How to Calculate Child Support and Spousal Support in Germany
How to use the calculator for support payments:
Key in information about the spouses
The income of a spouse comprises her or his net income and, if applicable, other forms of income. The amounts must be
entered for each spouse. The support-relevant net income
is the result of the earned income minus a fixed deduction for work-related costs, usually around 5%. The relevant
net income is further reduced for the benefit of the working spouse ("Erwerbstätigenbonus"), depending on the
jurisdiction. You can decide if you want to calculate spousal support. Unselect the checkbox marked
"Calculate spousal support" in the calculator. Select or deselect whether the
equal-ranking support in the destribution
is to be taken into account.
If "Calculate spousal support" is selected and the appropriate income and child support requirements allow it,
a priority need for the dependent spouse may be
applied in the calculation.
Key in information about the children that are entitled to child support
Enter the age of each dependent child or remove it. If the child receives an income
(eg training remuneration, interest income from capital assets),
the creditable portion must be entered. Additional costs (eg schooling fees, kindergarten fees,
piano lessons) can also be taken into account. It is possible to indicate whether children between 18 and 21 years old
are still attending a primary and secondary education. For children up to the age of 17 you have to indicate the parent,
with whom the child predominantly lives or Both (
In the case of "Both" you have to indicate which parent
receives the child benefit. "Household" indicates that the child lives in an own household.
How to read the calculator results
In this support calculator the amount of support to be received
by one spouse will be marked positive (in brackets).
The same amount, to be paid out by the other spouse, will be then marked negative (in brackets). The sum of all support
obligations/claims is calculated and indicated separately for each spouse.
Notes on the results of the support calculator
The following special cases can occur during the support calculation, which are displayed in red as a note to the result:
Calculation of support
Guidelines for support needs
After a separation or divorce, the less earning spouse can, in principle, demand
spousal support (post-marital support or separation support).
This is based on the support-relevant net income.
The spouse who takes care of the minor children
can claim child support.
Since January 1, 2008, a new ranking of dependents with regards to the right to support has been established:
minors now have priority.
This applies to children who are of full age
but still attending school, so-called privileged adult children. This is different when compared to adult children;
both parents are always required to pay cash. For the calculation of the monthly support entitlement, the current
"Düsseldorfer Tabelle" is the basis for assessment.
In the event where not all claims of the dependents can be paid by the providing spouse without undersupplying
his/her own income after deductions, special regulations will apply. The deductible amount
is also calculated using the "Düsseldorfer Tabelle".
Any other support obligations which are to be granted in addition to child support or spousal support are
not taken into account in this support calculator.
Support-relevant net income
The net income of both spouses is taken into account when calculating both child and spousal support.
The support-relevant net income is usually lower than the net income, due to the deduction of other payables such as taxes,
health and unemployment insurance, etc. For this support calculator, a lump sum of 5% is deducted from the income tax.
Has the taxpayer income from capital assets or from non-employment, this share is added to the deductible income
as additional income without deduction.
For the exact calculation, while also taking into consideration special cases such as
it would be wise to discuss the facts of your individual case with a lawyer.
Discount and surcharge for persons subject to support
The "Düsseldorfer Tabelle"
suggests that amounts are calculated in such a way that the one under obligation to pay alimony
has two dependents. If the number of dependents for whom a spouse has to pay
or spousal support is greater than two
then a supplement will apply and in the other case of the number of dependents being less than two, a discount will apply.
Whether a discount or supplement is granted, child support is calculated from a higher or lower income level from the
Calculation of child support
Calculation of support for a minor child
Minors are classified as children under the age of 18. The child depends on the mother or father for basic needs
such as food etc. The parent (mother or father) which is responsible for his or her support by means of care and education
is generally not required to pay cash. The basis for the calculation of child support for minors depends on the
support-relevant net income of the non-child bearing, non-supervising parent
and also the age of the child. Taking the discounts or surcharges into account,
the child support is calculated from the current "Düsseldorfer Tabelle".
In this case, the state child benefit is paid to the supervising parent and, if applicable, an income earned by a child
is split between both parents in the calculation. A supplementary supplement is to be paid pro-rata by both parents according
to their ability to pay the support for minors. If the child is not co-insured in a statutory health insurance, then additional
health and long-term care insurance premiums may be payable by the main provider. These additional payments are not taken
into account in the calculation of this support.
