion / GBP ca. 2 billion / USD ca. 2.7 billion  on the maintenance advance in 2020, and in 2019 the expenditure was EURO 2.18 billion / GBP ca. 1.88 billion / USD 2.62 billion. New statistics from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Germany) (“ Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend“ ) with it’s current Minister , Franziska Giffey  also shows that the recourse rate remained constant in 2020 despite increasing advance payments.

Recourse rate constant at around 17%

This expanded maintenance advance scheme in Germany supports single parents who receive no or only irregular maintenance from the other parent after the separation. If the parent who is obliged to pay maintenance under German Maintenance rules is able to pay maintenance, the responsible maintenance advance offices will contact the parent and will request financial disclosure and will set the appropriate maintenance level and try to enforce these claims if necessary. On this basis, the maintenance advance offices recovered around 17% of the maintenance advance amounts paid in 2020. This is a total of EURO 384.7 million / GBP 336.2 million / USD 535.6 million in received maintenance payments, which corresponds to an increase of 6.7% compared to the previous year. Since the advance maintenance payments increased in 2020, the recourse rate remains constant compared to the previous year. The highest recourse rates in 2020 reached

·         Baden-Württemberg with 24%, followed by

·         Bavaria with 22% and

·         Rhineland-Palatinate with 21%.

The recourse rate is calculated from the ratio of income to expenditure in a calendar year. The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in Germany states that the constant rate shows their possibility to keep pace with the rise in the amounts paid and the beneficiaries.

Frank Arndt, says: “Due to the Covid pandemic and Brexit , it will be difficult for the German enforcement department to claim the same level of maintenance back from the absent parent ; as a consequence the children of single parents will suffer and  more application might be rejected or even delayed since 1.1.2021.”


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If you would like more details on this or want to discuss your family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact James, Frank, Evelyn or Paul. Paradigm Family Law offers a free initial consultation and our fixed fee solutions cover financial proceedings from start to finish. You can call us on 01904 217225 or email us to [email protected].