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German Law/US Soldier and German national - possible child


I really do need clarification as soon as you can spare. There is a married US soldier who has been told by a German national from his past that she has given birth to his child. She claims it is his. He has asked for a paternity test. Her directions are unclear. He is trying to avoid going through the Army for reasons unknown. What are his options in order to establish paternity? Is he supposed to be sending her money beforehand because she is asking? Does he need to fly to Germany in order to take a paternity test? Please any help on the subject would be beneficial. Thank you.

ANSWER: First of all, there is no need for him to go through the Army. This is a purely civil matter.

I would suggest a private DNA test, where both parents send DNA samples to a lab (no need to go to Germany for that), and then we'll see what the outcome is. Such a private test is NOT legally binding, but it costs much less than a court-ordered one. If the private test is positive, you know that he is the father. Then he can acknowledge paternity officially, and only from then on is he legally the father.

Without establishing legal paternity, there is no obligation to make any payments.

All my future advice would then depend on the outcome of the DNA test and on the intentions of whoever would be my client in this case.

Andreas Moser

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QUESTION: Hello again,
Thank you. I shall relay that information. Are the costs of the DNA tests as much as flying overseas? Are the costs between private and legal significantly different? He can do his part here in the states and she do hers in Germany? I read you worked with JAG, what happens to the soldier if his wife finds out and brings it to his commanders attention that the child was born out of wedlock? Can the German national do anything to harm his career?  apologize for all my random questions but you are shining a light on things.

1) Usually you can find a private DNA test for around 200 or 300 $. I would think that a return ticket between the US and Germany is more expensive, and that doesn't even consider the problem of having to come up with an excuse for your wife regarding your trip to Germany.

2) If a German court orders a DNA test, it will cost a lot more, up to tenfold what private companies charge.

3) Yes, everyone sends their samples. The participating people don't need to be in one place for that. The samples simply meet at the lab.

4) Why would the wife want to do that? The answer depends on the commander's personality and the soldier's standing with his commander. If I was the commander, I probably wouldn't make it any of my business and I would tell the wife that this ain't no family court, but the US Army.

5) The prospective mother can of course not be prevented from informing the Army herself, in particular if she tries to seek their cooperation regarding the enforcement of child support. What happens then is again up to the discretion of the Army. If the prospective father cooperates, it might reduce the incentive for the prospective mother to contact the Army.

Andreas Moser  

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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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