Please enter a search term.

Your selected location: Herzlake

For an area outside of Lower Saxony and foreign languages, some menu items and functions are not available. Please go to the service page of the respective country.

Custody - Request Transfer and Withdrawal

The family court may, upon request, award parental authority or part of it to one of the parents.

If parents separate or divorce, joint custody of their joint children continues.

The legislator assumes that joint custody is the best solution for the child in most cases.

Note: It is not possible to transfer custody by mutual agreement without the involvement of the family court.

The family court may also withdraw custody of the child ex officio. In most cases, such proceedings are initiated on the basis of suggestions or information from third parties (e.g. the Youth Welfare Office or persons close to the child).

Process flow

In divorce proceedings, the court with jurisdiction over the divorce also decides on custody if one parent requests the transfer of custody. In this case, the matter is part of the divorce proceedings.

Even without divorce proceedings, a parent can apply for the transfer of custody. This is possible if the parents are not only temporarily separated.

Parents can agree on who should be given custody. In this case, the family court will usually grant the application for the transfer of custody.

However, a child over the age of 14 can object to this agreement.

In the event of disagreement between the parents, the court will examine which solution is best suited to the child's best interests. First of all, a hearing date will be set.

The parents and the child and other parties involved are heard (separately). The family court judge obtains a comprehensive overview of the child's family situation.

For this purpose, the court may also involve experts.

The results of the hearing and, if applicable, the expert's recommendation will be taken into account in the judge's decision.

Note: The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor child. The latter also represents the interests of the child vis-à-vis the parents.

Young people from the age of 14 can appeal against a decision on their own.

The family court may also withdraw custody of the child ex officio. In most cases, such proceedings are initiated on the basis of suggestions or information from third parties (e.g. the Youth Welfare Office or persons close to the child).

Who should I contact?

in connection with a divorce: the district court - family court - dealing with the divorce proceedings,

otherwise: the district court - family court - in whose district the child habitually resides.

Note: In certain cases, another court may also have jurisdiction. Therefore, seek advice from a lawyer.


  • The other parent agrees, or
  • the transfer of custody to only one of the child's parents is in the best interests of the child.

In the event of deprivation of custody ex officio:

  • On the basis of concrete indications, a serious threat to the child's well-being appears to be justified and
  • the parents are unwilling or unable to avert this danger.

Which documents are required?


What are the fees?

  • Court
  • if applicable: lawyers' fees, costs of legal assistance, costs of an expert

The family court decides on the payment of costs at its equitable discretion.

In case of need, legal aid can be applied for.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?


Processing duration

The processing time depends on the individual case.

Applications / forms

Forms available: No

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: No


Appeal pursuant to §§ 58 et seq. FamFG against the family court decision within one month

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

competent Bodies

Amtsgericht Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 1253 , 49702 Meppen
Address: Obergerichtsstraße 20 , 49716 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 888-100
Fax: 05931 888-250

Data protection information

Landkreis Emsland
Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
Telephone: 05931 44-0
Fax: 05931 44-3621
Transport Connection:
Station Haltestelle Kreishaus
Bus: 993

Building Access
elevator available, wheelchair-accessible
bank account:
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Emsländische Volksbank
IBAN: DE26266600600120050000
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Sparkasse Emsland
IBAN: DE39266500010000001339
recipients: Landkreis Emsland
bank: Postbank Hannover
IBAN: DE36250100300012132306


Marc-André Burgdorf
responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

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