Recently divorced and now a single parent? Then you’ll need to arrange the following
A divorce has a serious impact on you and your family. Emotionally and in most cases financially. As a single parent, it's not easy to keep all the balls in the air. This practical list serves as a handy reminder for getting your financial affairs in order. Because, remember: You're not alone!
Am I entitled to a Social Allowance as a single parent?
It's not only your family circumstances that change after a divorce, but also your family income. While the costs of raising your children remain. Those costs can take a huge chunk out of a single parent's income. If you receive Child Benefit and your family income falls below a certain income threshold, then you may be entitled to a Social Allowance. You automatically receive this amount on top of your Child Benefit. The amount depends on your income and the number of children that you have.
Are you eligible or would you like more information? You can find more information!
No correlation between Child Benefit and dependent children
There’s no correlation between receiving Child Benefit and having dependent children. Just because you receive Child Benefit doesn't mean that your children are automatically dependent on you, and vice versa. However, it's worth checking which parent the children are dependent on. Are you a single parent with dependent children? Then the associated tax benefit will make an important contribution to your financial stability. Incidentally, the tax-free sum is greater for single parents than for married couples or legal cohabitants. The tax exemption increases per child, thus it's more advantageous to take care of all your children, since you’ll subsequently enjoy the greatest tax benefit.
An up-to-date overview of the tax-free amounts can be found on the FPS Finance website.
Tips for a more balanced budget management
Has your disposable family income seriously decreased due to your divorce? The following tips could potentially help boost your income or reduce your fixed costs:
- Back to school means a considerable amount of additional expense. Some cities and municipalities such as Halle support low-income families by giving them a small financial boost to reduce such school-related costs.
- Ask your health insurance fund whether you're entitled to an increased allowance. You'll subsequently pay less at the doctors and receive other financial benefits. Such as discounts for youth camps, for example.
- Are you a member of the Gezinsbond? If so, you'll enjoy numerous member benefits such as free social-legal advice or the child maintenance money calculator.
- Enjoy going to the theatre or visiting museums? Then make sure you continue to pursue those leisure activities that energise you. The UITpas (a savings and discount card for leisure activities) is also available for those on a reduced income.
- And identifying your costs can additionally result in significant savings. Particularly if you shop around and compare how much you pay for insurance, utilities, mobility costs etc. This can potentially save you hundreds of euros each year.
“You have to stay strong”
Since her divorce 4 years ago, Eva has been a single mum to her 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. The children live with her during the week, and typically spend the weekends and holidays with their dad. She hasn't had a particularly hard time financially, but has sometimes struggled to cope with her situation on an emotional level. “There’s no one to share my problems with. And I can't afford to get sick, because I know that there's no one there to take care of the children. You have to stay strong.” Fortunately, she does have some time to herself every now and then. “I recharge my batteries during those free moments. I love working in the garden and going for regular walks in the countryside. I also thoroughly enjoy spending quality time with my children, such as sharing a meal together or having a family day out.” What financial issues does she face as a single mum? Eva: “The biggest issue is that I have to shoulder all the costs myself. The children are dependent on me and, because I pay for everything myself (from food and clothing to school costs, etc.), I also receive Child Benefit supplemented with a small amount of child maintenance. The doctor's costs aren’t too bad because I have a third-party payment policy with my health insurance fund. I only need to cover the cost of the co-payment which makes a big difference.”