Calculation of support for an adult child
Adult children are classified as 18 years or over. Whereas children under the age of 21 who are still attending a general
school (for example, gymnasium) are classified as privileged adult children and are equal to minor children. In this
only adult children who are not married and do not have their own household are taken into account. In the case of adult
children, both parents are always required to pay cash. The support amount for the adult child is based on the eligible
total net income of the parents, which is used as the reference value for the income level in the
"Düsseldorfer Tabelle" while excluding
discounts or surcharges. A supplementary requirement increases
the need for support. If the adult child is not covered by
statutory health insurance, additional supplementary health and long-term care insurance contributions are added. The
provision of food, whether it is from the mother or father is not important or relevant in the calculation of the
child support. The state child benefit
and, if necessary, an income of the child will be included in full in the calculation. If both parents are capable to pay,
the remaining child support is distributed to both parents in proportion to the
net income that is relevant to support.
If only one parent is capable to pay by these calculations, the parent’s support-relevant net income is used as the reference
value for the calculation of the child support, while also taking into account any relevant deductions or surcharges from the
“Düsseldorf Tabelle”. If the appropriate retention are taken from the
deductible net income of the dependent parent after subtraction of all cash support obligations, the child support for
non-privileged minor children will be correspondingly reduced in the support calculator.
Support calculation for the alternating model ("Wechselmodell")
The alternating model ("Wechselmodell") can only be implemented for
If no focus of the actual care of an minor child can be determined, i.e. both parents take care in almost equal parts,
a alternating model ("Wechselmodell") exists. Under the alternating model ("Wechselmodell"), the liability shares for
child support are calculated for both parents according to their ability to pay, as in the case
of support calculation for adult children. The necessary deductible for minors or privileged adult children is taken into
account. One parent receives the child benefit. From the difference between the support obligations and taking into account
who receives the child benefit ("mother" or "father"), a compensation payment is calculated, which one parent has to pay
to the other parent.
Consideration of equal-ranking support in distribution
In this support calculator it can be set whether or not equal-ranking child obligations should also be deducted from the
net income of the spouse liable for support before the distribution of common support obligations.
However, this option is only available if there are support obligations for at least one
privileged adult child.
The Higher Regional Courts
may have different views on this. Whether or not equal-ranking child support is deducted before distribution may lead to
different results in the calculation of support. In the case of activation, child support is calculated for non-privileged
adult children by deducting from the maintenance-relevant income, in addition to the appropriate deductible and the
support obligations towards the privileged children, the support requirements of the other equal-ranking
non-privileged adult children.
Deficiency case in the support calculation
An absolute deficiency case occurs when the income of the dependent is incapable of meeting the necessary personal needs and the support
entitlements of the minor and privileged children. The amount of necessary (deductibles)
are provided by the "Düsseldorfer Tabelle" for each non-employed or employed person.
In the event of a deficiency, this support calculator distributes
the available distribution mass to the dependents in relation to the amount of their support entitlements. In the event of a deficiency case,
further special regulations apply, which are not covered in detail in the support calculator.
Calculation of spousal support
Separation support and post marital support
In the case of spousal support, a distinction is made between separation support and post-marital support.
The subsequent support takes effect after the legally binding divorce and can be limited in time,
whereas the support provided throughout the separation period may be indefinite. As a rule, support payments
do not differ between both these periods of separation and post-marital. The basis for the calculation of the spousal support
is the support-relevant net income
of both the dependent and independent parties. In this support calculator
support claims of a subordinated divorced spouse or parents are not taken into account.
Employee bonus for the calculation of spousal support
In this support calculator,
it is assumed that the disposable income is obtained from full employment but also other income is
applicable too for e.g. housing benefit, interest income from capital assets and income from non-employment.
The principle of separation is fundamental to the calculation of spousal support. The principle by law states that each
spouse is entitled to half of the combined overall support-relevant net income.
However, in the calculation of the spousal support, an employee’s bonus is taken into account for each spouse, which is
intended as an incentive to gain full employment. If a spouse also provides child support for a dependent child, the
support-relevant net income is adjusted before the employment bonus is considered in the calculation for the child support.
In Southern Germany and in the district of Saarbrücken, the employment bonus is 1/10, but in all other OLG districts it is
1/7. The employment bonus of 1/7 combined with the principle of division leads to the 3/7 regulation:
the spouse’s pension is 3/7 of the difference from the remaining income. The differences in calculation methods are due to
a historical significance and do not affect the end result which is identical for both methods.
