Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Child custody and parental rights outside marriage

21 posts in this topic

Hi, does anybody know where you should go to sign/register so that both parents have equal rights or custody to a child in a non-married relationship?

Thanks for any help.

SIM

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start with stateing paternity on the birth certificate.

 

If you are both on the birth certificate, by law you have shared custody automatically, unless she sues for full custody.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

kat is that right???

i could be wrong but all that does is just pretty much say yes i'll pay up it was my sperm, i'm not sure if it means you have access or even custody rights.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gonna say, equal rights for both parents does not exist. eg 50/50.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya

two different things.

Sorgerecht (custody) and Umgangsrecht (visiting rights).

The easiest way to ensure rights is to get married. Seriously.

The other way is legally more complex ;)

You can declare usually via the Jugendamt (sometimes via a court or other legal entity such as a notary) for "die gemeinsame elterliche Sorge" (shared custody) by making a "Sorgeerklärung" (Legal text:§ 1626 a Abs. 1 Nr. 1 BGB ). This will cover things like residency, where the child will be schooled, visitation etc.

Should such a declaration not be made or the couple remain unmarried, the mother retains custody rights. The mother can also apply for this full transfer of rights without permission of the father should no marriage certificate or Sorgeerklärung exist.

Changes to a Sorgeerklärung can only be made via an application to the family courts. Enforcing such a declaration is a whole different matter though.

You should contact this lot at the city hall but call them for an appointment before going in person. You need legal help and these people know their stuff.

Good luck whatever you decide,

Katrina

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you katrina, which basicly means if you don't do this your just going to end up with the right to pay not to say? or do i see that wrong.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are spot on gideon. That's exactly how it works.

This guy needs to go to the Jugendamt asap to get proper advice.

The Sorgeerklärung might still get ignored but without it he'd have no chance.

Another thing: if you are remotely in doubt about paternity, try and get it cleared asap as anonymous paternity testing will be banned next year. Yes I know how harsh this sounds but I'll include it to be thorough.

Katrina

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if I gave wrong advice. I know that the policy is now to give shared custody to married couples automatically. I didn't expect it to be so radically different for the unmarried. :ph34r:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again and thanks for all the advice. There are no problems with paternity or anything like that. Just we never felt the need to get married and although we don't have any plans to split up I just wanted to make sure that I have some rights as a father in case anything did go wrong in the future (knock on wood).

I am registered as the father and all that but it just came up recently about rights because our son is starting Kindergarten and my girlfriend had to give them permission so that I can collect him :o

I thought I had "equal" rights when we went to the KVR and acknowledged parenthood but it seems otherwise.

So without getting married (at least in the near future) I just want o make sure that my rights are as strong as can be...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am registered as the father and all that but it just came up recently about rights because our son is starting Kindergarten and my girlfriend had to give them permission so that I can collect him 

yes, thats sucks but they also have to do that for grandmas etc. you will always be father 2nd class legaly hier unless your married. and then when you marry ithink you may have to adopt your child. although katarina is obviously the source of wisdom here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Organisations such as PACT (which primarily offers assistance in international child abduction cases and to multi-national custody issues or Reuniteoften have advice about how to avoid the pitfalls of international custody issues particularly with regard to German policy on The Hague Convention. I'm pleased though that the situtation isn't a hostile one and sorry if I sounded a bit harsh.

Gideon, I've only had to have this info through HR at work stuff, I don't have children myself (and couldn't eat a whole one either ;) )

Katrina

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

try fried with dill and rosmary, then you'll eat two in one sitting no problem ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked at an NGO for child services back in the states and saw some really nasty international custody battles. I'm not this line of work anymore - too damn depressing and I see that @SIM is Irish but I'll post up the lessons learned (for Americans) anyway. Warning: these are observations from worse case scenarios, i.e. nasty, ugly, brutal so take it at that value:

 

1. If at all possible go with the most protective common law, ie. Marriage in Germany. Make sure the marriage is legal in your home country. It almost always is but look at Jerry Hall eh.

2. Guys, establish paternity and your rights in the local courts.

3. If your child is born on "foreign soil" register them with the local consulate, establish citizenship, visa whatever you can get from your home country for your child. Keep in mind this can be a long process so better too get it started to early than to late...

4. Make sure your child has a passport. If dual citizenship is an option, get your country passport for your child.

5. Document, document, document - you should have duplicates and quick access to all relevant records, paternity tests, birth certificates, medical records for the baby AND if possible the other parent - at least basics like blood type, family history etc. Don't forget the passport as well.

6. Keep financial records for all kid related expenses - these can be used to justify appropriate child support levels.

7. Make sure the child's dual nationality isn't "incidental" in the eyes of the court. If your an Ami raising your child in Germany, this means making sure they learn -at least informally- the English language, connect with their American relatives...have regular visits if possible, failing that regular phone calls and 2-way correspondence etc.

8. If you think you could end up back in the states but are not financially independent, maintain a good credit rating and an active credit card or bank account in the states - this could help you get back on your feet.

9. In Germany invest in legal insurance. If you have to go back to the states and your kids will stay here- see if its possible to maintain the policy so you can at least be covered in the German courts.

10. Last but not least have a binding will, both parents should understand who will take care of the child in case of your untimely departure. Layout - to the extent possible- visitation rights by your side of the family if thats important to you.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

My girlfriend (who is German) and myself (Indian) have a child. I am living in Hong Kong, and work as a faculty in a business school. We were planning to get married in two weeks, and everything was arranged in India with my family and friends.

