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German Law/child custody - child abduction?



I currently had custody of my child taken away from me by the german authorities because i had just gotten divorced and did not have a permanent residence. My child is currently under my parents care. I'm a U.S. citizen as well as my child, who has a U.S. passport. I was wondering if i just took her back to the states with me would it be child abduction? Could I be arrested for this?

Hello Christina,

it would only be a child abduction in the sense of the Hague Child Abduction Convention if the custody of another person or authority would be violated.

So it depends on who has custody now after yours has been revoked. What is the status of the father? If your parents have been appointed the sole guardians and there is no father with custodial rights, then you can in effect take your child out of the country because your parents would not object, I assume.

I could give you better advice if you could e-mail me the custody order and let me know a bit more details. Please feel free to contact me directly at

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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