Common parental care in unmarried parents; Apply for custody

If the parents are not married to each other at the birth of the child, they have been entitled to parental care together since a new legislation that came into force on 19.05.2013, when they declare that they want to take over the care together (so-called so-called declarations of custody) when they marry each other or if the family court gives them parental custody together. Incidentally, the mother has parental custody.

The following situations are thus conceivable, which lead to joint custody of parents who are not married to each other:

  • After the birth of the child, the mother and the father marry, who has previously acknowledged his paternity.
  • The mother and the father declare their consent to the youth ministry as a common concern. Mother and father thus have joint custody.
  • If one parent does not give his or her consent, the other parent can try to reach an agreement with the Youth Office. If this fails or does not consider this to be a promising one, he can directly apply for custody in the Family Court. The latter decides whether it remains with the sole care of the mother or whether the custody is also transferred to the father.

In the latter case, therefore, it is necessary to carry out family court proceedings.

Related Links

  • Vaterschaftsanerkennung
  • Sorgerechtsverfügung bei Gericht hinterlegen


  • paternity must be legally recognised
  • the parents are not married to each other
  • the mother previously had sole custody
  • the parents are of legal age or their legal representatives agree

Note: According to the Eighth Book of the Social Code (SGB VIII), mothers and fathers who are not married to the other parent are entitled to advice on the submission of a declaration of custody and the possibility of the judicial transfer of joint parental custody.

Related Links

  • §§ 1626a Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB) Elterliche Sorge nicht miteinander verheirateter Eltern; Sorgeerklärungen
  • § 1671 BGB - Übertragung der Alleinsorge bei Getrenntleben der Eltern
  • § 155 a Gesetz über das Verfahren in Familiensachen und in Angelegenheiten der freiwilligen Gerichtsbarkeit (FamFG)

The family court procedure has some peculiarities and takes place in a graduated procedure. In certain situations, a written and very simplified procedure may be considered. With regard to the details, it is recommended that the Youth Office and, if necessary, seek advice from a lawyer.

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Hessian Ministry of Justice

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