One of the most conflictive points in divorce cases is usually the establishment of child maintenance in favour of the children. We have addressed this issue on several occasions. From the possibility of terminating alimony when there is no relationship between parents and children. To a recent successful court case in which our firm managed to finish child maintenance under art. 91 of the Civil Code. In today’s article we analyse how to stop child maintenance from another perspective: disinterest in working and lack of effort in the studies of the beneficiaries.
Child maintenance and majority of age: Until what moment must alimony be paid?
First, we must clarify that, contrary to popular belief, the coming of age of children does not automatically terminate the obligation to pay child maintenance. If the beneficiary (the child) is still studying and lacks the means to subsist on his/her own, the parent is obliged to continue paying child maintenance.
It is clearly stated in art. 142 of the Civil Code: “Maintenance also includes the education and instruction of the beneficiary while he/she is a minor and even afterwards if he/she has not completed his/her education for reasons for which he/she is not responsible.”
Causes for termination of child maintenance: Art. 152 of the Civil Code.
However, this obligation is restricted by certain limits. Article 152 of the Spanish Civil Code establishes a number of situations where the responsibility to provide maintenance terminates. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the causes set out in paragraphs 3 and 5.
“3. When the beneficiary is able to exercise a trade, profession, or industry.”
“5.º When the beneficiary is a descendant of the person obliged to provide maintenance, and the need of the former arises from misconduct or lack of application to work, while this cause subsists”.
In other words, if the alimony recipient is able to exercise a profession or demonstrates a lack of application to work or study, the obligation to provide maintenance disappears. This is illustrated by several court precedents that we will analyse below.
Lack of application in academic studies.
Judgment of the Supreme Court 298/2018 of 24 May 2018. A father is sentenced to pay a pension of 350€ per month to his 19-year-old daughter, a chemistry student. 11 years later, his daughter (30 years old) is still studying her degree, without a clear forecast of when she will finish her studies. In view of this situation, and considering the father’s economic and personal circumstances, his daughter’s poor academic performance, etc., the Court agreed to stop child maintenance.
Lack of interest and concern for entering the labour market.
Son of 28 years of age, who has been receiving maintenance for the last 21 years. Given that he was not studying and not actively seeking employment, the Provincial Court of Pontevedra considered he had no real interest in finding work and annulled the alimony. Something similar happened in a judgment handed down by the Provincial Court of Ourense, concerning a 24 year’s old son, unemployed and not registered as a job seeker. He was also enrolled at the University, but he did not take any exams. The Court also decided to stop child maintenance.
Although the obligation to pay child alimony continues when the child reaches the majority of age, under certain circumstances it is possible to stop child maintenance. At White-Baos Abogados we are experts in Family Law. If you have any doubts on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will study your case and offer you expert legal advice.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys information relating to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos.
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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