Is there a minimum amount that the parent who is not with the children (noncustodial parent) must pay as maintenance (child support)?

Spanish minimum children maintenance alimony support Spain


Dear lawyers,

My ex partner has left home, and I live with our common daughter, who is 5 years old. He told me that he cannot help me with the costs of our “minor” daughter, because he does earn any money. Although he has assets, like a car, part of a house in Spain, etc.  Can I legally claim against him for some kind of allowance for our daughter?.

Dear Madam, your enquiry concerns Spanish Family Law and the existence of a minimum maintenance, alimony or child support in Spain

While there is no law in Spain that establishes a minimum amount to be paid as child support, Spanish judges and tribunals are in agreement about the need to set compensations to cover at least a minimum level for living. Therefore, in these cases where the noncustodial parents has no income, it is normal that the courts still establish child maintenance, alimony or allowance, in favor of the children under legal age.

It is understood that the parents always have the obligation and duty to cooperate and contribute to their childrens’ expenses, because minors have a number of vital needs that their parents are responsible for. The parent who is unemployed must find a job or take the necessary steps to make sure that they contribute and collaborate with the needs of their descendants at least with a minimum amount, which would be established by the courts and tribunals.

The absence of a legal article or rule specifying this minimum amount means that the minimum child maintenance depends on each court.  Since there isn’t  a uniform criteria for all courts,  we cannot give you an exact amount,  minimum Spanish child support could range between 120€ and 200€ a month, depending on where the children live.

Just for informative purposes, you should know that there is a note from the Spanish General Judiciary Council ( CGPJ), from June 2013, which includes some tables and scales to be used as guidance, with different children maintenance or allowance amounts to be paid, depending on the number of children, parents incomes, etc.  Although this note does not specify a minimum, it mentioned as an example that a noncustodial parent should pay about 197 € / month child maintenance and support for 1 child, assuming that the custodial parent had no income, and the non custodial parent had revenues of 700 € a month.

If you or someone you know are in a similar situation, we can help you.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.

Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

Spanish Lawyer solicitor attorney barrister.

Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta

White & Baos 2014 – All rights reserved

23 thoughts on “Is there a minimum amount that the parent who is not with the children (noncustodial parent) must pay as maintenance (child support)?

  1. Good day,

    I have a very tricky situation with my ex. We split about 4 years ago. He paid maintenance money for 2 years and only had her twice a week. He stopped because he thought we should just pay our own way. He has started having her on weekends too and now wants shared custody. I got a call from his lawyer the other day but with fury from his betrayal I denied to cooperate. I have refused because she has been with me mostly from day 1. If I get my own lawyer and this goes to court what are my odds of winning custody of my daughter?

    1. Good Evening,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The court will need to decide what is the most appropriate for the minor, and also, and depending of the age of the minor, the minor’s wishes could be also considered.

      If you need more information, please send us an email to:

      Best regards,

  2. Hi,
    I dated a girl for 7 months and at the end of the relationship she got pregnant. She decided by herself to keep the child and treatens me that I need to rent her a house, allowance because she is pregnant.

    Our relationship ended bad and she is still living with me. She had troubles with her roommates so I decided to help her which was a mistake. I rent the house by myself and the contract is on my name. Its obvious that she wants to take advantage of the situation.

    I am not married with her and only know her since 7 months. I would prefer she aborts but thats not only my choose. What are my rights in a case like this in a scenario where the child is born and she is not living here anymore.

    1. Thank you for your message.
      If you have a child, as per the Spanish Law, you will have some obligations: child maintenance, etc. About your rights and obligations, you could agree them with the mother, or if there is not agreement a court could decide about them.
      If you need legal advice please let us know.
      Best regards,

  3. My wife went to spain for vacation. Then she wouldn’t come home. She talked me into moving to Spain. After I got there she served me devorce papers three months later. Now she has court custody. Charging me over 2000$ a month. I cant even afford to see them anymore. I was never a resident of spain.

