Pay less alimony

Some alimony payers go to endless lengths to pay less alimony by concealing income o.a. In some cases all these efforts would not be necessary at all, if only the available possibilities would have been used consistently.

In the following we present you the most important tips and tricks, how one can achieve lower maintenance obligations in completely legal way.

Maintenance and car costs

It was already possible to pass on car expenses to the maintenance beneficiary. The prerequisite for this was and is that it was unreasonable for the person obligated to pay alimony to use public transportation such as buses and trains due to the distance between the place of work and the home or the poor transportation connections. Experience shows that the courts are generous in taking car expenses into account, especially if the obligor has already driven to work by car during the marriage.

As a rule, the guidelines of the higher regional courts take into account the travel costs at € 0.30 per kilometer driven as an income-reducing factor. In the case of longer distances, the kilometer amounts can be reduced.

The courts normally recognize 220 working days per year. Given a simple distance between home and work of 15 km, z. B. a maintenance debtor living in NRW can reduce his monthly net income by 165 EUR per month (220 working days x 15 km x 2 x 0,30 EUR / 12 months). Accordingly, the maintenance is reduced. Assuming he had a monthly income of 1.800,- EUR net, he would only have 90 EUR per month if he claimed the lump sum for work-related expenses. If one further assumes that he is obligated to support two children and a non-working wife, one can assume that he has 75 EUR more available per month by claiming the car costs, because he has to pay correspondingly less alimony.

Maintenance and liabilities

Debts worthy of consideration are to be deducted from the net income. This reduces the maintenance to be paid. Generally, debts are eligible for consideration if they were incurred during or before marital cohabitation by one spouse alone or by both spouses jointly, as long as they are paid off in reasonable installments under a reasonable repayment plan. The purpose of the credit is basically irrelevant.

This advance deduction applies not only to spousal support, but also to the determination of the support needs of minor children or children of equal status, since the loan installments used to pay off debts would not have been available for support purposes even if the family had continued to exist.

Alimony and capital formation expenses

Expenses for additional old-age provision can be claimed as income-reducing in the case of spousal maintenance in the amount of up to 4% of gross income (BGH – 11.05.2005 – XII ZR 211/02). This also applies to child support if the minimum level of support is guaranteed. In the case of parental maintenance, even 5% can be spent on additional old-age provision (BGH – 14.01.2004 – Ref: XII ZR 149/01). The way in which the additional old-age provision is made is optional (z.B. Financing of owner-occupied real estate, Riester pension, direct insurance, savings plan, fund savings, endowment life insurance, etc.).

In the case of income above the income threshold for statutory pension insurance, a further 18.6% can be taken into account to reduce income for additional old-age provision.

Maintenance and expenses for term life insurance

The costs of a term life insurance can be deducted in the determination of the maintenance-relevant income. Conclusion and continuation of such insurances ensure maintenance in case of death of the person obliged to provide maintenance. (OLG Munich – 14.01.2002 – Ref: 26 UF 1456/01; s.a. OLG Hamm – 24.01.2008 – Ref: 2 UF 166/07)

Child support and covered housing needs

If the children entitled to maintenance live in a home of their own, for which the person liable to pay maintenance bears all costs, the maintenance of the children resulting from the Dusseldorfer (Berlin) table can be reduced appropriately, since the living requirements of the children are covered to this extent (BGH – 06.02.2002 – REF. NO.: XII ZR 20/00).

Although this was judged for a home of one's own resp. a condominium, but this should also apply if the obligor pays the rent for the apartment or house in which the dependents live (so also: OLG Schleswig-Holstein – 04.06.1999 – 8 WF 15/99).

Occupational disability insurance

Premiums for occupational disability insurance are deductible when determining the income relevant to maintenance law (BGH – 27.05.2009 – XII ZR 111/08), as these serve to secure income.

Daily sickness benefit insurance

Daily sickness benefit insurance premiums are deductible when determining income for alimony calculation (BGH – 27.05.2009 – XII ZR 111/08).

Hotline – Can we help you?

If you still have questions about reducing maintenance, we offer a cost-effective and quick option. Call our hotline:

The cost is 2.99 € / minute from the fixed network of the German Telekom, calls from mobile networks can be significantly more expensive. You can reach one of our lawyers directly during office hours. As a rule, we can clarify your questions about the limitation of the maintenance claim in a few minutes.