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German Law/questions about “sabbadico/gap year"


Good morning, I live outside Germany while my son lives in Germany with his mother. Please I need your help for the following:

a) my son had the abitur in 2014 (may or june?) and from that moment he is not going anymore in the school/university because he says to be searching the “right” school/university (sabbadico/gap year). I would like to know if it is true that in Germany a law permits to my son to receive my support money also during the time that he is not going to school/university. If YES, please can you tell me which is the code/number of this law? Have I to pay the support money “only” for 12 months or until when my sons starts with the new school/university (maybe after 15 months, for example)?
b) in the case during that “sabbadico/gap year“ my sons is doing some works to collect some money, can I subtract the 50% of his net salary (the other 50% is for his mother, I suppose) from the support money that I am sending him?

Thanks a lot in advance for your answer.
Best regards, Lino

Hello Lino,

a) There is no law on this, so it depends on the specific circumstances. I would say that a gap year is not necessary to search for the right university, because your son could have done that when he was in high school or in the months afterwards. As you said, the high school graduation is in spring/summer and university begins in September/October. That is enough time, in my mind.

b) Once your son moves out from his mother's place, he has a child support claim against both father and mother (but only if he is studying or in any kind of training). That claim is 660 EUR, but from that he has to deduct what he earns himself. The rest will be divided between father and mother based on both your incomes.

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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