What Is Child Support In France?

The courts in France determine child support obligations. The judge will determine the amount of child support and contact arrangements for divorcing parents. When the divorce is by mutual consent and joint petition, the judge requires child support agreements to be made.

Cohabiting couples may also use the courts if they cannot reach an agreement on separation. In France, there are no formal guidelines for calculating child support, but the judge usually considers the children’s needs as well as the income of the non-resident parent. Child support payments are typically low.

Child support is not paid in about 10% of cases and is paid irregularly in another 40%. After two months of nonpayment, the resident parent may request that the family benefits office recover child support on their behalf. Payments can be deducted from the non-resident parent’s salary or bank account or collected by a tax collector or bailiff. There is a provision for recovering a minimum maintenance amount, but it is rarely used.

How To Get Child Benefits In France

Relocating a family to France can be very expensive, and many expats do not expect to be able to receive child benefits in France to help with a variety of related expenses. CAF can be a difficult administration to deal with at times, but once registered, it becomes quite simple. It is worthwhile to put in the initial effort to obtain necessary family allowances. I explain the main CAF family subsidies, the requirements, and how much you can expect.

What Is The Child Benefit Concept In France?

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What Is CAF?

CAF stands for Caisse d’Allocation Familiale. It is a French administration that provides a variety of allowances to families based on a variety of criteria. I’ll concentrate on the PAJE and the Allocation Familiale here. Continue reading to find out if they apply to you. They provide significant assistance to many families, with over 5 million people receiving them.

You can avail yourself of many CAF family benefits through this link.

The French Child Benefits: PAJE

The PAJE amount is paid from the first child born. It translates as “Prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant,” or “Young Child Welcome Allowance” in English.

PAJE includes several allowances, the most important of which are:

  • The level of basic allowance, also known as allocation de base – Ab ;
  • The adoption allowance is also known as prime Ă  l’adoption – Pa ;
  • The birth allowance is also known as prime Ă  la naissance – Pn ;
  • The complementary allowance for childcare, also known as allocation complĂ©mentaire pour garde d’enfant – Cmg.

Under certain conditions, these allowances may be combined with one another and with other CAF allowances. They are also determined by income.

Family Allowance

The well-known family allowance (Allocation familiale – Af) is given to the family’s second child. It is paid on a monthly basis to families with at least two children under the age of 20 who are still financially dependent on their parents.

So, let’s get into more detail about these family-related advantages! Are you prepared?

The Different Kinds Of Child Benefits In France

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The Birth And Adoption Allowances

The birth and adoption allowances are one-time payments made when a child is born. These allowances are intended to help families with the initial costs associated with the arrival of a baby or child.

Go through the criteria below to determine eligibility and make your request accordingly.

The Basic Allowance

The basic allowance is intended to assist families in meeting their children’s educational and daily expenses. It is income-based and is granted to parents of children under the age of three years old from the first child.

Because this benefit is given per family rather than per child, you will not get a cumulated child benefit if you have more than one child or offspring under the age of three. The child allowance will not change.

In the case of multiple adoptions or births, the basic allowance is multiplied by the number of children joining the family at the same time.

The Supplementary Allowance For Childcare

Use a childcare company, a certified association, a certified nanny, or a micro-crèche to care for your child below the age of 6. You can be eligible for financial assistance from CAF.

Criteria To Be Applicable For The Child Benefit In France

Here you can find the general criteria: The general CAF allowance criteria.

The Right To Be A Resident Of France

CAF allowances are available regardless of nationality. As a result, conditions must be fulfilled in order to be eligible for CAF subsidies. You must, however, be a French citizen and also:

  • If you are an EU citizen or a citizen of the EEE or Switzerland, you must demonstrate your right to remain in France.
  • If you are not an EU citizen, you must show CAF proof of your child’s or children’s legal entry into France as well as a valid resident permit (Carte de sĂ©jour) or long-term visa (VLS-TS).

Your incomes

CAF considers income from Years 1 and 2. So, if you apply for child benefits in France in 2023, you must provide your 2022 earnings. CAF considers your “revenue net catégoriel,” as they call it. The net taxable income can be found on your tax notice, as shown below.

This can change in the coming months to reflect the current fiscal year. When the change is confirmed, I will update this information.

CAF automatically receives the income you declared to the French tax office for the relevant year. But, if you are a newcomer, you should simply declare the amounts on the form. If you have income, do not declare 0 euros. The 0 amount will cause CAF to request additional backup documents in order to determine your current income.

CAF (the French tax office) will also consider your salaries, unemployment benefits, pensions, and capital received in France and abroad for you and your spouse. CAF will then compare it to the thresholds associated with the allowance you are requesting.

