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What can be seen as cross-stay expenses for children in 2020?

reading time 2 minutes published on 18 February 2021

When you and your ex-partner separate, the costs of care and upbringing of your children will have to be divided between the two of you. There is a distinction to be made between accommodation/daily expenses and cross-stay expenses for your children. In this blog, I will briefly list these expenses and indicate, using a recent ruling, what has been added to them in 2020.

Accommodation/daily expenses

Accommodation/daily expenses are the costs incurred by the parent during the time the child is staying with him or her. These expenses are incurred by both parents during the time they spend with their children.

If one parent is paying child support to the other parent, the parent that pays the child support is allowed to take into account the accommodation/daily expenses he/she has. This is called care discount (in Dutch: “zorgkorting”) and is connected to the average days a week that the parent has the care for the children.

Accommodation/daily expenses include costs for:

  • Eating;
  • Drinking;
  • Body care;
  • Accommodation (rent/mortgage/utilities etc.);
  • Vacations/excursions.

Cross-stay expenses

The parent with whom the minor has his or her primary residence is generally the parent receiving the child support. This parent is expected to pay the cross-stay expenses from the received child support and his/her own additional contribution to the costs for the children. Cross-stay expenses are the child’s “fixed expenses”, such as sports memberships, school fees, and clothing.

There may be a discussion between the parents as to what should be understood by cross-stay expenses. In such case, a judge can decide whether a certain item should be considered an accommodation/daily expense or a cross-stay expense. This was the case in a recent decision of the District Court of The Hague (27 February 2020, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2020:1678). The mother was of the opinion that the clothing costs of the minors were discounted in the care discount of the father. The court did not agree and considered that it is up to the mother to pay (all) the costs exceeding residence from the child support she received, including babysitting costs, clothes for the children, presents for children’s parties and costs for the hairdresser.

As of January 1, 2020, the Expert Group on Alimony Standards, a group that makes recommendations in the field of alimony for legal practice in the Netherlands, has added the item “clothing” to the list of cross-stay expenses. As a result, cross-stay expenses now include:

  • School fees;
  • Babysitting costs;
  • Sports subscription;
  • Clothing;
  • Gifts for children’s parties;
  • Hairdresser costs.

Need advice?

Do you have a discussion with your ex-partner about who should pay which costs for the children or do you have a discussion about the amount of child support to be paid? Feel free to contact me to see whether I can be of assistance to you.

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