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German Law/child laws/ paternity


I work here in Germany and am an American Citizen.  I am currently pregnant and wonder how it works here?!  In the US if the father is on the birth certificate he has parental rights and visitation.  Someone told me that here thats not true, that I'll have soul custody?!?  Also, if I deny visitation do I still get child support and half of the cost of child care from the father?  How does traveling between countries work? Does he have to contact the airline and give the ok like in the states? Does Germany have stipulations on living arrangements like the US ie: have to have a separate bedroom for the child as I live in a studio?
Thank you in advance!

Dear Jamie,

According to German law and if you are not married to the father of your child you have sole custody and the father only has visitation rights. The child will live with you and you can travel or move with the child without the fathers permission. According to a new supreme court decision the father could file for custody at court if this would be in the best interest of the child.

You can contact me at if you want set up a telephone consultation.

Carolin Schulz-Burgess
German Attorney at Law/Foreign Legal Consultant  

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

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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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