In today’s article we analyze a successful case where we overturned a client’s child support obligation. One of the most common effects derived from cases of separation or divorce is the Settlement Agreement (Convenido Regulador) . Mandatory for both spouses, this document sets out the rights and obligations of both parties in the long term. Visitation regime. Attribution of the habitual residence. Custody of pets, etc. We answer one of the questions most frequently asked in our office: Is it possible to stop the child maintenance? Which are the necessary requirements to do so?
For how long does child maintenance have to be paid?
The purpose of child support is simple. To contribute to the maintenance, clothing, housing, medical care and education of the children. There is a widespread belief that once children reach the legal age, there is no longer an obligation to pay child support. This is not correct. There is no age limit set by law. In other words, maintenance continues for as long as there is financial dependency. Because reaching legal age is not synonymous with finding a stable job that allows one to provide for oneself. For this reason, it is necessary to study the specific characteristics of each case.
How to modify the measures adopted in the Settlement Agreement?
Article 91 of the Spanish Civil Code establishes that the measures approved in a Settlement Agreement “may be modified when circumstances change substantially”. In order to modify the measures, jurisprudence requires prove that:
- That there has been an objective change in the situation existing when the measures were approved.
- That the circumstances on which the claim is based are subsequent to the divorce decree.
- That this change is not temporary. It must have a certain vocation of permanence, and it must also be unexpected and not caused by the petitioner.
Of course, in addition to all of the above, the most important thing will be to prove that these new circumstances do exist. And, more importantly, that these changes are significant enough to modify the measures approved at the time.
Real case. Modification of measures to stop child maintenance.
Let’s analyse the case. Divorce judgment in which both parents, by mutual agreement, ratify a Settlement Agreement that sets a maintenance allowance. Given that the child lives with the mother, in accordance with art. 93 and 142 of the Spanish Civil Code, a maintenance allowance of €360 per month is agreed. It is stipulated that this alimony will continue when the child reaches the legal age, as long as the child continues with his studies.
Two years after the divorce decree, our client learns that his son’s situation has changed. He does not live with his mother anymore. He has become emancipated. And he is financially independent, working full-time. He has also dropped out of school. In the trial, during the examination of the evidence, all these circumstances are proven by documentary and testimonial evidence. Therefore, the judge rules in favour of our client, and agrees to stop the child maintenance. If you wish to consult the judgement, you can do so through this link.
If you have to pay child support, but the circumstances that led to its approval have changed, contact us. Any significant change (financial capacity of the parties, your child’s personal and employment circumstances, etc.) could allow us to overturn the fixed child maintenance. We will provide you with expert advice on the matter.
The information provided in this article is not intended as legal advice, but merely conveys information relating to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
White & Baos 2022 – All Rights Reserved.