    1. Thank you for your message. Spanish court normally should be considered NO competent to deal with the divorce, if both of you, the marriage, you do not have your last family home in Spain; and you only have in Spain your holiday home. In any case, each divorce must be considered and studied individually.

  4. Hi my name is rona my partner and i had 3 years old son .we have been together for years and half .we have rent our own apartment under his and my name.suddenly after few months he just wanted to us to separate.i told him that i cant pay the rent alone that he should help me also with the child but he said he will only give me 245 per month and thats all.i am asian and living here in spain for 10 years and he is a full blood spanish..i wanted to know all my son’s right to avail a child support.he is a pentionaire and also working as well.he has a better salary than me

    1. Thank you for your message.
      If you are not married, but you will keep the custody of your son, you could claim him to pay a child maintenance. The child maintenance should be fixed according with your incomes and the father’s income. Also, must be bear in mind, the needs of the minor, expenses, etc.
      If you need assistance, our law firm could assist you to claim for the child maintenance, if you cannot come into an agreement.
      You could contact us in our email or telephone 0034 966429 185 or WhatsApp 0034 722 214482.

      Best regards,

  5. Hi, I am messaging on behalf of my daughter. Her husband walked out on her and their two and a half year old child 3 weeks ago saying he wanted a divorce. My daughter hasn’t worked since having her child and her husband is working. He left her with very little money and at the end of the month just before the rent was due and bills. He has told her he is only obliged to give her 200 a month and that includes, clothes, food and playschool fees. She has tried to come to a mutual agreement regarding visiting rights and maintenance for their child but he has now got his lawyer to send an agreement to my daughter which is different. He wants their child to stay 2 nights every fortnight and 2 afternoons a week. She has not denied him seeing their child but has insisted that until the agreement is approved and stamped by a notary, he can only see the child under her supervision. She doesn’t trust him not to take the child. He is insisting he sees the child alone. Is this legal when the agreement hasn’t yet been made. She cannot afford a lawyer for the whole process. His lawyer has also sent her the proposal (which wasn’t the same as they had agreed) and told her she is liable to pay half the costs.

    1. Thank you for your message.
      If they are not able to come into an agreement, they will need to ask the court to decide about what is fair and correct, and protects the minors interest.
      If your daughter cannot afford a lawyer, for the divorce court case, she can ask the law society for legal aid, so she could be entitled to be represented by a lawyer for free.
      Best regards,

  6. My Spanish daughter turned 18 this January and has now gone onto university. I have stopped paying the agreed maintenence costs to her mother and decided to pay what I can afford to support my daughter whilst at university directly to her and not her mother. Her mother is now threatening legal action saying I am obliged to continue maintenence for another 2 years what she is studying. Surely this cannot be right? She is over 18 and at university now.

    1. Thank you for your message.
      If there is a court order saying that the child maintenance must be paid to the mother’s bank account , you must fulfil it in the same terms, as agreed.

      Although there are some courts that understand that when the children are legal age, the maintenance must be paid to them directly, some other understand that could be understood as a breach of the family court decision, as it is not respecting its terms.
      If you do not want to have problems, you should pay as per the court decision or ask the court to allow you to pay directly to the children.

      Best regards,

      1. Thank you for your help. As my daughter in question is now 18 at at university does this mean I am legally responsible to pay maintenence and extra costs until she is financially independent or should this stop now as she is 18 and classed as an adult? Thank you.

  7. Hello, my husband has a daughter in Spain with his former partner and he has stopped paying the maintenance to the mother of his child because she was not using the money for the child — rather for herself. So he decided to give the money to his parents who see his daughter every week, while he is in the UK
    He has not been back to Spain in fear of being prosecuted and put in jail. His Spanish passport has been stolen which makes the stress worst as he worries that by going to the Spanish embassy they might not let him leave.

    Can he really be put in jail in Spain for not paying the fees?

    1. Thank you for you message.
      The court order should be fulfilled as per it own terms, in any case, this change could be asked to the court to be accepted.
      The lack of payment of the child maintenance in Spain could be a criminal offense.

