Principles for calculating child maintenance starting from 1.01.2022 for new cases
The minimum monthly child maintenance payment will not depend on the minimum wage anymore as of 1st of January 2022. Instead, it will be bound to the needs of the child, economic capability of the parents, family allowances paid by the state and the number of the children entitled to receive maintenance from the same person.
The sum will consist of following elements:
- Base amount is 200 euros. The base amount of maintenance is the minimum amount of maintenance proposed by the researchers in a recent survey of the minimum needs of the child. This sum shall be adjusted annually on 1st of April according to the changes in the consumer price index.
- Economic situation of the obligated parent. In order to calculate the minimum maintenance, 3% of the Estonian average gross monthly salary of the previous calendar year is added to the base amount. On 1st of January 2022 the amount to be added is 43 euros. The amount to be added shall also be adjusted annually on 1st of April. The first recalculation on the basis of the average gross monthly salary of 2021 will take place on 1st of April 2022. By agreement of the parents or determined by a court, the sum added to the basic amount may be 3% of the actual monthly salary of the obligated parent instead of the average gross monthly salary, provided that the actual salary is higher.
- Family allowances paid by the state. Child allowance and the allowance for a family with many children are taken into account to determine the amount of maintenance. The parent does not have to provide maintenance to the extent that the child's needs can be met at the expense of these allowances. If the main caregiver of the children receives these allowances, half of the allowance for each child is deducted from the amount of maintenance. If the obligated parent receives those allowances, this amount is added to the maintenance. Currently half of the child allowance for one child is 30 euros (full sum is 60 euros per child).
- Shared parenthood. If the child stays with the obligated parent for a monthly average of seven to fifteen days, the amount of maintenance is reduced proportionally to the time spent with the obligated parent. Thus, if the child resides with both parents equally, maintenance can only be claimed due to the greater needs of the child, a significant difference in the income of parents or an unequal distribution of the expenses between the parents.
- Number of children receiving maintenance in the same household. Considering the possibility to somewhat aggregate the costs of raising several children at once (reuse of furniture, clothing, toys, etc), the amount of maintenance from the second child onwards is 15% lower than the amount of maintenance for the first child. The amount of maintenance is not reduced for twins, triplets etc and children with an age difference over three years.
For example, if maintenance has to be paid to one child, the income of the obligated parent does not exceed the gross monthly salary in Estonia and the child resides with the obligated parent less than 7 days monthly, the amount of maintenance is 213 euros per month per child (200+43-30).
Parents can also calculate the sum by themselves, using a web application created by the Ministry of Justice - an amount of child maintenance that the court would probably establish in case of their family. The application (in Estonian) can be found here: https://www.just.ee/elatiskalkulaator/. We intend to translate it also into English in near future.
 Available online in estonian: file:///C:/Users/andra.olm/Downloads/Lapse%20vajadusp%C3%B5hine%20miinimumelatis,%20uuringu%20l%C3%B5pparuanne.pdf
Enforcing the child maintenance decisions made until 31.12.2021
It is important to note that the calculation principles described above do not apply to the child maintenance decisions made until 31.12.2021. If the child or one of the parents does not agree with this fixed sum, it is possible to apply for the court to reduce the amount of maintenance based on a change in the legal situation. In court proceedings, however, the court does not rely solely on the result of the calculator, but takes into account all the circumstances as a whole.
General rules for the enforcement of child maintenance judgements made before 1st of January 2022:
- All children who are entitled to maintenance in the sum of € 292 per month in 2021, will continue to receive EUR 292 per month also in the future. If the parent is required to pay maintenance to a minor child in the amount of half of the minimum monthly wage, this maintenance will remain on the level of 2021 (in the sum of 292 euros) also in 2022 and following years. As a result, when the Estonian minimum wage changes after 31.12.2021, the amount of maintenance will not change anymore.
- All children whose maintenance sum is bound to the change of the Estonian minimum monthly wage in a different proportion than 50% (for example, 25% of the minimum monthly wage or twice the statutory minimum child maintenance amount), the sum needs to be adjusted yearly according to the changes of the Estonian minimum monthly wage as it has until now. As mentioned previously, in the year 2022 the minimum wage will be 654 EUR per month.
- All children whose monthly maintenance sum is a fixed amount (for example 200 or 500 euros per month) will continue to receive the same sum.
Last updated: 10.01.2022