 

Now, this would be happy situation has turned into a disaster. My girl friend just walked out a few days ago and returned to Germany without telling me (and also took the baby boy) when I was at work. She did not even leave a note, and has not contacted me since. I have been trying to reach and located her at her parent's place, but she does not want to talk and said will send a e-mail (which she has not so far).

 

She must have been planning for a few days at least, but somehow things seemed normal. We did have a couple of arguements, which I thought is not uncommon between two people living together, but something that surely did not warrant such a drastic step. I hardly slept for the next days trying to trace her and the baby in Hong Kong and Germany.

 

I have ofcourse no choice but to go ahead and cancel the wedding, My family (and myself) are devastated. The wedding was planned with my girl friend's concurrence, in fact she selectecd the wedding cards. We have known each other since 1997!

 

anyway, I will get over this short-term shock of cancelling the wedding, but long-term I am concerned about the child. We have declared the joint parentage in both Germany and Hong Kong (at the German consulate), so at least I am safe on that account. The baby is only 9 months old, so I think it is better now anyway for the baby to be with the mother for the moment, But I would try to agree with her of getting to see the boy on a regular basis and help in anyway I can. I am financially very stable (though my girlfriend is probably not going on the job market anytime soon and has been financially weak).

 

I hope some sense will come into all this once things cool down in the next months. My question (at long last) is that if my girlfriend does not agree to anything and intends to cut me off totally from the boy, I will have to take the legal route, and I do intend to go the whole way, and improve my bargaining position in anyway I can. Could you please tell me how I should proceed on this from the legal side? I have just joined German courses from next-week, and I will make it a point that I learn German as fast as the baby.

 

Many many thanks for looking at my message.

 

Regards

ven

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ven...condolences on the turn of events. There are some really very knowledgeable people on here that may be able to sort you out but my gut reaction is to advise:

 

1. Get a specialist lawyer asap that can officially advise you on your rights in terms of custody, child support etc. If you can't get any names from the forum, get in touch with your country's embassy in Germany, perhaps they can refer you to some firms. In the meantime, keep a record of all related communications, i.e. a list of phone calls, hardcopies of emails etc. Also keep related bills, phone bills, financial support etc. as well as receipts for German lessons to prove your good intent if necessary.

 

2. Side tangent. Germany has something like personal legal insurance which is useful in offsetting legal bills...It's probably just for legal residents but maybe worth checking out if there are loopholes in cases such as yours. You can check out the insurance threads or give a shout to TT's preferred insurance advisor, Holger Kretzschmar .

 

3. If you've got/can get the summers off from the Uni...perhaps you can make arrangements for a visiting professorship so you can be in Munich or nearby for an extended time to get things sorted out, see your son and learn German. There are many, many Uni's around. I don't know all the summer schedules but googles should be able to sort you out. Oh and the European Business School in Munich was posting for marketing and other business professors some time ago as well.

 

HTH and goood luck to you.

jml

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JML,

 

Thanks a lot for the response. First, I think I should wait for a couple of weeks for things to cool down. Perhaps the mother will come to realize (or someone from her family or freinds will help her do that) that the baby needs a father as much as a mother. I do not want to throw a legal notice before looking at the other more presentable options. Second, I have some insurance from HSBC on this and I intend to give them that pleasure of serving their client if need be. Third, I am already trying to create a paper trail as much as possible, and it makes good sense with your suggestion. Thanks a lot, I know the School you mentioned. Can you say approx. how long a legal process at local German courts may take in this matter?

 

Ven

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ven, sorry about your situation.

 

I know a whole bunch of German lawyers who are very close friends. I don't know if they deal with these kind of cases cuz they are mostly in corporate law but I am sure they have other connections. When you are ready to take the legal route let me know. I could be of some help.

 

Best of luck.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey roots,

 

I just got a response finally from the mother. Seems she got advised by some friend in Germany to just take the fisrt flight out since I was the suspect of kidnapping the child. Anyway, I think now if this girl would believe such things from someone who has never met me or spoken to me and not believe in someone she lives with, I think it is better we had the marraige stopped.

 

Please I will contcat you for the lawyers - that is very kind of you.

 

regards

Ven

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, I have definitely appreciated reading this forum and gaining insight about the potential custody and visitation conflicts being an expat, soldier or whatsoever in Germany. I am, myself, on a two year assignment in Germany, only 8 months to go, and my girlfriend (german) of 1 yr. is supposedly pregnant with my child. I have known this (or suspected this) since Christmas and I say that because she claims she is but refuses to take a pregnancy test with me, has NOT been to a doctor visit in the first four months of the pregnancy, and small hints that I pick up on just suggest to me she only wants me to believe she is pregnant because at the fourth month she is NOT showing and wanted to go snowboarding with me three weeks ago! We have had some rought spots in the relationship and just as we broke it off last November, she comes back with this surprise and hangs it over my head to guilt me back into the relationship. Well I gave it another go and after round 2 of not getting along, I confronted her about some ultrasounds she sent me via email (of which the doctor name, her name and date were cut off in the picture). So anyway, very strange situation and I can't explain her behavior, but I do know IF she IS pregnant, she claims I will never see the child or be a part of his life. From what I am reading in the forum and my general understanding is that when she decides not to recognize the paternity of the child "Vaterschaft anerkennung" that I don't even have visitation rights (not being a married couple and likely not having the opportunity to recognize it on the birth certificate). Is it even worth seeking legal councel, am I just dead in the water here with no visitation rights or anything???

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0