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German Law/Germany Sozialhilfe Letter


I'm a US citizen and have lived in the US for more than 25 years. I grew up in Germany (but was never a German citizen)and I have been married to an American for 26 years. My husband and I have received a request from the German Government, asking us for financial information with supporting documentation, seeking financial support for my mother living in Germany. Are we legally required to respond and provide information? Can they legally force us to make payments?

Dear Derrick,

According to German law you are obligated to support your mother financially. But the German government might not be able to enforce the payments here in the US. I would need more information where you live in the US etc. I would be glad to give you more precise advise in a telephone consultation. You can contact me directly at

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

German Legal Services
306 South Walker Street
Columbia, SC 29205
Tel. +1 803 254-8153
Fax +1 803 753-9295

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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

North Carolina Bar Association Newsletter

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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