Exchange model: Under 50 percent maintenance is due

parent with less percent of caring time for child is liable to pay maintenance in cash

© ErikaWittlieb -


If one parent takes on a few percent less care after separation, doesn’t that matter? If a change model was agreed upon, yes. How a court sees it.

If parents who live separately agree on an alternating model for bringing up their children, this presupposes that they each look after their child 50 per cent of the time. A 45 percent to 55 percent split is no longer an alternating model. About a corresponding decision of the Berlin Court of Appeal (Az: 13 UF 89/16) and the resulting consequences, the Working Group on Family Law of the German Bar Association (DAV) informs.

In the case at hand, the separated parents were fighting over child support for their daughter, who lives with the mother. The mother cared for the daughter 55 percent of the time, the father 45 percent. He was therefore of the opinion that the parents practised a “near-half change model”. Therefore, the mother could not claim child support for the daughter.

It’s all in the fine details

He thought wrong: The mother is entitled to child support, the court ruled. She already fulfils her maintenance obligation by caring for and bringing up the child, and therefore only the father is liable to pay maintenance in cash.

It was not a case of a parity model, that is to say, a model of alternating maintenance on a 50/50 basis, which would entail an obligation to pay maintenance in cash on the part of both parents. The court assessed the father’s share of care as merely “extended contact.”

Only when each parent takes over about half of the care and upbringing tasks can one speak of an alternating model. Even if the share of one parent in care and maintenance slightly exceeds the share of the other, this is no longer the case.

Source: / dpa

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  • Children’s room: ErikaWittlieb -