Law changes for 2018 so far: Family

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With the new year starting, the Dutch government is implementing a number of new laws and changing some existing ones. Below is an explanation of changes to the law applying to families.

The child benefit, paid per child to all parents in the Netherlands, will increase minimally in 2018. Meant to help cover child education costs, parents will receive €201.05 for kids up to and including 5 years of age, €244.13 if the child falls between 6 and 11 years old, and €287.21 from 12 to 17 years of age. That’s an increase of less than a euro per category.

The primary subsidy for childcare in the Netherlands, including daycare and after-school care, will rise in 2018. The government coalition earmarked an extra €250 million euros to pay for the subsidy increase. Some toddler playgroups, to give a few mornings of relief for parents, will also qualify for the childcare subsidy.

Meanwhile, daycares, after school facilities, and toddler playgroups will be required to either reduce group sizes, or increase the number of carers per group as the government is mandating a lower ratio of children per minder. Daycares will be further required to hire a higher percentage of permanent employees to interact with babies. Mentorship will be provided to all children visiting care centers, and the mentor’s reports will be shared with parents, the child’s school, and after-school care. At least one adult must have a valid child-focused first aid certificate during daycare opening hours. All employees will have to have good conduct certification and proper diplomas to staff the facilities.

The tax relationship between a foster child and foster parent is also adjustable beginning next year. Income tax could no longer include an 18-year-old foster child’s income in combination with the parental income when calculating available taxes and subsidies.

Anyone entering into a legal partnership or marriage starting from January 1 will automatically and equally share all current and future assets and liabilities with their partner. This automatic process may only be restricted by a prenuptial agreement. The exceptions to this include inheritance, gifts, company ownership, 

Fixed alimony fees will rise by 1.5 percent in 2018. The Justice and Security Ministry sets the annual alimony adjustment. In 2017 it rose by 2.1 percent.