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German Law/German child maintennce law


Hi Carolin

When am I able to stop paying my son child maintenance. His mother and I were divorced in Germany in 1996, he is turns 21 years old next month and he says he wants to carry on with school for another 2 years. Does it depend on what kind of school he attends or what kind of education he receives? He still lives at home with his mother.
I would be quite happy to continue paying if I could afford it, but I am getting deeper and deeper into debt.

Dear Martin,

According to German law you have to support your son until he has finished one education that qualifies him for a specific career.  If your son wants to get a B A or master degree (etc.) in the same career field he already went to school for you are obligated to continue to support him financially as far as you can. You are allowed to keep at least 1150,00 EUR net income (after health insurance etc.) each month for your own expenses. As a maximum your son might be allowed to receive support until he turns 27 years old. But the mother is obligated to pay part of the support according to her income too because your son is over 18 years old and can take care of himself while he still lives at home.

You can contact me at and I can advice you how far you can lower your support payments.

Carolin Schulz-Burgess
German Lawyer

German Law

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Carolin Schulz-Burgess


German legal issues on inheritance, divorce, alimony, child custody and support, last wills and testaments, and other problems involving international family and civil law.


I am a certified German laywer with professional experience in both German and American law firms. Since 2001 I have been working independently at my firm, German Legal Services. I have represented hundreds of clients on matters involving US-German legal issues. One of my firm's areas of specialization is in divorce and child support and custody issues between members of the U.S. Armed Forces and German civilians.

World Affairs Council, German Bar Association

North Carolina Bar Association Newsletter

I received my undergraduate and JD degrees both from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, whose law school is consistently ranked in the top 10 in Germany.

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