WHAT DOES CHILD ALIMONY MEAN? ONLY FOOD?
Child alimony, which is regulated in Article 142 from the Civil Code, is the quantity, which both parents should pay in order to cover the expenses created by the minor. It includes not only the food, but everything vital for the sustenance, housing, clothing, medical assistance and education of the child. That is to say, within the ordinary expenses will be included the necessary, predictable and periodic ones.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE CARE AND CUSTODY IS GIVEN EXCLUSIVELY TO ONLY ONE OF THE PARENTS?
If the custody is given exclusively to one of the parents, the parent, who does not have the custody, must pay the child alimony to the parent, who has the custody. The answer is clear in the case of the payment of child alimony in single parent custody. But the following question may arise:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT IS A JOINT CUSTODY BY BOTH PARENTS? SHALL I STILL PAY THE CHILD ALIMONY?
Nowadays, and as a result of the recent Supreme Court Ruling of 29 April 2013, regarding the criteria to agree on joint care and custody, the Judges agree on joint custody, as more and more the established requirements in the mentioned Ruling are fulfilled. Therefore, if I have a joint custody, Do I have to pay child alimony to my child/ren? The joint care and custody does not prevent a child support amount to be established in favour of the child/ren, in case there is a substantial imbalance between the income of both parents. For example, if one of the parents pays approximately 4000 € a month and the other pays approximately 1000 € a month, this would result in an economic imbalance in the life of the child, due to the fact that when the child is with one of the parents, he/she would lead one kind of lifestyle and when he/she is with the other parent he/she would lead another different kind of lifestyle. In the case the afore-mentioned situation occurs, and the parent whose income is less in relation to the other parent, requests a child alimony for the minor, the same must demonstrate that the other parent is receiving higher income and as a consequence makes it necessary to share the food expenses of the minor. But, if the economic imbalance is not demonstrated, the child alimony will not be established, in case of joint custody.
IS THERE ANY JUDGEMENT TO SUPPORT THAT?
In this sense, it is appropriate to quote the Ruling of the Provincial Court of the Balearic Islands, numbered 151/2012 of 16 April. JUR 2012\159216, where the solution given in the case of a question “Must I pay child support for food in the case of a joint custody?” is clearly manifested.
A PERSONAL CONSIDERATION:
As I understand it, it is very logical that if there exists an economical imbalance between both parents and it concerns the interest of the minor, the expenses for the child/ren are shared, since it is not acceptable for the child/ren to lead such a different level of lifestyle when they are with one parent or the other. If this mentioned child alimony is not established in these cases, it would provoke harmful consequences for the child/ren.