Caring for unmarried fathers

Fathers care & matter (March 2019).


a marriage is not for everyone. They may be attracted to each other, completely in love, but perhaps they do not feel the need to bind themselves. Or maybe you go the other way too: waiting for the wedding until your baby is older and / or you have more money for the wedding. The fact is that in contrast to the traditional family in Germany, the number of ""alternative forms of life"" is on the rise. In 2010, 8, 6 of all parents lived together without a marriage certificate. Federal Statistical Office 2012. In addition, there are more and more single parents. Even though custody changed in favor of unmarried fathers in 2013, they still do not have the same rights as a married father.

What is custody and do I have it as a dad?

When a baby is born, his mother automatically has custody. This legal term includes all rights and obligations for the child. She has to take care of and protect her child but is also his legal representative and manages his assets.

As a father you automatically have custody:

If you are married to the baby's mother (either at birth or after)

  • if a parent applies for joint custody of the family court and does not object to the best interests of the child,
  • An entry as a father in the birth certificate or recognition of paternity is not synonymous with custody. This must be requested separately.

Why do I need custody?

You do not need custody of your everyday role as a father. Most parents do not even think about it - they all make their daily decisions about raising your child together. However, custody gives you the opportunity to make the big decisions for your child until it's 18 or on your own. One of the things you can then decide is:

to give consent for medical treatment of the child
  • to be able to choose the child's school
  • to apply for a passport for the child
  • about his religious Education to decide
  • to decide on the place of residence
  • to give consent to a child's wedding before the 18th birthday
  • to manage the child's assets, eg. For example, to open an account in his name.
  • Strictly speaking, fathers without custody may not even pick up their child from the kindergarten or from the school, unless the parents have made written arrangements. An educator who does not want to give his son a child without custody is legally correct.
For many families custody is only a legal safeguard of what they see in themselves: a protection for their child. In tragic circumstances, it can be very important for you to have this safety net. For example, if the baby's mother dies, then you would be the person who looks after the child, is legally his parent, and his protector.

Although every court would probably award you custody in this situation, there is no guarantee. Sometimes other relatives apply for custody and then it can get complicated. Maybe a testamentary custody order can help you here.

But if you and your partner live together like married people, then it seems the most sensible and near-term to apply for custody.

I do not have custody right now. How can I apply?

If you have acknowledged the paternity, then you get the custody if:

you marry the mother of your child
  1. both parents declare the common care (care statements)
  2. you the family court at your request, the common concern transmits
  3. What does a custody account look like?

There is no uniform form for the declaration of care in Germany. It must be requested in a document. This can be done free of charge at the local youth welfare office or by paying a notary.

In order for you to receive the certificate, you would have to fulfill the following requirement:

The parents must not be married

  • The mother has sole custody
  • You have the fatherhood recognized as a father
  • The parents are of legal age or have the written consent of their legal representative
  • Both parents must appear in person for certification
  • The declaration of care can be given prior to birth. Which documents you need to bring with you can vary individually. Therefore, contact the youth welfare office beforehand. Generally, the following documents are required:

Valid card (ID card or passport)

  • Certified copies of the document recognizing paternity or a judgment of the court
  • After birth: Child's birth certificate (some offices request a recent copy the birth certificate, that is, the copy issued by the Office must not be older than 48 hours!)
  • If you apply for custody, you do not have to live with the mother and you do not have to have a partnership. The nationality of the parents is not important.

Alternative Parental Agreements

If you do not want to get custody or do not want to apply for it, you may still be considering what might happen if the child's mother died. If she thinks the child is the best person for you in this case, she should mention that in her will.

If we split up, do I still have custody and must I pay maintenance?

Maintenance for your child and custody are not linked. This is regulated in different laws. All parents (whether by adoption or birth) have a duty to financially care for their child, whether or not they have custody. You have a duty if you recognize paternity, or a court has declared you father. The custody does not affect the amount of the maintenance payable.

