Costs incurred by non-custodial parents in maintaining contact to their child | Our Services | KelaSkip to content

Costs incurred by non-custodial parents in maintaining contact to their child

The right of children under 18 years to maintain contact to their parents can be safeguarded by granting basic social assistance for this purpose. Kela may grant a child-specific food allowance and financial assistance with the travel costs for a parent who lives in a separate household, which are valid for the day of seeing the child. Kela may grant a parent or guardian who lives with the child financial assistance with travel costs to the extent that the child sees a parent who lives in another household.

In order for Kela to grant assistance with the parent-child meetings, an agreement confirmed by the municipal or wellbeing services county authorities, or a court decision on the child’s right of access, is required. An agreement between the parents is not sufficient in itself.

If a child spends half of his or her time with one parent and half with the other parent or guardian, the child is considered to be a member of both families, and no financial assistance is available specifically for the costs of parent-child meetings. The basic amount for the child is divided equally between the two families.

The child-specific basic amount can be divided between the parents without a confirmed agreement on the right of access or a court decision. If the child lives with another guardian under a dual residence arrangement, a confirmed visitation agreement or a court decision is required to share the basic amount. More information about the basic amount.

Child-specific food allowance for the non-custodial parent

Kela may grant a child-specific food allowance for a non-custodial parent who receives basic social assistance, which is valid for the day of seeing the child. As a rule, the non-custodial parent receives food allowance for the days of seeing the child in accordance with the agreement on the right of access. The food allowance for the child cannot be granted to a parent or guardian who is living with the child.

The days of seeing the child are taken into account for each child separately and for each full or partial day. The basic amount differs according to the age of the child and the meal expenses are taken into account to a percentage of 49% of the basic amount. The meal expenses for one day are calculated as the meal expenses for one month divided by 30.

Example

Maria receives basic social assistance from Kela. She sees her 6-year-old son on two weekends each month from Friday to Monday morning. Maria applies for assistance for the costs of seeing her child for the days of seeing the child.

The basic amount for a child under 10 years of age is EUR 383.03  per month. Maria is paid food allowance for the child for eight days, i.e. in total EUR 50.05 (383.03 x 0.49/30 x 8).

Travel costs

The travel costs associated with parent-child meetings can be recognised as expenses for the parent or guardian living with the child to the extent that they arise from meetings between the child and a parent living in another household. In addition, the cost must be payable under an agreement confirmed by the municipal or wellbeing services county authorities or a court decision. If there is no separate, confirmed agreement or decision about who pays the costs of the meetings, they shall be borne by the parent meeting the child.

Kela recognises travel costs related to child contact based on the least expensive method of travel. Travel costs outside Finland are usually not covered. The costs incurred by an accompanying person may be recognised as well if the child is under 7 years of age or cannot travel unaccompanied due to his or her state of health or for some other specific reason.

Verification of the travel costs always has to be presented (e.g. train ticket). You can apply for a voucher in advance to cover travel costs related to child contact. State under Additional information if you need a voucher.

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Last modified 22/4/2021

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