Child Maintenance

What are the rights of my child?

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Raising children is wonderful but also costly. That can sometimes become an issue, especially when parents separate and/or are not together (anymore). In such cases, arguments over the amount of money one parent has to give the other for children's expenses are common. In Germany, such payment (i.e. child maintenance) is regulated in the maintenance law or "Unterhaltsrecht". The maintenance law determines which parent has to support the other financially and the minimum amount of money they pay. In this chapter, you can find the essential information on child maintenance in Germany. 

What do I need to know?

What is the right of maintenance ("Unterhaltsrecht")?

Who is entitled to child maintenance?

Should I pay maintenance for my child?

What is "Selbstbehalt"?

What is the minimum amount of maintenance for my child?

How do I calculate the approximate amount of child support?

I have to pay child maintenance for several children. Can I pay a lower amount for each?

What can I do if we can't agree on the amount of child maintenance?

What is a maintenance deed ("Unterhaltsurkunde ") and why do I need it?

What can I do if the other parent does not want to pay child maintenance?

What is the simplified procedure or "vereinfachte Verfahren"?

Can I sue the other parent for child maintenance?

What rights do I have if the other parent lives abroad?

Can I claim child maintenance from the other parent retrospectively?

Who supports my child and me financially until the other parent pays child maintenance?

Where can I apply for child maintenance advance?

What should I do if I can't pay child maintenance?

Where can I seek advice and support?


Don't know where to find the nearest Youth Welfare Office? On, you can look up the Youth Welfare Office responsible for you. Do not shy away from contacting the Youth Welfare Office. one of the most crucial responsibilities of the Youth Welfare Office is to help families and provide them with the best possible advice. You can learn more about their tasks and services in our "Youth Welfare Office" chapter.