Spanish millennial loses case to force parents to pay for his upkeep

It is a ruling that will strike fear in the hearts of grown up kids across Spain.

Spanish millennial loses case to force parents to pay for his upkeep
Photo: kryzhov/Depositphotos

 A 24-year-old from Catalonia who sued his divorced parents after they refused to keep supporting him financially, lost his case because a judge ruled “relatives cannot be expected to maintain the illusions or expectations” of someone who is an adult.

In a ruling made public on Thursday by the appellate court in Barcelona, the man who has not been named was told that he “must accept the responsibilities that come with his decisions”.

The man had argued that his parents should cover his food expenses after he decided to return to college to study.

The court heard that when his parents separated, the then teenager spent time in both his parents homes and on turning 18 he had received a study scholarship to pursue a vocational course but had spent the money on a tattoo.

When his own parents insisted he should consider his career options more seriously, the young man moved in with his paternal grandparents who have supported him since.

But the man argued that now that he had decided to return to his studies, his parents and not his grandparents should shoulder the cost.

Under Spanish law, parents are not automatically absolved of legal obligation to support their offspring beyond the age of 18 but are expected to do so if they are unable to support themselves during full time study or while jobseeking, providing they can prove that they are incapable of supporting themselves.

But the legal obligations are a grey area that can be decided by a court on a case by case basis. 

But in this case, the judge ruled that the man “had not proved attempts to adapt his lifestyle to his own [financial] situation, nor is it evident that he has done everything possible to cover his own needs like an adult person,” reads the ruling.

Spaniards are among the latest in Europe to fly the nest. Recent data reveals that the average age of emancipation in Spain is 29 years-old, meaning young people spend an entire decade more living under their parents roofs than their counterparts in Sweden (which at 19 years, has the lowest age of emancipation within the European Union).

Only in Malta (31.1 years), Italy (30.1 years) and Greece (29.4 years) do parents have to put up with their offspring for longer.

A prolonged economic crisis and an unemployment rate reaching 26 percent at its peak – and almost 50 percent youth unemployment – has made it difficult for young people to find financial independence and a place of their own.

READ ALSO:  80 percent of Spaniards aged under 30 still live at home

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish agency criticised for failure to collect child support debts from abroad

Denmark’s parliamentary ombudsman has criticised the Danish Debt Collection Agency (Gældsstyrelsen) for failing to prioritise debts related to child support payments from persons who reside abroad.

Danish agency criticised for failure to collect child support debts from abroad

The child support payment, børne- og underholdsbidrag or more commonly børnebidrag in Danish, must generally be paid by one parent of a child to the other of the other if they do not live together.

But the Debt Collection Agency has done too little to collect payments of the contribution from abroad, the Ombudsman said in a press statement on Tuesday.

“Collection of child support contributions are of major importance for the financial circumstances in many homes,” ombudsman Niels Fenger said in the statement.

“It is therefore criticisable that the agency has, for almost five years, generally not promoted the collection of these contributions,” the watchdog added.

According to the Danish Debt Collection Agency, some 12,500 persons outside of Denmark have outstanding debts related to the child payments, totalling 2.3 billion kroner.

Collection of the money has been complicated by a lack of procedures in the area, the agency said.

Instead of sending requests to authorities in the relevant countries for collection of the debt, the Danish Debt Collection Agency has prioritised assisting foreign authorities in collecting debts outstanding in Denmark, it told the Ombudsman.

It also said that it would now prioritise collecting the Danish debts, and would produce a plan for the work.

This plan will be shared with the Ombudsman when it is completed later this year.

A large amount of debt is tied up in an old system, DMI, which does not allow wage deductions as a method of collection. A new system, PRSM, does enable this.

The agency is therefore working to transfer many of the debts from the old system to the new one, it reported to the Ombudsman.

READ ALSO: Denmark uses new method to collect debt from public