Alimony: 5 questions about the new mechanism

This is news that will make life easier for many single-parent families. January 1, 2021 marks the entry into force of a new mechanism that compensates the former spouse if he does not pay support. A first phase of testing has helped 10,000 families since October. The device is now generalized, as promised two years ago, after the movement of “yellow vests”. Emmanuel Macron is going to the Tours family allowance fund on Tuesday to promote this new system.

1. Who is affected?

The new financial intermediation system helps couples who separate, as well as those who are already separated. Even for several years. Even if they have not been married (divorce, break-up of PACS, break-up of cohabitation, absence of cohabitation…). All maintenance payments are therefore potentially concerned. There are between 900,000 and one million, according to the Elysee.

It is useless to wait for an unpaid: it is better to set up the device in a preventive way, when everything is going well, so that it is easily activated in the event of non-payment of the pension.

The alimony recovery agency (Aripa) initiated 57,000 procedures in 2020. The proportion of unpaid pensions is very high, around 30 to 40%, and affects more than 300,000 families. The executive estimates that its reform should ultimately help around 100,000 of them.

The guarantee thus provides a safety net for single-parent families, particularly exposed to poverty: according to INSEE, more than one in three (35%) lives below the poverty line, which represents 2.3 million adults. and poor children.

Yes, we can eradicate the poverty of single mothers

2. How does the warranty work?

It must be requested to be activated. When alimony is not paid, anyone who wishes can ask the Family Allowance Fund (or the MSA, the Mutualité sociale agricole) to play an intermediary role by replacing the bad payer. In short: the funds pay the pension in place of the parent.

The funds then take care of recovering the sums from the bad payer’s bank account, or, if he is not solvent, define a repayment schedule.

3. How to benefit from the guarantee after a judgment?

If the payment of alimony is foreseen by the judge, the guarantee system is of right, if one of the two parents requests it. Everyone is informed of the existence of the device at the time of judgment and can then request its implementation. Then the court registries and CAFs are responsible for communicating with each other directly, via a dedicated portal. For the parents, there is no other formality to accomplish and the guarantee will be able to come into play if necessary in the future.

4. What if there has been no judgment?

Parents who separate (or have separated) without going before a judge, can benefit from the guarantee on one condition: that there is an enforceable title formalizing the existence of alimony and its amount. This requires an amicable agreement between the two parents, formalized by a notarial deed or a parental agreement registered by CAF (free process).

In case of disagreement between the two parents, it is necessary to turn to the judge.

In case of agreement and issuance of an enforceable title, then the guarantee of maintenance payments can be set up on simple request of one of the two parents to the CAF.

5. How much is the guarantee?

The system makes it possible to withdraw the amount of the pension (which amounts to 170 euros per month and per child on average) from the account of the former spouse. If this is not possible, a flat-rate aid of 116 euros is advanced.

The device will cost 85 million in 2021, budgeted in the PLFSS, then 122 million per year from 2022.

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