Attached/assigned wages: Children’s permitted earnings 2020

Author: Laurence Philippe
Date:

The amounts that can be earned by children whose parents’ wages are subject to attachment or assignment have been published in the Belgian Official Gazette.

Article 1409, §1 bis of the Code of Civil Procedure sets limits on the amounts that can be attached or assigned (see other Infoflash).

Workers whose pay has been attached or assigned can in certain circumstances and by complying with various formal requirements claim protection on the attachable or assignable portions of their pay.

In practice, this means that these portions will be reduced by €70 (in 2020  the amount remains unchanged) per dependent child.

A "dependent child" within the meaning of Article 1409, §1 bis of the Code of Civil Procedure is a person:

  1. who has not attained their 25th birthday OR is subject to extended minority status (i.e., normally suffering from a profound mental disorder);
  2. for whose maintenance, accommodation, education or upbringing the recipient of the attached or assigned wages makes substantial financial provision;
  3. with whom they stand in a parent-child relationship either as biological parent OR as social parent.

A “social parent” means either the partner of a parent where a new blended family unit has been created, or a grandparent or any other person who stands in loco parentis to the child in order to provide for its maintenance, accommodation, education or upbringing.

The decisive criterion must be the special relationship and assumed role either together with a parent or in replacement of one or both parents.

Financial assistance will be deemed to be substantial where the dependent child lives permanently - even if not exclusively and uninterruptedly - with the recipient of the attached or assigned wages.

Financial assistance will also, in any event, be deemed substantial where the recipient of the attached or assigned wages contributes an amount greater than the child dependency addition, i.e., more than €70 (in 2020).

However, a child who within the 12 months preceding the declaration had net resources amounting to more than:

  • €3.226 net if the parent receiving the attached or assigned wages is a non-marital partner;
  • €4.660 net if the parent receiving the attached or assigned wages is a lone parent;
  • €5.908 net if the child is registered disabled within the meaning of Article 135 of the Income Tax Code 1992 (CIR / 92)

cannot be considered as being a dependent child.

The above amounts are as of 1 January 2020.

In order to qualify for this increased protected amount of the attachable or assignable portions of their pay, workers whose earnings are subject to attachment or assignment must submit a declaration in the standard form published in the Belgian Official Gazette of 30 November 2006.

The form must be accompanied by documents proving that the child is a dependent as claimed.

Source: Recommendation with regard to the indexation of amounts determined by article 1, §4 of the Royal Decree of 27 December 2004 implementing the articles 1409, §1, subparagraph 4 of the Judicial Code regarding the limitation of the attachment in the case of dependent children, Belgian Official Gazette 13 December 2019.

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