Financial assistance for single parents

single parent can be for very different reasons: by the death of the partner, after a divorce , separated or single with child. In 2010, almost every fifth family in Germany (19, 4 percent) was a ""one-parent family"", ie only a child (s) with a father or mother. Single parents have steadily increased in recent years - through separations or because the parents decide from the outset to live alone with their child.

What financial support is there for single parents?

Depending on the life situation, there are different financial aids. Often, it is important to seek help early (some during pregnancy). Therefore, the first and most important advice is: As soon as you know that you will be a single parent in the future, contact a counseling center! Firstly, you will receive well-founded and tailored information there. Second, at best, these counseling centers are so well networked that you can quickly get more relevant information for you.

We'll list all the financial help and support that may be appropriate for you.

Who pays me child support?

Every minor, unmarried child is entitled to maintenance until the completion of the vocational training. Both parents are in their own way dependent on maintenance:

If the child is living with you, you will be able to maintain it by caring for the child. The other parent is then cash-dependent. This means he has to raise money for his child. You can also claim maintenance for exceptional costs, such as orthodontic treatment (costs that are not regularly incurred) or kindergarten contributions (regular additional use).

Child maintenance has priority over all other maintenance claims, such as childcare or spouse maintenance. Further information can be found at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

How do I claim child support?

If you as a mother are not married to the father of your child, the paternity must be recognized (or established). The youth welfare office will help you with that.

Also applies to single and married: In order to enforce the maintenance claim in court, it must be dubbed. Only an enforceable title is legally enforceable in case of dispute. Again, the youth welfare office is your contact. There, you can also calculate the amount of child support - using the so-called ""Dusseldorfer table"".

Important: It will not be paid retroactively but will be paid from the date of application!

Tip: You should agree in writing with the father on the nature and amount of alimony. Decide when to pay and how to check the amount of maintenance, because the Dusseldorf table is reset every two years. There is an excellent model contract for a custody agreement with the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers.

What is the spousal maintenance?

The term ""spouse maintenance"" covers the separation maintenance and the post-marital maintenance / divorce maintenance. It is subdivided - depending on marital status in separation maintenance or divorce maintenance.

Separation Maintenance

If you live apart but have not yet divorced, you may be eligible for separation maintenance. This depends on the amount of income of the debtor. If this is the sole earner, then the needy spouse is entitled to 3/7 of the eligible net income. If both partners are gainfully employed, this is the 3/7 portion of the difference income.

Divorce Maintenance

After the divorce, the post-marital maintenance takes effect. However, according to Section 1574 BGB, the legislator stipulates that ""the divorced spouse is responsible for carrying out appropriate gainful employment"". However, if caring for common children does not allow them to work, divorced single parents are entitled to maintenance up to the child's third birthday. After that must be sued for maintenance depending on the situation.

Important: In both cases, you can only claim this claim if there is enough money. The main duty of the debtor must pay child maintenance. Only if he then has more money than the deductible, you can demand maintenance for themselves.

What is the support?

This is the upkeep for unmarried single parents for three years from the child's birth (possibly longer).

The prerequisite for this is your need: If you have a fortune, you must first use it for maintenance purposes. In addition, you only get childcare if the debtor himself has enough money. This means that it must be deducted from the maintenance payments, a certain sum for deductible available.Here, too, child support has priority over your childcare allowance.

What if the dependent parent does not pay?

First of all, take care of your nerves, let yourself be advised! Help and support can be found at the youth welfare office responsible for you. There, your child can receive assistance to help you enforce child support payments. You can also get advice from the association of single mothers and fathers. You may also want to visit a lawyer.

Tip: Inquire about legal aid!

Where can I get legal help if I want to sue for maintenance?

Free legal aid for your child, the so-called voluntary assistance, can be provided by the youth welfare office - even before birth. This is also true when parental authority is shared.

They may restrict the assistance to the enforcement of maintenance obligations: for example, the assistant may identify the whereabouts of the debtor (s) and obtain income from the economic situation. The application should be addressed to the youth welfare office, which will be assisted by the child as soon as the application is received. You will find detailed information in the brochure ""The Assistance"" of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs at // www. BMFSFJ. de.

Important: It's best to discuss future assistance before you apply, and you'll need help. You can also limit the support later to specific tasks. If you want to end the assistance, a written statement to the youth welfare office is sufficient.

Can I get a grant as long as the debtor does not pay?

If you receive no or too little maintenance, you can receive a maintenance advance. This also applies to unexplained paternity. For this you turn to the maintenance advance funds of the local youth welfare offices.

