Divorce in Spain: Child Support Maintenance and Alimony

Divorce in Spain: Child Support Maintenance and Alimony

Divorce in Spain: Child Support Maintenance and Alimony (when applied and differences between them)

In case of divorce in Spain, what’s the difference between a child support maintenance (“pension de alimentos” in Spanish) and Alimony or compensatory maintenance (“pension compensatoria” in Spanish)?

Both maintenances are very common nowadays, but do you really know when and why they are applied?

This post will explain it quickly, and in a language you can understand:


The Alimony is the amount of money one spouse pays (monthly, usually) to the economically weaker one as the result of a separation or divorce in Spain.

  • Therefore, the beneficiary of the Alimony is the spouse who, after the breakdown, has reduced his or her economic resources (because doesn’t work, or there’s a big difference between salaries for both spouses, etc).
  • The amount to be paid is variable and will be established by agreement between the parties; in the absence of such agreement, it will be established by the corresponding Family Court which’s handling the divorce in Spain.
  • As for its duration, it can be indefinite in time (permanent Alimony), with a fixed time limit (temporary alimony) , or a lump sum (lump sum alimony or gross alimony).
  • In the event that there is no economic imbalance or damage (because the two spouses work and / or have sufficient income), the Alimony will not be necessary.

On the other hand, in case of divorce in Spain we have the Child Support Maintenance:  the economic contribution paid by the noncustodial or nonresidential parent (parent who doesn’t have the custody of the children after the marriage breakdown).

  • This economic contribution is intended to cover the ordinary needs of economically dependent children (underage, students, …)
  • As in the case of the alimony, the amount of the child support maintenance is variable, and will be established by agreement between the parties, being necessary in this case the approval by the Family Court (which will take into account the economic situation of parents and other objective criteria).
  • If there is no possibility of agreement between the parties, it would be established by the Family Court that is handling the issue.
  • Unlike what happens with the alimony, the beneficiaries of this maintenance are the children themselves, and not the custodial or residential parent (spouse with whom the children live after the divorce).
  • In cases of joint or alternating custody, there is generally no needed establishing a maintenance allowance in favor of the children. Although it may be applicable in certain cases in which there is a disproportion between the income of the parents (the amount of the maintenance will be proportional to the needs of the children, but also to the financial and economic resources of the parents).


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Our solicitors at Jaime Segura & Associates Law Firm are highly experienced in the family law field. We carry out a very wide variety of Family Law work and can advise you on the best way to proceed to achieve your goal.


If you intend to divorce in Spain, need a Family Solicitor in Spain, or want more information, do not hesitate contact us!