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German Law/Short trip abroad.


Hello there.

I have a friend who lives in Germany. She's married and she took their baby to a little trip, to another EU country without husbands permission. She returned after few days herself with baby, was gone for 3 days tops. Can she be charged for parental abduction, international child abduction or with anything?

If she can be charged with abduction, international child abductions or with anything connected to this incident. Few questions arises:

1. How long after incident she can be charged for this? As far as I know, she hasn't been charged for this yet, but might get charged if wants to divorce.

2. Can she use domestic violence as a defence, to lower/avoid conviction?

3. What would be possible conviction, if she gets charged for this?

Permament residence is in Germany, they have joint custody of the baby.

Thank you

1) Because the mother returned soon, she doesn't need to fear a proceeding under the Hague Convention.
Nor does she realistically need to fear criminal prosecution, particularly if she can prove that she always had the intention of returning soon.

2) No, domestic violence is no excuse to break the law (which she did). She could have gone somewhere else in Germany. It's also hard to believe that there was domestic violence if she then returned to live with her husband after 3 days.

3) N/A.

4) She should never do this again, because if there will be a custody proceeding one day, it can be used against her that she broke the law and was uncooperative towards the father, who has equal parental rights. I guess she wouldn't like the father to disappear with the child for a few days either.

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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