Bonus Tips To Get Child Benefits In France

  • In some cases, CAF will not consider your income, such as if you stopped working to care for your children under the age of three or several children or if you become unemployed and do not receive unemployment benefits.
  • CAF will not take your previous partner’s income from the month following the event if you are separated, divorced, or widowed.
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The Basic Allowance-Specific Requirements

If you meet the following requirements, you can receive the basic allowance upon request:

  • Meet the CAF allowance requirements in general.
  • Your household income should not exceed the threshold applicable to your situation (see the below table)
  • You have a child or offspring under the age of three.

The monthly threshold for receiving the full basic allowance is 184.62 €.

2019 income threshold for basic allowance (full amount) considered until December 31, 2021
Number of children per householdCouples with one income (€)Single parents and couples with two-income (€)
131 15339 577
236 77145 195
342 38950 813
Per extra child5 6185 618

* Two incomes are considered when an individual earns 5 511 € (2022 amounts for 2023 allowances) or more per year from sick leave or job. 

The 92.31 € thresholds for receiving the partial basic allowance:

2019 income threshold for basic allowance (partial amount) considered until December 31, 2021
Number of children/offsprings per householdCouples with a single income (€)Single parents and couples with double-income (€)
137 216 47 282
243 92753 993
350 63860 704
Per additional child6 7116 711

When an individual earns 5 511 € (2022 amounts for 2023 allowances) or more per year from sick leave or job, two incomes are considered.

Birth Allowance And Adoption Requirements

If you meet the following requirements, you can request the birth allowance:

  • Meet the CAF allowance requirements in general.
  • In relation to the birth allowance: Your pregnancy must be declared to your CAF and CPAM within the first 14 weeks. If you have a GP in France, he or she will do it after the first prenatal consultation.
  • Your household income should not exceed the threshold applicable to your situation.
The 2019 income threshold is considered until December 31, 2021.
Child per household (born or expected)Couples with a single income (€)Single parents or couples with two incomes (€)
132 45542 892
238 94649 383
346 73557 172
The additional income per additional child7 789 7 789 

* The household income is checked for the birth allowance on the sixth month of pregnancy.

* Incomes starting at 5 511 € per year are considered.

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The Supplementary Allowance For Childcare Requirements

If you meet the following criteria, you can request the supplementary allowance for childcare allowance (Cmg).

Meet the CAF allowance requirements in general (see above)

  • Engage in professional activity (if you are self-employed, you have to stay updated with your social charges payments)

Tips

  • If you are a learning student or receive one of the following benefits, no professional activity is required: ASS, RSA, AAH, or ATA.
  • If you hire a nanny (nursery assistant), he or she must be certified by the childcare services, and her or his gross daily wage cannot exceed 51.25€ per child on January 1, 2021.
  • Suppose you hire a nursery assistant through an association or a certified company. In that case, you must use their services for at least 16 hours per month to qualify for the supplementary allowance for childcare.
  • If your child attends a micro-crèche, you must use these services for at least 16 hours per month, and the hourly fee must not exceed 10€/child in order to qualify for the supplementary allowance for childcare.
The 2019 income threshold is considered until December 31, 2021.
Number of dependent children Incomes (€)
Less thanUnderNo higher thanMore than
One child21 277 *47 283 *47 283 *
Two children24 297 *53 995 *53 995 *
Three children27 317 *60 707 *60 707 *
Per additional child+ 3 020+ 6 712+ 6 712
Type of childcare signed in the contractMonthly allowance amounts(€)
Cmg maximum. allowance per month (under 3 / from 3 to 6 years old), childcare through direct recruitment470,22 / 235,11 296,51  / 148,28 177,88  / 88,95 
Cmg maximum. allowance per month (under 3 / from 3 to 6 years old), childcare through a certified company/association711,56  / 355,79 592,98  / 296,50474,39  / 237,20 
Cmg maximum. allowance per month (under 3 / from 3 to 6 years old), childcare through a micro-crèche or homecare via a certified association/company859,83 / 429,92 741,21  / 370,61 622,62  / 311,31 

* If you are raising your child/children alone, these amounts are increased by 40%.

Family Allowance Requirements

You are eligible for the family allowance if you meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the CAF allowance requirements in general (see above)
  • You have at least two children under the age of twenty.

Every family that meets these requirements is eligible for the family allowance. The amount depends on your income and family situation.

TIP: It is not necessary to request family allowances. If you are already registered with CAF (you will possess a numéro d’allocataire), you will receive them automatically when your second child is born. If you have not yet registered with CAF, you should do so. After completing the form, send the requested documents to your CAF to complete the registration.

When one of your children grows up to be 20 and remains dependent, the flat-rate allowance kicks in. To be eligible for the flat-rate allowance, you must have received family allowances for at least three children (including the child turning 20) in the month preceding his or her 20th birthday.

So, if this is the case, the flat rate will be applied automatically every month until the month before his/her 21st birthday.

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How Much Can I Expect From Child Benefits In France?

