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Declare joint custody of a child


If you as parents of a joint child are not married to each other at the time of birth, only the mother is entitled to 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 regarding custody. A written statement can be issued regarding the mother's sole custody, the so-called negative certificate.

If you wish to have joint custody, both parents must declare this to the Youth Welfare Office or a notary and have it notarized. Paternity must be acknowledged beforehand.

You can also make a 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 court settlement.

A declaration of custody must be publicly notarized. You can arrange for this at the youth welfare office responsible for you or, for a fee, with a notary public.

After declarations of custody have been made in agreement, parental custody can only be changed by a decision of the family court.

Process flow

For the declaration of custody, you must make an appointment in person at the Youth Welfare Office or at a notary's office:

  • If not already done, 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 will be given certified copies of the document.

Requirements

  • The parents are not married to each other.
  • There is legal paternity (through effective recognition or judicial determination).
  • The child need not 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.
  • The parents must appear in person.
  • In principle, the parents must be legally capable, which means in particular of full age. The declaration of custody of a parent with limited legal capacity requires the consent of his or her legal representative.
  • Both parents speak sufficient German. Should this not be the case:
    • Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office): Should you require an interpreter, please state the language required when making the appointment.
    • Notary: Should you require an interpreter, you must bring an interpreter with you to the appointment. This person needs a valid identity document and must not be related to the child's parents by blood or marriage.

Which documents are required?

  • Identity card or passport of the parents
  • In case of postnatal declaration: birth certificate of the child in which the father is registered
  • In case of prenatal declaration: maternity passport and certificate of acknowledgement of paternity or court order establishing paternity

What are the fees?

Contribution: free of charge
The certification by the Jugendamt is free of charge. In addition, there are possible costs for interpreters.

Contribution: 60,00 - 80,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No
The notarization of the declaration of custody at the notary usually costs 60.00 EUR plus VAT and writing expenses, a total of approximately 80.00 EUR. Any costs for interpreters must be added to this.

Fee: free of charge

Fee: 80,00 EUR
Payment in advance: No

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

The child must still be a minor at the time the custody declarations are made.

Processing duration

The notarization of joint custody takes place immediately in the appointment.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: No
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: No

Appeal

No appeal is provided.

What else should I know?

There are no clues or specifics.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ)

Professionally released on

16.05.2023

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)