      We can assist you, contact us to the email

  8. My daughter is 34, a Spanish resident and her boyfriend, resident of Spain, but works as a captain offshore and does not pay tax in Spain. He got her pregnant and left her as she wound abort the baby. He refuses to assist her financially. Can he be forced to? She is now 7 months pregnant and as her parents we are supporting her financially. She does not want to put his name on the birth certificate, should she?

    1. Thank you for your message. Yes, the father has obligation to pay child maintenance. But that child maintenance must be agreed by the parties or by the court. So, yes, the mother coudl claim for the child maintance. If you want, you could contact us in our email or at the telephone 0034 966 426 185, and book an appoitment to speak with one of your expert lawyers.

  9. I am filling for a divorce due to constant abuse from my ex wife. We have 3 children together, a house and a car which was bought by myself but in my wifes name because I was working abroad and didn’t have spain residency.

    I am currently unemployed and wife is receiving 1300euros family support benefits from the government, but she’s requesting 200 euros per child support from me, even though i have no income and staying with a friend. i can’t afford this among and refuse to sign a contract. Would this be an issue for me if we go to court, since shes earnings, shes got the house and the car and i have nothing. What do you advise i do? Also, is 200€ per child right? Since we have 3 children. Thank you

    1. Each case of divorce, separation etc. must be studied in detail.
      But, if one parent who has not the custody of the minor is not working or has a small income, normally in Spain, the court will ask, in any case, to pay a child maintenance, as the needs of the minors must be covered. But your full situation must be studied and reviewed in order to be able to give you advice.

  10. I appreciate that Spanish Law requires the non-custodial father pay child -support to the custodial mother. My question pertains whether the child maintenance and extraordinary support, like college tuition , can be paid directly to the child upon his/her reaching the age of majority (18 years).

    1. We understand that normally the answer is NO.

      Because this child maintenance normally will be stated and declared in a court decision. And normally, in that court decision, will be stated that must be paid to the mother who has the custody.

      So, the court decision must be fulfilled in its exact terms, and the child maintenance, should be pay to the mother, and for other reasons.

      Unless, the mother accepts to be paid directly to the children.

      IN any case, if you want us to study your case in detail, contact us.

  11. My ex partner would not allow be to return to my home country in the uk with my 5 year old. He insisted on a week on/ off. Regardless I took him to court to ask permission from the judge to leave. This was denied. He was ordered to pay half the school fees for my son but never did. Despite many promises to do so. Now my son is a teenager and has some psychological issues as well as epilepsy he no longer sees him very much. No birthdays or Christmas just the occasional trip to McDonald’s.

    I would like to know if the court documents that states 50/50 custody can be enforced? Or could he be made to pay child maintenance. We would much rather he took our son and spent time with him. Due to his epilepsy I cannot leave him for very long with a babysitter and would occasionally like some respite. I’ve tried to negotiate respite but he refuses to have our son stay at his house, even though he is only 15

  12. My Spanish husband has a 20 year old daughter with his ex wife. He paid 300 in child support until she was 16, where he and his ex-wife mutually agreed to lower the child support to 200, after my husband and I had two babies together. Instead of going to courts to officially change the amount, all parties agreed to simply lower it (also economic situations of the parents were quite different from the time of the divorce 15 years prior when child support was calculated, she was unemployed and he had a great job, she’s been employed now since 2017) we understood her agreement to the new amount of 200 to be to her benefit, as the courts may lower it significantly (at the time she had also taken her daughter out of the country for 2 years to south america without his permission and it was a sore delicate subject that we had contemplated on taking her to court.) He paid child support of 200 until she was 19 and dropped out of university and got a job. Four years later today his ex-wife served him with back payment child support for the full amount of 300 plus IPC (355 now) and wants continued child support even though his adult daughter works and isn’t going to school. What is the situation here? We were under the impression that mutual agreements between exes on child support, as long as they are above the minimum of 150, are okay in the eyes of the law? We’ve contacted a lawyer but this is completely coming from left field.

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