Parental care and contact

The standard case in the event of permanent separation of the parents or their divorce envisaged by law, is that the parents retain joint custody. Joint custody always occurs if no applications are made to this end during the divorce proceedings.

If sole custody is to be transferred to one parent (in connection with a divorce, but also independently of it), the other parent must agree – unless the child has reached the age of 14 and objects to the transfer, or if it is to be expected that the termination of joint parental custody and the transfer to the applicant is in the best interests of the child (section 1671 (2) of the German Civil Code)

Joint parental custody is always at issue when it comes to the care of persons and property (choice of doctor, choice of school, opening of a bank account), or to where the joint child is to reside (right to determine the place of residence).

If the parents cannot agree on this, a court will decide. As such court proceedings are usually not in the best interests of the child, we would be happy to help you come to an agreement concerning custody issues. However, we are of course also at your disposal should you wish to apply for sole custody, or if the other parent has applied for sole custody.

Issues that affect the child, but which are only everyday matters and are not of significant importance, do not affect custody.

Also to be distinguished from custody is the right of contact with the child, which is due to the parent who does not primarily care for the child.

This often involves mutually agreeing on contact and determining when the non-custodial parent has the right to have contact with and to spend time with the child. Questions as to how long and how frequently contact should take place, whether only one week’s contact is desired, or whether the parents or one parent want the so-called alternating model, also belong here.

Again, in the best interests of the child, it is best to find a mutually agreeable solution. In the event that such an agreement cannot be reached, we can naturally draw on extensive litigation experience throughout Germany.

Frequently asked questions about Private & Family