For a complete English guide to family law in Spain go to: Divorce in Spain
In Spain, a divorce does not in any way reduce the financial responsibilities that a parent has towards their child. The parent continues to be liable to provide that which is necessary for the sustenance, housing, education, clothing and medical provision of their children.
This responsibility does not disappear upon reaching the age of 18 but it does change in the sense that:
- The right to maintenance is no longer unconditional
- For the right to continue proof of a continuing need is required
- The amount may reduce to a minimum
- There is no longer a preference over other relatives
Indeed the maintenance payments will continue indefinitely if a child is unable to otherwise survive economically or if their education has not been completed or if they are unable to find a job through no fault of their own. The payments are normally a fixed cash amount paid monthly and the amount to pay depends on the following criteria:
- the child’s needs
- the economic resources of the parent
- the economic resources of the other parent
Although both parents are liable economically for their children, typically it is the non-custodial parent that pays child maintenance unless there is shared custody whereupon a joint fund is normally established into which both parents pay and withdraw when they have custody of the children.
The law does not prescribe any specific amount that must be paid but a court will take into consideration the income and expenses of each of the spouses so that proportionality may be applied. Furthermore, should the circumstances of either parent change then any agreement or court order may be revisited such that the amount payable by the parent is increased or decreased accordingly. The maintenance sum will also vary according to the IPC or inflation rate.
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