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Old 24.10.2019, 18:28
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Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

Afternoon,

I hope someone can give me some advice on what the legalities are in Geneva regarding child maintenance payments and family allowance.

My ex moved to Geneva a number of years ago and is living and working in Geneva. We are both UK citizens and he hardly sees our two boys.

My ex is on a highly paid salary and pays only £400 for our two boys each month. We were together (unmarried) for 10 years and I sacrificed my career in order to look after the children (and let him pursue his) when they were little. As a result, I am in a much lower paid job than he is.

Recently, a friend told me about all the benefits Swiss employees receive through their employer called family allowance. After some investigation I discovered that my ex has been claiming and receiving this while keeping me completely in the dark. He even asked me every year for a letter from HMRC regarding my child benefit. Foolishly, I provided him with this letter as he was deceiving me claiming it was needed for his tax code in Switzerland. Naturally, he has keeping this benefit himself.

My questions are: What are my legal rights in terms of receiving child maintenance payments in line with his salary and in relation to the family allowance he has been receiving all these years without my knowledge? Can I contact his employer to find out how much he has been receiving? Surely, as I have sole custody of the children I have a right to know?
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Old 24.10.2019, 18:44
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

My guess is

a) it would depend on what might have been agreed in a UK court

b) since you were unmarried may not even be entitled to anything from him. The Swiss don't really do unmarried.

But here are a couple of links that might help

https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce-and-mai...contributions/

https://www.ch.ch/en/parental-author...rried-parents/

Edit: This also if you have a formal maintenance agreement

https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...k-details.html
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:09
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

The "Kindergeld" is as the name says for the children.
Being separaterd and the kids being with you, if you have a job it is YOU who has to apply (I think it's your boss who does that) for the family allowance. Not your husband! And he is not supposed to use the family allowance to pay alimony

Here you can get more information.


@Medea, they were not married.
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:20
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

Yes, I know, but I don't know how far the Swiss go in these sort of situations compared to married couples.
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:30
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

He can’t claim it and keep it all for himself, he has to pass it on to you if the children are living full time with you. This is in addition to any maintenance payments he makes to you.
He receives the money to help pay for the upkeep of his children, if it is being used to fund his lifestyle then he is claiming it under false pretences.

Do you claim child allowance in the UK?
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:38
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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The "Kindergeld" is as the name says for the children.
Being separaterd and the kids being with you, if you have a job it is YOU who has to apply (I think it's your boss who does that) for the family allowance. Not your husband! And he is not supposed to use the family allowance to pay alimony

Here you can get more information.


@Medea, they were not married.
She lives and works in England so her employer is not involved.

As for OP, There are ways to make that the money goes directly to you instead of first to your husband if he fails to transfer this to you. I don't know the details however or what exact conditions apply.
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:39
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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What are my legal rights in terms of receiving child maintenance payments in line with his salary and in relation to the family allowance he has been receiving all these years without my knowledge? Can I contact his employer to find out how much he has been receiving? Surely, as I have sole custody of the children I have a right to know?
It's around CHF 200/month per child.

It doesn't depend on his salary.

Tom
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:42
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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It's around CHF 200/month per child.

It doesn't depend on his salary.

Tom
Geneva is very generous, itís at least 300 per month per child.
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:42
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

Section 5.1 of the following document


https://iclg.com/practice-areas/fami...ns/switzerland
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:44
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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It's around CHF 200/month per child.

It doesn't depend on his salary.

Tom
Geneva even does 300,- per child for the 1st two children. And from the age of 17 up to 25 400,- per child for the first two when studying.
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:50
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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Geneva is very generous, itís at least 300 per month per child.
Indeed. Rising to CHF 400 a month from child 3.

And, rising to CHF 400 a month from age 16, if the child remains in full time education.
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Old 24.10.2019, 19:50
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

This EF thread on child support is informative. In particular, see post 22:

https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...zerland-2.html
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Old 24.10.2019, 20:19
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

Thank you for replying. The post you refer to states:

'To prevent the accumulation of family allowances for the same child, a Family Allowances Register (RAFam) was created (operational since 1 January 2011). Simply enter your childís date of birth and OASI number, and the register will display if and to whom the family allowances are paid out.'

