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 can grant a child-specific food allowance which is valid for the day of seeing the child to the parent who does not live in the same household and who receives basic social assistance. In addition, Kela can grant assistance towards travel costs.

In order for Kela to be able to grant the assistance, an agreement on the right of access which has been confirmed by the municipal social services office or a court of law is always needed.

If a child spends half of his or her time with one parent and half with the other, the child-specific basic amount is divided equally between the parents and the costs arising from child contact are not separately recognised for purposes of basic social assistance. The child-specific basic amount can be divided without a confirmed agreement on the right of access or a court decision.

You can apply for assistance with the costs arising from child contact either in advance or after seeing your child. The application must be accompanied by an agreement or decision concerning child contact.

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 days of seeing the child are taken into account for each child separately and for each full or partial day. The basic amount for a single day is calculated as follows: The basic amount according to the child’s age is divided by 30. The amount of the food allowance is 49% of the basic amount.

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 313,29 per month. Maria is paid food allowance for the child for eight days, i.e. in total 313,29 / 30 x 8 x 49% =  EUR 40,94.

Travel costs

Travel costs related to maintaining contact with one’s child can be taken into account for the parent who does not live in the same household if there is an agreement confirmed by the municipal social services office or a court decision on the right of access. 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 12 years of age or cannot travel unaccompanied.

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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