Important: Since the rate is very low, the advance on maintenance can really only serve as ""extra money"". In addition, the advance on maintenance is only valid until the child's 12th birthday and for a maximum of 72 months. So it's important that you enforce your maintenance claims against the other parent at the same time. Further information can be found at the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

How much parental benefit do I receive as a single parent?

Single parents have the same entitlement to parental allowance as families in which their parents live together. Prerequisite: You look after and educate your child after the birth itself and are not working for more than 30 hours. Single parents can receive parental allowance for up to 14 months (instead of 12 months) if their parental responsibility, or at least the right of residence, is their sole right. The amount of the parental allowance is calculated from the net income.You can read more about the calculation of parent benefits for single parents in our article on Elterngeld.

If you live in Thuringia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Saxony or Bavaria, you can receive state education allowance after the parental allowance. Since the introduction of the parental allowance and the legislation on the education of the state are on the move, we recommend that you obtain timely information from the authorities responsible for you.

What tax reliefs do I have as a lone parent?

Single parents have the favorable tax code 2. This assumes that you have at least one underage child or a child in education who is entitled to child benefit.

Tax code 2 includes the so-called single parent relief. In other words, you already pay less taxes during the current year. However, no other adult person is allowed to live in the household. Otherwise it is possible that the relief amount is awarded to the parent who does not grow up with the child.

As a single parent you can also claim employment related childcare costs for tax purposes. So if you give your child to the day care center because you have to work. Check with your tax advisor or a single-parent advice center for possible tax reliefs!

Important for Married People: Be sure to check your tax code at the time of separation and apply for separate tax assessment at the tax office. This is of immense importance, because all wage replacement benefits are calculated according to the net income!

What about the child benefit or child allowance for single parents?

Child benefit is part of income tax law. For single parents, the child allowance is only replaced by the child allowance after an annual income of around € 65,000.

Parents living separately are each entitled to half of the child benefit amount. In practice, the entire amount is transferred to the parent where the child lives. This will reduce the amount of maintenance of the other parent who is liable to pay.

The child allowance is also distributed in half to the parents living separately, so that on the income tax card of both parents a mathematical ""half child"" appears. If you receive less than 75 percent of the maintenance you are entitled to, you are entitled to the entire child allowance.

You must apply for the child allowance at the responsible employment fund of the Employment Agency.

What does it mean if I apply for a child allowance?

The child supplement may be worthwhile for you as a single parent if you earn very little. With the child supplement you may be able to avoid having to apply for unemployment benefit II, because the child supplement is slightly above the rates of the ALGII (Hartz IV).

However, the framework for the child supplement is very tight.He receives only:

  • unmarried children under the age of 25 who receive child benefit.
  • you as a single parent have a minimum income of 600 euros per month
  • you do not exceed a certain fortune and monthly income (calculated individually)
  • you have no entitlement to unemployment benefits II / social benefits
You must apply for the child allowance from the family fund of the Federal Employment Agency.

Do I receive housing allowance as a single parent?

Not everyone can apply for housing allowance. You will not receive any housing allowance if you are a recipient of unemployment benefit II, social assistance, basic benefits in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity and members of a community of need according to SGBII. Here the housing costs are covered within the scope of the achievements. All others, provided they live in the apartment themselves and also pay the rent themselves (or as the owner of a house from the burden) can apply for housing benefit. Whether and how much support you receive depends on several factors:
  • How many family members are in the household?
  • What is the family income?
  • What is the eligible rent / charge?
  • What is the rental level of the municipality?

You must file your application with the local Housing Authority or Municipal, Municipal, Local or County Administration. There you should also advise you. You can also find more information about housing subsidies at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

What if I'm still in education?

There are special state aids for single parents who are teaching or studying. Read more about it in our article on Financial Aid for Single Parents in Education or Training

Where can I get more help?

The Federal Foundation ""Mother and Child - Protection of Unborn Life"" offers you fast and unbureaucratic help: for example, for the initial equipment of the child, for the household, for housing and furnishings and for the care of the child. These benefits are not counted towards unemployment benefit II, social assistance and other social benefits. The application can be obtained from the local maternity service (eg Pro Familia).

Important: The application must be made before the birth (up to Pregnancy Week 19)

Where can I get further advice?

A good point of contact is the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers, which is represented nationwide. Pro Familia can also provide you with further contact points for single parents in your area: For example, in Hamburg there are lone parents meeting place and advice e. V., which is also found on Pro Familia. Also in our link and literature list for single parents you will find some useful tips!

Our expert: Social pedagogue Margot Eidtmann from the Verband single mothers and fathers e.V.

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