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About Elfenstar

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  • Location Mannheim
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown Austin
  • Gender Female
  • Interests not interested in much...
  1. Maternity leave and the law in Germany

      From what I read it's 6 weeks before and 8 weeks thereafter. Maybe something changed and they are unaware?
  2. incident in train ... should have called the police ?

      I think the incident is that this man actually touched the girls (their hair).  That was more than forward. That was sexual harassment. 
  3. Looking forward!  
  4. Here's a website to help you find a midwife:  https://hebammensuche-bw.de/ You can filter by language.
  5.   It might not be that, but with shared custody, it means you'll have to share  visits, stay-overs, holidays, etc. If she doesn't want any contact with you, having joint custody makes that aspect difficult. And you'll have to be well organized.
  6.   You don't forget this. You left this off intentionally.   When I was contracted out to a company, I put the agency I worked for - because that as my employer - and then in bold listed the name of the company I was contracted out to. But You're right. It doesn't really matter in the end. When I started out at a big software company, no one ever asked about the previous agency I worked for. Whenever I talked that old job, I only talked about where I worked, not the agency, because that was really irrelevant.
  7.   While there are many good resources out there, I found this Facebook page very enlightening. It seems you're not the only expat out there who doesn't know they had to file. There's lots of good, free advice. Of course a guy will ask you if you need their services and I actually did take advantage of the streamlined filing. It was a lot of legwork on my part to get everything together. Maybe next year I'll do it on my own. That being said, we have a German tax accountant for our German taxes, so...   https://www.facebook.com/groups/952367774780623/   I should add - I had an accountant friend of mine once tell me if I earned below the foreign earned income threshold, there was no need for me to file my US taxes. That was before FACTA though and the scare mongering with FBARs.
  8.   I was just about to suggest this. She has a history of mental illness, and while it seems she was fine, pregnancy, birth and hormonal swings do unpredictable things to the body. I know I sometimes didn't recognize myself. So with this and medication, I'd worry about post-partum psychosis too.   You mentioned you haven't been able to find her. What about her parents? Have you reached out to them? I do hope you have gotten in touch with the JA, even through your lawyer. I'd hate to see your child come to harm.   I'm very glad you have a lawyer.
  9.   Around the Heidelberg train station (Hauptbahnhof) is a relatively new housing development with quite a modern flair called the Bahnstadt. I say relatively new because, IIRC, the first people moved in about 3-4 years ago. And the area has been developed and expanded since then. Although I know folks who live in the Bahnstadt, their feelings are mixed. Most are simply annoyed at the price of rent and feel they are paying way too much, but know that there's nothing cheaper available. Others find the area "sterile" and "boring", but then say "well, with kids it's perfect". Most of my friends who live there have kids. They're glad they have a parking space and 3 bedrooms and a kindergarten and school nearby and some even ride their bikes to work (in Walldorf). Most have gotten used to the Bahnstadt, but prior to this, as singles and couples without children, they lived in the hipper neighborhoods of Heidelberg and wanted desperately to stay, but with their new families, couldn't find anything affordable with 3 or 4 bedrooms.   The same will be with the new developments near the Mannheim train station. You'll get modern layouts with no flair of the older neighborhoods.    And Bad Schönborn is a village. Great for families (or those who simply like urban areas).   I don't know what housing looks like in Vancouver, but a lot of the cool, "hip" areas have older buildings, some renovated in the inside, but look older on the outside.
  10. As I wrote in this thread, there are plenty of places along the S-Bahn line that will you bring you to St. Leon Rot S-bahn stop. For a hip, childless, late 30s couple who likes the vibe of the city, I wouldn't recommend any small towns (so no St. Leon Rot, no Walldorf, no Bruchsal, Sandhausen).   I don't know too much about about the hip neighborhoods in Kalrsruhe. Maybe Durlach, and...   So that leaves us with Heidelberg, then Mannheim. Check out this thread for best areas to live in Heidelberg and Mannheim: https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/186824-best-areas-to-live-in-heidelberg/?page=1   If you lived near the train station in Mannheim, meaning you can WALK there in 10 minutes, then you'll have at least a 1 hr commute door-to-door), one way. The drive is shorter of course, and there are several different routes to get you to Rot, but your commute might still be 40 minutes.   If that commute is too long and daunting for you, I would say you guys might be happier in Heidelberg. But if you live in the hipper neighborhoods of Neunheim or Handschuhsheim, then you're still a 15 minute tram ride to the HD train station. To cut your commute down (either by car or train), then you'd be wise to live near the train station, so Weststadt or Bergheim, which are still hip, but in a different way. Or, move to the Kircheim/Rohrbach areas - a bit sleepier, but then you're only a short tram-ride to central Heidelberg.   Or maybe Schwetzingen as an alternative might be nice, but only if you have a car.  
  11.   Your situation is very interesting and I do hope that you update us with what you find out. But you're right. People get hired from all over the place to go and do work elsewhere. And if you have a German employment contract, I can also see no reason why you shouldn't be able to get residency. I mean, you'll move into a flat and everything, right?   Question:  What type of visa do you have for the US? You get paid in € to a German bank, but I can image you also have to deal with the US tax authorities.   
  12.   That’s an understatement. And I think you have much to clear up. But I do wish you all the best, for you and your baby. That’s your priority.   Is your husband from Serbia too?
  13.   WHAAAT You don't have either a residency or a work permit? Having a German work contract doesn't mean you have a work permit. The contract is the prerequisite to apply for a work permit (which gives you residency), but that's no substitute for it. So it sounds to me like you're working illegally in Germany. Where are you from?   When you went to register ("Anmeldung"), what did you fill out or did you not register? How were you able to get an apartment without showing proof of registration with the city? How were you able to get a bank account?!!  
  14. You're right @engelchen, iit helps to read the law. But she writes she has a contract in Germany and that they sent her abroad. I'm assuming - I know, never assume, which I why I tried to summarize, that means she has a work permit and thus residency for Germany and if you get Entsendet, you are eligible for Elterngeld.      You don't lose residency if you get delegated abroad.   But without knowing exactly what the OP meant, could mean their situation is totally complicated and the only real clarification they can get is from the proper authorities.   And by having their kid in the US, that kid automatically gets US citizenship. Might be cool except they'd have to file a US income tax every year :-) unless they renounce citizenship. But that's another thread!  
  15. Legal labeling requirements on second-hand car seats

      No, no, that's not what's meant! Some things as @dj_jay_smith pointed out are fine to buy second hand, but a car seat isn't one of them. We bought the first Maxi Cosi second-hand from a friend. It was barely 6 months old and we knew they were never involved in an accident, so that was obviously an exception. We gladly passed it on (for free) to friends of ours. The other car seats we simply had to buy new because many of them (from friends) were simply several years old and back then (when the friend had bought the follow-up car seats), Iso-Fix wasn't really standard. And nowadays you can "skip" the second stage car seats and buy one from like 9 kgs to 36 kgs. (4 years ago when we bought ours, only a few brands such as Cybex, Kiddy did them. Now, there are many more choices).   Aside from a few other items, we bough everything used (the foldable Stokke baby bathtub, the Trip-Trap chair). The crib we used was actually from when my hubs was a baby. His brother's used it too! :-) We only bought new mattresses (for the bassinet and crib) and for the buggy.