Child support & benefits

Child support

Child support is a payment made for the support of one’s own child to the parent with custody of the child. The parent with custody of the child receives child support payments in their own name but must use them for the good of the child. Parents must support their children up the age of eighteen.


  • Parents should agree upon child support when divorcing or terminating registered cohabitation and when changes occur to the custody of a child.
  • It is usually the parent with whom the child has legal residence and lives who requests child support.
  • Child-support agreements are valid only if confirmed by a District Commissioner.
  • A child-support agreement can be amended if circumstances change or if it does not serve the interests of the child.
  • Any disputes regarding child-support payments should be referred to a District Commissioner.


About child support on the website of the Social Insurance Administration.

Child benefits

Child benefit is intended to help parents with children and to equalise their situation. A certain amount is paid out to parents for each child up to the age of eighteen.


  • Child benefit is paid to parents with children under the age of eighteen.
  • A fixed amount is paid for each child under the age of seven irrespective of income. Otherwise, child benefit is income-linked and calculated on the basis of income from the year before as declared in the relevant tax returns.
  • No application is needed for child benefit.
  • The amount of child benefit depends on the parents’ income, their marital status and the number of children.
  • Tax authorities calculate the level of child benefit that is based on tax returns.
  • The State Financial Management disburses child benefit four times a year: 1 February, 1 May, 1 August and 1 November.
  • Child benefit is not considered to be income and is not taxable.


About child benefits on the website of Iceland Revenue and Customs (Skatturinn).

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