The Basic Allowance

This child benefit is paid monthly for three years, beginning the first of the month following your child’s birth and ending the month before your child’s third birthday. So, in the case of adoption, the basic allowance is paid for a minimum duration of 12 months and up to three years until the child reaches the age of 20.

The full monthly basic allowance is 184.62 €, and the partial monthly basic allowance is 92.31 €. Check the table above to see if you are eligible for the full or partial allowance.

The basic allowance is requested concurrently with the adoption or birth allowance.

The Birth Allowance And Adoption Allowance

The Birth Allowance

However, depending on your income, the birth allowance of € 948.27 (2022 amount valid until March 2023) per baby may apply to your situation when having a newborn child. This amount is for each child if you have twins or triplets.

The Adoption Allowance

The adoption allowance is 1 896.52 € (2022 amount valid until March 2023) and is paid as a one-time payment on the month the child arrives at your home. The adoption allowance is available upon request through this link. The adoption and basic allowance requests are the same.

The Supplementary Allowance For Childcare

You can hire a certified nursing assistant. If you do so, then the supplementary allowance regulated for childcare can cover up to 85% of your earnings.

For example, if you have to pay 160 € to the nanny and the maximum allowance granted based on your situation is 145.33 €, CAF will pay you 136 € (85% of your salary).

Check the table in the supplementary allowance for childcare requirements section to determine the maximum allowance amounts granted based on your income level.

IMPORTANT: Request childcare services through this link the first month to avoid losing a portion of your allowance.

Tips

– If you receive PreParE for part-time or less, the complementary allowance for childcare will be divided by two. 

– In certain circumstances, the allowance can be increased via the following factors:

  • +10% bonus if you need night childcare on Sundays or bank holidays. The timings are from 22h to 06h.
  • +30% bonus if either your partner or yourself is receiving the Adult Handicaped Allowance (AaH)
  • +30% bonus if you get the allowance for the education of a handicapped child (Aeeh)
  • +30% bonus if you live alone with your child or children.

– You may be eligible for a tax credit depending on the type of childcare you use and your circumstances. This should be confirmed with a tax advisor or the tax office directly.

The Family Allowance

The family allowance is given to each household based on their income level, and the amount varies accordingly.

CAF receives your income directly from the French tax office after you have completed your tax return and applies the appropriate family allowance based on your tax bracket.

 The 2019 income threshold is considered until December 31, 2021.
Number of dependent childrenTax bracket 1 (€)Tax bracket 2 (€)Tax bracket 3 (€)
2< or = 69 933 < or = 93 212 > 93 212 
3< or = 75 760 < or = 99 039 > 99 039 
4< or = 81 587 < or = 104 866 > 104 866 
Per extra child+ 5 827 + 5 827 + 5 827 
 Monthly amounts are valid from April 1, 2020, till March 31, 2021. (€)
Family allowance for two children131.95 65.97 32.99 
Family allowance for three children301 150.51 75.26 
Per extra child169.06 84.53 42.27 
Increase for children from the age of 14 y.o.65.97 32.99 16.50 
Flat-rate allowance83.44 41.72 20.86 

The table below summarises the main aspects of the child benefit in France. The initial request process can be tedious, but as you can see, it is worthwhile. After that, you will simply need to confirm the income and any changes in the family situation on your online account to continue receiving the relevant allowances if you continue to meet the criteria.

 PaymentPaid fromAge limitIncome tested
Birth allowanceone-time1st child0 monthYes
Adoption allowanceone-time1st child20 y.o.Yes
Basic allowancemonthly1st child3 y.o.Yes
Complementary allowance for child caremonthly1st child6 y.o.Yes
Family allowancemonthly2nd child20 y.o.Only the amount

FAQ: Child Support In France

In France, Does Every Child Receive A Child Allowance?

The family allowance (Allocation familiale – Af) begins with the birth of the second child in the family. It is paid on a monthly basis to families with at least two children under the age of 20.

In France, How Much Does Child Benefit Cost Per Child?

The child benefit, also known as Allocation de base, is paid monthly for three years, beginning on the first month’s day after your child’s birth and ending the month before your child’s third birthday. The basic allowance is paid in the event of adoption. It is paid for a minimum of 12 months and goes up to three years until the child reaches the age of 20.

The full monthly basic allowance is 184.62 €, and the partial monthly basic allowance is 92.31 €. There are thresholds to determine whether you are eligible for the full or partial allowance.

Are The CAF Allowance Income Tested?

The vast majority of CAF (Caisse d’Allocation Familiale) allowances are based on income. The Family allowance is an allowance that is available to everyone. Only the monthly amount is affected by your income level.

How Do I Apply For Child Benefits In France?

All CAF allowances are available online at the CAF website (www.caf.fr). You must complete the lengthy questionnaire and, once completed, send the requested backup documents via postal mail.