Explaining joint custody of a child
If you, as the parents of a common child, are not married to each other at the time of birth, only the mother has custody. This does not apply if you, as parents, have made a joint declaration of custody or if a different court decision has been made with regard to custody. Written information can be provided about the mother's sole custody, the so-called negative certificate.
If you would like to have joint custody, both parents must declare this to the Youth Welfare Office or a notary and have it notarized. Before that, paternity must be acknowledged.
You can also make the declaration of custody if your child has not yet been born but has already been conceived. However, this is still possible and necessary after the birth if you do not want to marry each other and do not want to seek a judicial settlement.
A declaration of custody must be publicly notarized. You can arrange this at the youth welfare office responsible for you or, for a fee, at a notary.
After concurring declarations of custody have been submitted, parental custody can only be changed by a decision of the family court.
For the declaration of custody, you must make a personal appointment at the Youth Welfare Office or in a notary's office:
- If this has not already happened, the father must first effectively acknowledge paternity.
- Both parents must appear in person.
- At the appointment, you will be informed about the legal consequences of the custody declarations. This will be read to you and must be signed by both parents.
- Both parents receive certified copies of the certificate.
- The parents are not married to each other.
- There is legal paternity (through effective recognition or judicial determination)
- The child does not have to be born yet, but it must be conceived.
- The child must still be a minor.
- A court decision on parental custody has not yet been made.
- Parents must appear in person.
- In principle, the parents must be legally competent, i.e. in particular of legal age. The declaration of custody of a parent with limited legal capacity requires the consent of his legal representative.
- Both parents speak sufficiently German. If this is not the case:
- Youth Welfare Office: If you need an interpreter, please let us know the language you would like when you make your appointment.
- Notary: If you need an interpreter, you must bring an interpreter to the appointment. This person needs a valid identity document and must not be related to the child's parents or by marriage.
Which documents are required?
- Identity card or passport of parents
- In the case of a postnatal declaration: birth certificate of the child in which the father is registered
- In the case of a prenatal declaration: maternity record and certificate of acknowledgment of paternity or court order establishing paternity
What are the fees?
Contribution: free of chargeThe notarization by the Youth Welfare Office is free of charge. In addition, there are any costs for interpreters.
Contribution: 60,00 - 80,00 EURPayment in advance: NoThe notarization of the declaration of custody at the notary usually costs EUR 60.00 plus VAT and writing expenses, a total of approx. 80,00 EUR. In addition, there are any costs for interpreters.
Fee: free of charge
Fee: 80,00 EURPayment in advance: No
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
The child must still be a minor at the time the declarations of custody are submitted.
The notarization of joint custody takes place immediately at the appointment.
Applications / forms
Forms available: No
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: No
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: No
There is no right of appeal.
What else should I know?
There are no clues or peculiarities.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ)
Professionally released on
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.