Even after separation, you have custody. This means that you have to be involved in all major decisions. Smaller decisions may be made by the mother after a separation without her, but not larger ones. For example, she could sign up for a ballet lesson without consulting her daughter. But she should not decide on a possible operation alone.

Once you have successfully applied for child custody, you can only be deprived of it by a family court.

If you did not apply for custody before the separation, you can apply for it after a separation at the family court. If the mother of the child does not object within six weeks, or if she does not give reasons for the child's welfare, then they will have joint custody.

Does custody mean that I can see my child even after a breakup?

No, because custody and access rights are two separate areas. But each parent is entitled and obliged to deal with his child. The law makes no difference if you are divorced or never married. However, after a separation, the visitation rights can be regulated individually.

Does the mother give up rights if she shares custody?

No. Your rights as a parent are not limited thereby. But the law expects all parents to make all decisions as amicably as possible.


Federal Statistical Office 2012.

Families with minor children according to family form www. destatis. de [Status: April 2012]

BMJ 2011. Federal Ministry of Justice

Custody of unmarried parents. Questions and answers. , January 2011 www. bmj. de [Status: April 2012]

BMJ 2009. Federal Ministry of Justice

Living together. Information for couples who cohabit without marriage or registered partnership , August 2009 www. bmj. de [Status: April 2012]

BMJ 2008. Federal Ministry of Justice

The right of children. , 15. 07. 2008 www. bmj. de [As of: April 2012]

Show sources Hide sources

Popular Posts

Recommended 2019

How to say the original about pregnancy
Pregnancy and childbirth

How to say the original about pregnancy

Scheduled pregnancy is a joyful and long-awaited event for spouses. You can present the news that you will soon be three, original, turning this day into a memorable holiday. You will need - a doll; - card with a child; - children's thing; - pregnancy test. Instruction one In pregnant women, taste preferences change
Read More
How to give baby fish oil
Baby health

How to give baby fish oil

Fish oil is a useful product consisting of many valuable microelements that are necessary for the development of a child’s body. It is one of the best sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These valuable substances contribute to the formation of brain tissue and stimulate the mental development of the child.
Read More
How to prepare a child for FGS?
Baby health

How to prepare a child for FGS?

Frequent symptoms of abdominal distention, problems with the stool, feeling of heaviness in the stomach, pain or belching should serve as a reason to consult a doctor-gastroenterologist for examination and diagnosis. The most reliable picture of the state of the stomach and duodenum can be seen using fibrogastroscopy (or FGS)
Read More
How to choose a swing
Games and entertainment

How to choose a swing

The kids love the feeling of flying and literally occupy all the swings at the playgrounds. Give children a holiday by buying a home swing . It is important that they are as safe and comfortable as possible for the child. Instruction one When choosing a swing, consider the age and weight of the baby
Read More
How to wrap in a blanket of a newborn
Baby care

How to wrap in a blanket of a newborn

Blankets for wrapping newborns do not lose their relevance even today, when there is a large selection of envelopes and overalls for sale. After all, not every family can afford to buy an envelope that will become small in a couple of months. The blanket, unlike these new-fashioned objects, can be used much longer and cover the baby with them not only during a walk, but also at home
Read More
Target as internal variable

Target as internal variable

In any organization there are a number of elements that are called internal variables. These variables include goals, objectives, structure, technology and people. All of them are the result of management activities. Instruction one The goal is the result the organization seeks to achieve. This is a concrete and achievable dimension
Read More
How to teach a child to count
Education and training baby

How to teach a child to count

Before school, the child should already master some basic skills - for example, learn to read and count. Proper training of the child in the account can arouse and strengthen his interest in further educational activities. Instruction one Select the right time to start learning. Until the age of two or three years, the child, for the most part, is not yet ready to master the account at a conscious level
Read More
How to talk with sectarians

How to talk with sectarians

Religious freedom is one of the main democratic freedoms of citizens. However, the existence of huge numbers of religious practices, which are sects, gives this freedom a certain danger. Modern sectarians do not hesitate to openly talk with people, insistently offering them to get acquainted with this or that "religion" - so how to communicate with them in order not to fall under destructive influence
Read More