German Law/Visitation


My husband and I are separated and scheduled to divorce next month. We are US citizens living in Germany. Our daughter is 14 and does not want to visit her dad. Is she required by law? Can she simply say no?

The father has a legal right to contact and visitation with his daughter ( 1684 I BGB). This right exists by law and is thus not subject to the child's consent, although it is of course up to the father whether he wants to make use of his right. If you are in the divorce proceeding already, you probably know that the Family Court won't deal with visitation until one of the parents raises the issue and files a formal request.

In fact, not only your daughter is required to have contact with her Dad, but if she stays with you, you as the custodial parent are required to encourage and facilitate that contact. If you don't, that could be used against you in a custody proceeding.

I know that teenagers are sometimes stubborn and it's hard to convince them that maintaining contact with one of their parents is the good thing to do, especially immediately after the separation (I was 16 when my parents separated), but at least after a while the situation should improve.
A Family Court would only deny visitation and contact rights to the father if there had been previous violence or similarly egregious circumstances.

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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