From 1 September 2021 we will receive you in all our offices again, but by appointment only.

I have to pay maintenance allowance

FAQ I have to pay maintenance allowance

  • What does the intervention of DAVO/SECAL imply for me as a maintenance debtor?

    If your ex-partner has requested us to claim maintenance allowance (also called ‘alimony’) from you, we will notify you of this by letter. In this letter, we will also explain how the maintenance debt has been calculated.

    You do not agree with the debts mentioned in the letter?

    In that case, you have two options:

    • Provide evidence that you have already paid all or part of those debts.
    • Provide evidence that you should pay a lower monthly amount of maintenance allowancethan your ex-partner says.

    You do agree with the debts mentioned in the letter?

    In that case, you should pay the entire debt to your ex-partner within 15 days and send us the proof of payment immediately. Then we will not intervene and we will not charge any additional costs or interest.

    ARE YOU UNABLE TO PAY THE ENTIRE DEBT WITHIN 15 DAYS?

    In that case, wait until we send you a registered letter mentioning the official debt balance to be recovered.

    Warning:

    • After that, you will only be allowed to pay maintenance allowance to the DAVO/SECAL, and no longer directly to your ex-partner. If, after you have received our registered letter, you still make payments directly to your ex-partner, we will not be able to take these into account. You will then have to pay twice and try to recover the amount from your ex-partner yourself.
    • We will also charge you 13 % operating costs on top of the maintenance fee still to be paid.
    • In addition to the maintenance fee, default interest may be charged.
  • What can I do if I disagree with a decision made by DAVO/SECAL?

    If you do not agree with a decision of the DAVO/SECAL, you can appeal to the attachment judge.

  • When do I have to pay default interest?

    If you do not pay your maintenance debts in time, you will have to pay default interest.

    The interest calculation for DAVO/SECAL debts has been adjusted several times by a number of successive amendments to the law.

    Depending on your situation, we will therefore charge you a different interest rate. The exact interest rate to be applied depends, among other things, on:

    • the start date of the alimony case,
    • whether the maintenance creditor has already taken previous recovery actions,
    • ...

    Do you want to know which interest rate will be charged in your case? Contact one of our info centres.

  • I am unable to pay the maintenance debt at once. Can I be granted an instalment plan?

  • When will DAVO/SECAL stop intervening and will I again be able to pay my ex-partner directly, without the DAVO/SECAL charging operating costs?

    As long as we are intervening, you will have to pay to us instead of directly to your ex-partner, and this will involve operating costs. In certain cases, we will cease to intervene, either fully or partially.

    We will partly cease our intervention

    If you have paid us the maintenance allowance plus the operating costs at least six times in a row, you may pay the monthly maintenance allowance directly to your ex-partner again.

    However, you will still have to pay us the maintenance allowance that you previously paid too late (also called 'maintenance arrears'). On this part, you will also have to pay our operating costs.

    EXAMPLE:

    You have to pay a monthly maintenance allowance of EUR 200 for your child. In addition, you also have to pay arrears of EUR 2,000.

    In January, February, March, April, May and June, you have paid us EUR 226 each time (monthly maintenance allowance of EUR 200 plus 13 % operating costs).

    This means that from July onwards, we will partly stop our intervention:

    • You will now pay EUR 200 per month directly into your ex-partner's account, without the 13% operating costs.
    • However, you still have to pay the EUR 2,000 of arrears plus the 13% of operating costs (and any default interest) to us instead of to your ex-partner.

    We will completely cease our intervention:

    • if your ex-partner decides on his/her own that our help is no longer needed
    • if you have paid the current maintenance allowance, all maintenance arrears and all operating costs at least six times in a row

    We will always send you a registered letter to notify you of the date on which you can start paying your ex-partner directly.

  • Until when do I have to pay maintenance allowance for my children over the age of majority?

    Does the judgement include an end date for the payment of maintenance allowance?

    If not, you will have to continue to pay maintenance allowance until the child has finished his/her studies and/or has a fixed income (salary, etc.) or a replacement income (unemployment benefit, etc.).

  • Do I still have to pay maintenance allowance if my children under the age of majority have been placed?

    Even if your children under the age of majority have been placed, you will still have to pay maintenance allowance:

    • as long as your children have no income or replacement income,
    • as long as there is no new judgement abolishing the maintenance allowance.
  • Do I still have to pay maintenance if my ex-partner does not let me see my children?

    Even if the right of access is not observed, you will still have to pay the maintenance allowance:

    • as long as your children have no income or replacement income,
    • as long as there is no new judgement abolishing the maintenance allowance.
  • Can the DAVO/SECAL attach my entire wage, unemployment benefit or allowance?

    We have the same rights as the maintenance creditor: we can attach your entire income.

  • The amount of maintenance ordered by the court is too high. What can I do to reduce it?

    We cannot reduce the amount of the maintenance allowance. You will need a new judgement for that. For more information, please contact your lawyer or a law centre.