My children are UK citizens, will they still have an OASI number? Where can I find out what their registration numbers are? I find it quite disturbing that my children are on some register I have no knowledge of (!)

I should add that while I am struggling to bring up two children on my own, my ex has acquired several properties in Switzerland and living a lavish lifestyle...
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Old 24.10.2019, 20:39
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

Thank you, Belgianmum,

I receive child benefit for my two boys (£130 per month) because my annual wage is below £60K. From what I have read, I understand the family allowance he receives is considerably higher and they subtract my child benefit from the original amount he is claiming for. This is why he has been asking for a HMRC statement from me each year - totally under false pretences and lies, then pocketing the money himself. As his employer is involved, is he not committing fraud?
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Old 25.10.2019, 11:59
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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As his employer is involved, is he not committing fraud?
Probably not. The entitlement for the payout is correct and the earner has top priority among the potential direct recipients. Not forwarding the money to you doesn't seem criminally punishable.

You should be able to claim those payouts back for up to five years. If that time limit is relevant to you, you should act quickly to keep past payouts from becoming unenforcible.

See point 6.08 on this page for a bit more information on how this works. Unfortunately the PDF is available in German, French and Italian only.
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My children are UK citizens, will they still have an OASI number? Where can I find out what their registration numbers are? I find it quite disturbing that my children are on some register I have no knowledge of (!)
Your ex should know, and yes they almost certainly do have one. If you have trouble contacting your ex's employer or to bypass him altogether, you could contact the central register instead (contact form not available in English but an e-mail in English should be fine nonetheless).
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Old 25.10.2019, 12:18
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

To look at this another way ..
He's receiving the 600chf per month (the Geneva rate) for child allowance, he's paying 400gbp per month to the kids ..
So depending on exchange rates he's about 50 quid short.

But then if he is submitting the HMRC letter each year then the amount being paid alread by them in the UK will be deducted from the GE allowance .. So he may well be paying the whole sum as received, or more.

Sure I think if he's on a high salary and only handing over the free money from the GE allowance, that's kinda crappy..
But he may not be actually stealing the family allowance..?
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Old 25.10.2019, 12:39
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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To look at this another way ..
He's receiving the 600chf per month (the Geneva rate) for child allowance, he's paying 400gbp per month to the kids ..
So depending on exchange rates he's about 50 quid short.

But then if he is submitting the HMRC letter each year then the amount being paid alread by them in the UK will be deducted from the GE allowance .. So he may well be paying the whole sum as received, or more.

Sure I think if he's on a high salary and only handing over the free money from the GE allowance, that's kinda crappy..
But he may not be actually stealing the family allowance..?
Maintenance payments for the kids and child allowance are two separate issues.

Iím assuming that he just gets the Ďtop upí from the Swiss but that should be passed on to the mother on top of his maintenance payments if she is the sole carer for the kids. He is perfectly entitled to do that.

Four hundred quid a month is already a pretty low amount to be paying for two kids for somebody on a Swiss salary.
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Old 25.10.2019, 12:45
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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Maintenance payments for the kids and child allowance are two separate issues.

Iím assuming that he just gets the Ďtop upí from the Swiss but that should be passed on to the mother on top of his maintenance payments if she is the sole carer for the kids. He is perfectly entitled to do that.

Four hundred quid a month is already a pretty low amount to be paying for two kids for somebody on a Swiss salary.
Fine . I have no idea how it works.. As in where the money comes from.

If he's officially declaring the HMRC letters to the GE authorities and they are paying it appropriately, then I doubt if there's fight to be had there..
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Old 25.10.2019, 12:51
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

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Fine . I have no idea how it works.. As in where the money comes from.

If he's officially declaring the HMRC letters to the GE authorities and they are paying it appropriately, then I doubt if there's fight to be had there..
Indeed, itís up to the OP to discuss the situation with the ex and resolve it with him. (Or via a lawyer if it comes to that)
She can just tell him that she has become aware that there are family allowance payments being made to him which should be passed on to her and take from there.
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Old 25.10.2019, 13:47
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Re: Legal entitlements re child maintenance and family allowance

Family allowance only needs to be passed if it exceeds the payments he is making.

If less, it is used to make them.

Also, child allowances are taxed at the marginal rate, so if he earns a lot, 35% or more.

Tom
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