What are the rules of child support in Portugal

In 2021, there was an estimated 17,279 divorces in Portugal; making it one of the highest divorce rates in Europe. At Giambrone & Partners, we understand that divorce proceedings can be difficult, and this is only enhanced when a child or children are involved. If you are seeking a divorce in Portugal as a non-resident, certain considerations and measures need to be made.

This guide will explore the rules of child support in Portugal, for both Portuguese and non-Portuguese nationals, and the benefits of hiring an international family law firm.

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Read about what happens during divorce proceedings when a child is involved, and what needs to be determined.

Discover what Portuguese law dictates regarding child support, and how international lawyers can help.

Discover what happens in cases where one parent is in a different country.

Find out who Giambrone & Partners are, and the services they provide for child custody cases,

Read about the most frequently asked questions on child support in Portugal.

What will need to be determined during Portuguese divorce proceedings?

When children are involved, divorce proceedings are overseen by the Public Prosecution Service in Portugal. They will verify the agreements and certify conclusions regarding the children and each of the parent’s responsibilities.

Paper chain cut with scissors

In Portugal, children can receive child support until they are 25, and both parents are expected to share responsibilities. During divorce proceedings, certain factors will need to be determined, including:

Is it joint or sole custody?

Primarily in Portugal, joint custody (Guarda Partilhada) is favoured over sole custody (Guarda única), as Portuguese law states that both parents should share responsibilities regarding the child's education and wellbeing. Joint custody is preferred; however, the child’s best interests will always be prioritised.

Custody arrangements may differ depending on the family structure. Our Portuguese family lawyers can advise you through the divorce proceedings to ensure the best possible outcome regarding child support.

Contact our international family lawyers today.

Where will the child live?

During divorce proceedings, the residence of the child will need to be determined. This results in either exclusive residence (residência exclusiva), where the child lives solely with one parent, or alternate residence (residência alternada), where they live between parents.

If it’s joint custody, what is the time frame?

As joint custody is preferred, a time frame will need to be stated and followed by both parents. For example, one parent may have the child for 30% (2 days), and the other has them for 70% (5 days).

A child looking sad while sat inbetween 2 people

How much is the child support?

During a divorce that is accepted by mutual consent, the amount of child support can be agreed upon by both parties, without the need to take it to family court. The Public Prosecution Service will be able to verify the agreement and put the child support in writing to be followed by both parents.

However, when child support or custody is contested, the matter will be taken to Portuguese courts to decide the best interest of the child involved. At Giambrone & Partners, our team of Portuguese family lawyers can help you prepare a child support case and calculate the amount to ask for.

To find out more about the process of divorce when children are involved, visit our website.

How is child maintenance calculated in Portugal?

Despite the marriage ending, both parents are expected to share responsibilities regarding their children. There is no set amount for child support in Portugal. If the parents cannot agree between themselves, child support is determined by the courts, which is guided by evidence and certain criteria such as:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Both couple’s incomes
  • How long do they spend with the child/children

If you are looking for legal advice for divorce proceedings in Portugal, consider hiring international lawyers who can speak your language. This ensures that you understand the Portuguese legal system so that there is no miscommunication during the process.

Contact Giambrone & Partners’ family lawyers today.

What happens when one of the parents lives in a different country during a divorce?

During cross-border divorces, certain complications may arise which can challenge both parties. In the cases of cross-border family disputes, further decisions will need to be made regarding child support and custody agreements.

Where the child will be educated

If both parents are residing in different countries, for example, if one parent lives in the United Kingdom and the other in Portugal, there may be a family law dispute about where the child will be educated.

Our specialist cross-border divorce lawyers will assist you during this process to ensure the interest of the child is met. Find out more about cross-border divorce involving a child.

If one parent wishes to take the child abroad

If both parents live in different countries, it can be difficult to negotiate where the child will live. Our Portuguese family lawyers can assist you during the process to advise you on your rights and options.

There is the risk of one parent taking the child out of the country without the consent of the other parent. In these cases, it is important to seek legal advice immediately, as the issue may become time-critical.

A Magnifying Glass Looks At A Childâs Figure Stands Between Father And Mother

As Portuguese law places great value on a child’s rights, there are serious consequences for parents that go against the court’s rulings. Make sure the child support is maintained by hiring international family lawyers.

Contact arrangements with the other parent

When custody and the amount of child support have been determined, our international lawyers can also help arrange contact with the other parent; especially if they do not reside in Portugal.

Contact our specialist team of international family lawyers who understand both British and Portuguese law.

What can Giambrone & Partners do?

Giambrone & Partners is an international law firm, with offices in Spain, and Portugal. Our team of international family lawyers can act on your behalf and assist in child support cases; communicating in your own language and providing legal advice at every stage.

During a cross-border divorce (between the UK and Portugal), our family lawyers can decide on the custody of children, employ financial arrangements for child support, and help with relocation issues.

If you are seeking family law advice for international child support, contact our international family lawyers today to find out more information.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if my Portuguese citizenship depends on my marriage?

After three years of continuous marriage to a Portuguese resident, a non-resident can apply to become a Portuguese citizen. If the marriage ends in divorce, Portuguese citizenship will not be renounced.

To understand your rights during a Portuguese divorce, ensure you hire international family lawyers who can advise you during proceedings.

How much does a divorce cost in Portugal?

By mutual consent, the cost of the divorce process in Portugal is €625.

Find out more about how to get a divorce in Portugal at our Advice Centre.