Every parent is legally obliged to provide for his or her children, unless they are able to provide for themselves. Usually, alimony or in other words child support, is paid by the parent who does not have the child entrusted in his or hers care.

How to set the amount of alimony?

The amount of child support depends on many factors, such as the reasonable needs of the child, parents standard of living, the income of parents and on the fact which of the parents  has the child entrusted in his care.

In order to make the decision-making as fair as possible, the Ministry of Justice has produced a table for child support. This table determines the percentage of a parents’ income that should belong to the child. It helps to get an idea of the approximate amount of child support due. The table can be used as an indicator for parents who want to agree on the amount of child support, as well as for those who want to resolve the situation in the court. Although the court is not legally bound by this table, it usually makes the decisions based on it.

The table with recommended amount of child support:

The age of the child1 child support obligation2 child support obligations3 child support obligations4 child support obligations
0-5 years14 %12 %10 %8 %
6-10 years16 %14 %12 %10 %
11-15 years18 %16 %14 %12 %
16 years and older20 %18 %16 %14 %

*Percentages mean percentages of the parent´s net income.*

The percentage of a parent´s net income that a parent has to pay also depends on how many children is he obligated to support.

Manual for the table

The Ministry of Justice prepared a Manual for the table, which is intended to help with the correct application of the table. The Manual explains that the amounts in the table are recommended, not mandatory. At the same time, it emphasizes that the table is applicable to standard cases. This means, that it cannot be applied, for example, in a situation where the child is seriously ill and the treatment of the illness requires higher costs. It also provides information on other special or extraordinary expenses that may need to be added to the basic child support amount.

Another important factor is that child support can be changed at any time if there is a reason to do so. The reason is usually a change in the child´s circumstances. These circumstances are mostly related to increasing age, which is also taken into account in the table, but it can also relate to an increase or decrease in the parent´s income etc.

The table is also not based only on the age of the child, but especially on the fact whether the child is still studying or not. Therefore if the child goes to university or not will also have a major impact on the amount of child support.

Setting the Alimony: Do I have to go to Court?

Parents who do not live together, are not married and can agree on the modalities of upbringing and the amount of alimony, do not need to start any court proceedings, nor produce any written agreement. However, at least basic written rules on how much alimony and how much time the child should spend with whom, is recommended.

Married parents who intend to divorce could make an agreement also, but such an agreement is subject to the approval of the court, which will examine whether the agreement is in the best interests of the child. Though in such cases, a reasonable agreement is usually approved by court.

In the case when married or unmarried parents could not agree on alimony or maintenance of the child, they can take legal action in court and let the could establish the amount of alimony.