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German Law/Child Support Duration



I have an 18 year old son living in Germany (not with his mother) working in a paid apprenticeship.  I stopped paying child support when he turned 18.  His mother says that I must continue to pay until he completes his paid apprenticeship program (in 2 years).  Is she correct?  The divorce degree does not specify an ending point.  The information that I found online says high school or college is the extent of the obligation.

She is now threatening me with a lawyer.

Other questions:

Also - I retired from the military in 2006 and my income was significantly reduced at that time although I continued to pay what was determined in my divorce agreement, should I have my support contribution reevaluated in German court?  His mother is working and has greater income than I have currently.

Was my ex-wife obligated to pay any of the expenses for my son traveling to see me in the U.S. every year?  Was she entitled to less child support when he stayed with me for a month?

Please let me know.

Thank you

1. Because your son is 18, you have no more obligation towards his mother. If at all, he has a claim himself, so you can choose to deal with him directly if you prefer to do so.

2. Your son could theoretically still have a claim for support, if he doesn't earn enough through his apprenticeship. If you know what kind of apprenticeship he does and in which state, we could look up the average salary if he doesn't give you this information.

3. As your son does not live with his mother, he would have a child support claim against both parents. You would not be obligated to pay alone, but only your share of the part of child support which is not covered by your son's own income. The obligation between you and the mother would be divided in proportion to both your incomes.

4. Your reduction in income should of course be considered. If the judgement still applies (I would need to see it in order to know), then you would indeed need to seek an amendment by the same court. Otherwise, the judgement still remains in place.

5. The mother is not obligated to pay the travel expenses, but you are entitled to have the travel expenses deducted from your salary for the purposes of the child support calculation.

I'll be happy to have a look at all the paperwork and the numbers for you and calculate what if any child support you still need to pay. Please feel free to contact me 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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