Are you legally obliged to pay maintenance?

General information on maintenance

General information

Maintenance is understood to mean services to secure the needs of a person. Children, parents and spouses, for example, are entitled to maintenance under certain conditions.

Maintenance payments are in the form of Support in kind (e.g. provision of an apartment, food, clothing, pocket money) or Financial support (e.g. alimony) provided.

If necessary, a maintenance claim can be enforced by filing a lawsuit.

Must be during the Basic military or community service Maintenance for other people (e.g. spouse; children; children, their parents Not together married are), there is an entitlement to financial support. More information can be found in the chapters "Cash benefits and social benefits for basic military service" and "Cash benefits and social benefits for community service".

Child support obligations

Parents have to provide child support for their children until they are able to support themselves.

Detailed information you can get this from the topic

If you have any questions about child support, custody, visiting rights or help with parenting problems, please contact the responsible child and youth welfare agency (youth welfare office).

Maintenance obligations towards partner

Depending on the type of divorce (consensual, contentious), the divorced spouse may be entitled to maintenance payments from the other spouse.

Detailed information for this, see the topic

Maintenance obligations to parents

There is also a maintenance obligation of children towards their parents (grandparents). If parents or grandparents are unable to support themselves, they are entitled to maintenance from their children. However, this only exists if they have never grossly violated their maintenance obligations towards their children.

Detailed information The obligation to reimburse the costs of dependent relatives of people in need of care in old people's and nursing homes can also be found on

Last update: January 1st, 2021

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