Agreement on new alimony law

Coalition's agreement on alimony law meets with approval from Germany's two major churches. The chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Bishop Wolfgang Huber, and Berlin Archbishop Georg Cardinal Sterzinsky, welcomed on Saturday that this preserves the value of marriage. With experts the new right encounters however also criticism.

On Thursday, the coalition had agreed that children would in future come first in the ranking of maintenance claims. However, contrary to the Justice Ministry's initial plans, divorced spouses will be better off than unmarried partners if they are raising children. Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries (SPD) regretted that the CDU/CSU had refused to adopt a "truly realistic regulation". The new regulation is to come into force on 1. July into force.The EKD Council President Huber emphasized that the new law confirms the high value of marriage and family, which are also protected by the Basic Law. Strengthening children in their right to maintenance is right, he said. At the same time, it must be kept in mind that marriage is more than just a partnership for a period of life. Cardinal Sterzinsky praised that this time it had "worked out to defend marriage.". The Union had finally shown backbone. The Berlin archbishop added, however: "But who knows if this will last?"Among experts, however, the new law also meets with criticism. The president of the Family Court Conference, Gerd Brudermuller, complained that the reform would "impose new law on old marriages". After all, a woman who had stayed at home for the children had also relied on the existing legal situation.In a survey by the polis/Usuma polling institute, 50 percent of respondents expressed the view that mothers should no longer receive full alimony from their ex-husbands after a divorce. 35 percent of the 1012 respondents, meanwhile, are in favor of mothers being entitled to full alimony even after divorce. Among working mothers surveyed, 59 percent thought divorced mothers should try harder to earn their own income. Among non-working mothers with children under 14, 47 percent shared this view.

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