SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken has warned of the possible negative effects of the reform of maintenance law proposed by Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP). The subsistence level of the child must be clearly protected, “and the reform must not be at the expense of the mothers, who are mostly responsible for the upbringing,” Esken told the newspapers of the Funke media group. “It is quite clear that the financial expenses for the child will only decrease slightly as a result of the shared care.”

The Minister of Justice had previously announced that “in the next few days” key points for a reform of maintenance law should be presented, which should relieve the burden on parents who look after them. This will particularly affect separated families, in which one parent does the main care, but the other parent also contributes 30 or 40 percent. In such cases, the maintenance to be paid by the co-caring parent could be slightly lower in the future.

Esken sees the reform plans in principle in line with the family policy goals of the traffic light. This includes men and women taking equal responsibility in family work. This also applies to separated parents. The partnership care serves the children. “Where it succeeds, we want to take this into account better in maintenance law,” said the SPD leader.

The SPD, Greens and FDP had also agreed on changes in maintenance law in their coalition agreement. “In maintenance law, we want to take better account of the proportion of caregivers before and after the divorce, without endangering the child’s subsistence level,” says the section on family law.