Child Access Cases in Germany

German Family Lawyers

Child Access Cases in Germany

German Family Lawyers

In Germany, the best interests of the child are under special protection of the state order. As a result, the parent’s right of access is not granted unconditionally but always remains linked to certain conditions. If the parents decide to go their separate ways, the right of access should under no circumstances be used as a means of exerting pressure on the other parent and dragging the children into the middle of a divorce dispute. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for the regulation of access and custody rights to lead to challenging conflicts for the parties involved.

The German law firm Schlun & Elseven offers competent and committed legal assistance to provide clients with the support they need in such a situation. Our family lawyers have excellent professional competence and the necessary empathy to achieve a permanently sustainable solution and to make this emotionally demanding situation as pleasant as possible for you.

Google Rating | Based on 419 reviews

Legal Assistance in German Family Law

Advice on Child Access Rights
  • Enforcement or withdrawal of the right of access: support
  • Representation before the family court
  • Right of access clarifications
  • Family psychological reports: advice

Parents’ Right of Child Access in Germany: Important Information

After a divorce or separation, giving the child a sense of stability is essential. This can be achieved by having the child’s centre of life with one of the parents. However, this does not affect the other parent’s right of access.

In contrast to custody, the right of access only includes the parental right to spend time with the child. This is why the term “visitation rights” is used colloquially. This right can only be withdrawn if it endangers the child’s welfare. Despite the right of access, one parent may have sole custody. This parent is responsible for making important life decisions for the child.

Note that the sole custodian may also determine the framework conditions of the visits of the parent who only has rights of access. For example, they can prevent activities with a high risk of injury. It is advisable always to try to come to an amicable agreement with the other parent on how contact should be arranged. This also applies in the case of joint custody, as consensus is always in the child’s best interests.

Are there any Legal Requirements for Child Contact in Germany?

There is no legally stipulated time that a parent should spend with their child. This is rather an aspect that the parents can clarify among themselves. In this context the focus must always be on the child’s best interests.

Accordingly, the right of access depends on the child’s best interests. According to the legal presumption of Section 1626 (3) sentence 1 of the German Civil Code (BGB), the child’s best interests generally include contact with both parents. The same applies to contact with other persons to whom the child has ties if their maintenance is conducive to its development (cf. Section 1626 (3) sentence 2 BGB).

It is also worth mentioning in this context that the right of contact does not depend on whether the parents are married. Moreover, this right is not linked to maintenance payments.

If the parents are permanently separated, there is no generally applicable solution for the scope and exact regulations of the right of access. However, the following factors are usually of particular importance:

  • How far do you live from the other parent?
  • Does the child feel comfortable in your neighbourhood?
  • Where does your child go to school?
  • What are your working hours?
  • Does your work involve frequent travel?

For younger children, more frequent visits that are of shorter duration are usually advisable. It can be stressful for the child to be away from their primary caregiver for several days. Regular visits of a few hours support the establishment of an intimate and continuous rel