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German Law/Paternity/Child Support


Hi - My stepson married a German girl while he was in the Army - stationed in Germany. They had a baby (paternity still not confirmed). He has since been discharged from the Army (under questionable circumstances) and is now back in the US looking for a job while his wife and son are still in Germany and they do plan to divorce. She claims that she is reporting him in the US for child support. Can she do this? What are his rights and what about establishing paternity? Also, is there any way to get a copy of the military records that prove what did/did not happen while he was in Germany? She claims he beat her, he denies it and says he was cleared of the charges. We don't know who to believe or how to help.

1. Paternity doesn't need to be established because they are married. The child is assumed to be his. If he wants to contest paternity, he can of course do this.

2. The mother can choose to pursue child support either in Germany or in the US.

3. I am sure he can get a copy of his military records, but I doubt anyone else can.

Sorry that my answers are very brief, but I would really need to hear from your stepson about what he wants to achieve, and then my advice would be geared towards his intentions. Does he want contact with the baby? Does he want to return to Germany to be close to the baby? What are his professional, economic and financial prospects (relevant for child support)? And so on.

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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