"Arrange alimony payments or lose your driving license"

The government is introducing new measures to up the pressure on those reluctant failing to arrange divorce payments. A judge will have the possibility to suspend the driving license of a parent, and personal goods can be confiscated for a total value of 15,000 euros.

The Service responsible for Alimony Demands (DAVO) comes into action when one of the parents fails to pay his or her alimony after splitting up. In order to avoid that one of the divorced partners is confronted with financial problems (which could have a negative effect on the child's education), DAVO is paying out the alimony instead.

This only happens under certain conditions, which have now been softened. The wage limit under which parents could benefit from this, has been increased, as a result of which the group has become much bigger. The advanced payment is also increased with 65 euros per child, and 130 euros for handicapped children. The measure is intended to protect the children and to prevent child poverty.

However, once DAVO has paid out this deposit, the service has to claim this money back from the parents concerned. Judges will now have a greater scope to force parents to arrange their payments, Belgian Finance Minister Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat) explains. DAVO points out that the problem of parents failing to pay alimony is growing every year.

At present, alimony payments worth 280 million euros have not been paid out. It's mostly men that have to cough up divorce money.