International Family Law: German Child Maintenance guidelines of the higher regional courts 2024 updated

Summary of the updates effective from 1st January 2024 

Requirements rates for minor children

The increase in the requirements rates for minor children (1st – 3rd age group) is based on the increase in the minimum requirement in accordance with the Fifth Ordinance amending the Minimum Maintenance Ordinance of 30.11.2022. After the minimum requirement for 2023 had already been set by the Fourth Ordinance amending the Minimum Maintenance Ordinance of 30.11.2021, the minimum requirement for 2023 has been increased beyond this, taking into account the material subsistence minimum of a child according to the 14th subsistence minimum report.

From 1 January 2023, the minimum maintenance will be as follows

  • €437 for children in the 1st age group (up to the age of 18) (increase compared to 2022: €41),
  • for children in the 2nd age group (up to the age of 12) €502 (increase compared to 2022: €47),
  • for children in the 3rd age group (from the age of 13 to the age of majority) €588 (increase compared to 2022: €55).

These amounts correspond to the requirement rates of the first income group (up to €1,900) of the Düsseldorf table. The increase in the requirement rates of the first income group also leads to a change in the requirement rates of the following income groups. As in the past, they will be increased by 5% from the 2nd to the 5th group and by 8% of the minimum maintenance in each of the following groups.

Requirements rates for adult children and students

The requirements rates for adult children will also be increased as of 1 January 2023. As in 2022, they will amount to 125% of the needs rates for the 2nd age bracket.

The needs rate for a student child who does not live with their parents or a parent will be increased from €860 in 2022 to €930. This includes €410 housing costs (warm rent). If the parents’ living situation indicates a higher need, an upward deviation from the minimum need of €930 is possible.

Offsetting child benefit

In accordance with § 1612b BGB, child benefit must be offset against the child’s needs. This amounts to a standardised €250 per child in 2023. Compared to 2022, this means an increase of €31 for the 1st and 2nd child and €25 for the 3rd child.

As a rule, half of the child benefit is to be offset against the cash maintenance claim in the case of minor children and the full amount in the case of adult children. The amounts resulting after deduction of the child benefit portion are listed in the “Payment amount table” in the appendix to the table.

Increase in deductibles

The deductibles, which were last increased on 1 January 2020, will be increased on 1 January 2023. The necessary personal requirement to be left to the maintenance debtor is €1,120 (instead of the previous €960) for the non-employed maintenance debtor and €1,370 (instead of the previous €1,160) for the employed maintenance debtor. When calculating the necessary deductible, a requirement rate of €502 corresponding to the citizen’s allowance was taken into account. The necessary deductible applies to maintenance claims according to the first income group of underage children and so-called privileged adult children up to the age of 21 who live in the household of their parents or one of their parents and are in general school education, § 1603 Para. 2 BGB. The necessary deductible includes accommodation costs (warm rent) of up to € 520.

From 1 January 2023, the appropriate deductible for other claims to child maintenance is €1,650 (previously €1,400), § 1603 para. 1 BGB.

The reasonable deductible of €1,650 includes housing costs of €650 (warm rent – “Warmmiete”).

The personal requirement (“Eigenbedarf”) in relation to the spouse’s claims amounts to €1,385 (previously €1,180) as of 1 January 2023, and €1,510 (previously €1,280) if the person liable for maintenance is gainfully employed. This includes housing costs of €580 (warm rent). The deductibles are to be increased if the actual housing costs exceed the housing costs of the respective deductibles and are not unreasonable. From 1 January 2023, the minimum requirement of the spouse is €1,120, or €1,370 if the spouse is gainfully employed.

Links to OLG Guidelines

On 1 January 2024, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (“Oberlandesgericht Duesseldorf”) updated the “Düsseldorf table“. The family senates of the higher regional courts have since adjusted the maintenance tables for child maintenance accordingly.

Each table for the guide lines can be found on the following links:

The Higher Regional Courts use the maintenance guidelines as a guide for standard cases. They are primarily intended to standardise the case law of the senates. However, they have no binding effect and in particular do not replace the examination of the individual case.


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