An increasing number of single parents are requesting assistance from the authorities, when faced with an ex-partner who either will not or cannot pay maintenance income due. The problem is reported in Het Laatste Nieuws on Monday.
The Support Payments Service, itself funded by the FPS Finance, can thus grant a sum up to the value of €175 per child and per month, to either the mother or father who is in need of it. The sum must then be recovered from the other “defaulting” parent by the Support Payments Service.
Figures for 2016 show that the Support Payments Service paid the maintenance income, for at least one month, for 17,924 children. The amount paid out has increased by 34% over five years.
The New Flemish Alliance deputy, Goedele Uyttersprot, who is behind the release of this information, considers, “We should do more, in the first instance, to force parents to make the payments.” She says, “There exists, in cases where parents are stubbornly refusing to pay, the possibility of withdrawing their driving licence. It is worth noting that at present this penalty is never applied.”