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German Law/Child Support and Visitation Rights


Dear Ms. Schulz-Burgess:

My husband is an American who has a child with a German national. Early on in the relationship they had moved to the US, but she just randomly picked up and left with the child back to Germany. The child's mother asked for a specific amount of child support and my husband has paid, although she refuses to send the child over to America and won't even set up phone calls. She has now demanded a new amount for child support. My husband asked for some documentation stating that it was the right amount and she stated that this wasn't the official amount from the government. She has never made it official with the government and is now "threatening" to do so. She says that the government will ask my husband to pay 300 euro ($400) for his soon to be 8 year old son. Although my husband is willing to pay the support, he is tired of having zero access to his son. Is it possible to 1) ensure that the child support is calculated fairly and 2) ensure that he gets visitation rights for the child to come visit in the U.S.? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Anne,

The amount your husband has to pay for child support depends on his net income. The minimum child support amount would be 272 EUR for a 8 year old child. I would be glad to arrange the child support calculation and to organize visitation rights for your husband. Your husband can contact me directly at and we can set up a telephone consultation. The easiest way to solve the problem would be to contact the Youth Department in his son's German home town for the calculation of the child support and to organize a visit between father and son in Germany. We would probably need to file later for visitation rights at court in order to get the right for your husband to take the child for a visit to the US.

Carolin Burgess
German Attorney at Law  

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.

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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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