Calculate consideration of priority needs for spousal support
Whether the priority need for spousal support is taken into account, the courts judge differently depending
on the given circumstances. In this support calculator, the priority
need for spousal support can be applied to the
adult children in the spousal support calculation. However, this option
is available only if the following conditions are met:
- There is a support demand of at least one adult child
- There is a claim for spousal support
The sum of the calculated spousal support and the
support-relevant net income of the spouse entitled to support is below the
appropriate Retention ("Selbstbehalt")
- The entitlement to spousal support does not only arise by covering the minimum need level of the spouse entitled to support
If the priority need for spousal support is taken into account, the maintenance claim to be paid is limited by
the fact that the sum of the calculated spousal support and the
support-relevant net income
of the spouse
entitled to support does not exceed the appropriate
Retention ("Selbstbehalt") in calculating support
Retention ("Selbstbehalt") in calculating child support
A minor child (under 18 years old) or a
privileged adult child (above 18 years old,
still attending school, still living with parents) has priority over a non-privileged adult child and the dependent
spouse. When a minor or a privileged adult child is in need of support, the retention amount depends on whether
the person responsible for paying the support is employed. The support payment to a non-privileged adult child takes
lower priority than that of the spouse. This calculator first determines the support for minors, privileged adult
children, and the spouse, before determining the support for non-privileged adult children. The non-privileged adult
child support is determined by calculating the difference between the relevant net income and the above payments.
If the payments to the minor, privileged and spousal parties end up being insufficient, the child support for the
non-privileged adult child will be reduced.
Retention ("Selbstbehalt") in calculating spousal support
If the providing spouse ends up with a retention amount that is less than the dependent spouses entitlement after the
child support of the minor and the privileged adult children is considered in the calculation, the dependent spousal
support is reduced. In the situation where the remaining income of the dependent spouse is less than that of the
providing spouse, there is no entitlement.
Nodes and restrictions on calculation of support payments:
The German family law basis for support calculations
Civil Code (BGB)
This support calculator
takes into account the provisions of the German Civil Code (BGB), the relevant provisions then apply
to the individual’s calculation of child support or spousal support.
§ 1603 Capacity::
Support obligations, taking into account a necessary or appropriate retention ("Selbstbehalt").
§ 1606 Sentences of several responsive for support::
Parents obligations to care for their minor children.
§ 1609 Ranking of several dependents::
Ranking of the support payments to the dependents in the event of a deficiency in the support of the retention.
§ 1612b Coverage of needs by child benefit::
Consideration of child benefit for a minor, privileged adult or adult child.
Guidelines for the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht, OLG):
In addition to the statutory requirements, guidelines are issued on the most uniform jurisprudence within one or several OLG districts.
The competent higher regional court (Oberlandesgericht, OLG) depends on the general place of residence of the dependent.
In southern Germany, the
family law of the "Familiensenate" (SüdL)
is valid. In this support calculator
these support guidelines will be implemented to the extent that they contain specifications
for the calculation of child support and spousal support.
Higher regional court (Oberlandesgericht, OLG) with South German Guidelines (SüdL):
- OLG-District: Oberlandesgericht Bamberg
- OLG-District: Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe
- OLG-District: Oberlandesgericht München
- OLG-District: Oberlandesgericht Nürnberg
- OLG-District: Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart
- OLG-District: Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart
Maintaining legal guidelines of the other higher regional courts (Oberlandesgerichte, OLG):
In this support calculator, the currently selected
represents the basis for the support calculation. This is based on the existence of two dependents as a basis. In a case concerning
a different number of dependents, this will be taken into account and discounts or surcharges will be made during the calculation.
Special features of the maintenance calculation based on the Düsseldorfer Table from 2022 onwards
The Düsseldorfer Tabelle 2022 was published on December 12, 2021. A significant change is that the
assessment basis for child support and
has been adjusted for higher incomes. Until 2021, 10 income groups were established with a maximum
support-relevant net income of €5500 as of 2018.
A higher income of the dependent did not further increase child maintenance or spousal maintenance. With the publication of the Düsseldorfer Tabelle 2022,
15 income groups with a maximum support-relevant net income of €11000 will be set in the future. The effects are incorporated in the
support calculator 2023 when selecting the year 2022
and for all subsequent years.
Special features of the “Düsseldorfer Tabelle” 2015 and 2019
During the year 2015 and 2019, the “Düsseldorfer Tabelle” was updated once again on 2015/08/01 and in 2019 on 2019/09/01.
Only the last updated tables are used when selecting the year 2019 or 2015. Due to explicit legal regulations, the child support amounts from 2014 are to be used
as the basis for calculating the payment amount for 2015. This special feature is taken into account when calculating child support in this child support calculator. This table is only considered when the year 2015 support
Guidelines by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH)
Some specific cases regarding child and spousal support are decided by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) and are therefore legally binding.
These requirements are not considered in this support calculator. They refer to specific circumstances of living conditions, in particular
some deficiency or degradation of a living condition.