Receive advice and support in the assertion of maintenance claims

Parents are obliged to support their children. If a parent does not live with his child in a household, he is obliged to pay the maintenance through money payments. But this parent does not always do this. There can be various reasons for this. For those affected, the question arises as to how they can proceed further here. A child has a legal right to maintenance. The Youth Welfare Office can legally advise a parent who actually cares for a child. and, in appropriate cases, offer further support. In this way, sometimes simple letters to the other parent can be designed. If the economic circumstances of the paying parent are known, it can be determined which maintenance claim appears realistic. However, the means are always individual and can be discussed in a personal conversation. # If the single parent so wishes, an assistance can be set up. The Youth Welfare Office can then, on behalf of the child, independently approach the paying parent. It can, for example, calculate the amount of maintenance, ask the parent to make payments, check the receipt of payments, if necessary, file a complaint, and arrest maintenance. Even if assistance is set up, there can be no guarantee that maintenance payments can actually be collected. An assistance ends automatically when the child comes of age. Young adults can be advised on maintenance issues by the Youth Welfare Office up to their 21st birthday. They can also be offered support in appropriate cases. In the case of adults, it is not the parents, but only the children who are advised by the Youth Welfare Office. The mother of a child has her own maintenance claim against the father during the maternity leave. The Youth Welfare Office can advise the mother of a child for her own maintenance claims in the period six weeks before and eight weeks after the birth of the child and support them in suitable cases. If the father looks after the child immediately after birth, he has a maintenance claim against the mother. In this case, too, the Youth Welfare Office can offer advice and, in appropriate cases, support.

All documents that may already exist can be helpful. This can be, for example, legal letters, court decisions on maintenance, if necessary, the divorce decree and the birth certificate(s) of the child(s) be. What is required in individual cases will be clarified in a personal conversation. A telephone conversation conducted before a visit to the Youth Welfare Office can be helpful here.


No special conditions apply to the authorised persons. Income or assets have no influence on the right to advice or the establishment of assistance.
The counselling and support services are offered by the youth welfare offices on their own responsibility. The office hours vary depending on the youth welfare office. Assistance shall be established by means of a written application. This application is informal and can be written by yourself or written at the local youth welfare office. Before a visit to the Youth Welfare Office, it is usually useful to contact us by telephone.

Responsible for the content
Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality

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