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German Law/German child support - 16 years later


16 years ago i was in the military and had a child with a German citizen.  I went to court and paid some support.  Shortly after i was relocated to the US and did not have any way to get in touch with the mother.  I have not been back to EU since that time and now I may be traveling to France on business. My question is, Is there a chance I can be arrested or detained for failure to pay support.  I have not received anything from Germany or my ex in the past 16 years.

Hello Joe,

you have absolutely nothing to worry about!

Child support enforcement is a purely civil matter with which the border police and the Schengen Information System are not concerned.

Very theoretically, the mother could find out about your presence in France. She would then have to get the German court order recognized in France and a French bailiff could then try to enforce it against you while you will be there.
You see that the practical chances of that are close to zero.

Enjoy your trip to France!

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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