Receive advice and support in the assertion of maintenance claims

If you are a single parent, you can seek advice from the Youth Welfare Office and receive help in claiming child support.

Parents are obliged to provide maintenance to their children. If a parent does not live with his or her child in a household, he or she is obliged to pay maintenance through monetary payments. However, 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 here.

A child has a legal right to maintenance. The Youth Welfare Office can provide legal advice to a parent who is actually caring 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 liable parent are known, it can be determined which maintenance claim seems realistic.

However, the means are always individual and can be discussed in a personal conversation. #

If the single parent so wishes, a support body can be set up. The Youth Welfare Office can then independently approach the paying parent on behalf of the child.
It can, for example,

  • calculate the amount of maintenance,
  • ask the parent to make payments,
  • control the receipt of payments,
  • file a lawsuit if necessary, and
  • have arrears of maintenance seized.

Even if an assistance is set up, there can be no guarantee that maintenance payments can actually be collected.
Assistance ends automatically when the child reaches the age of majority.

Young adults can be advised on maintenance issues by the Youth Welfare Office until their 21st birthday. They can also be offered support in appropriate cases .

In the case of persons of legal age, not the parents, but only the children are advised by the Youth Welfare Office.

The mother of a child has her own maintenance claim against the father during the maternity leave period. 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 him in appropriate cases.

If the mother is unable to work because she is unable to do so due to pregnancy or an illness caused by pregnancy or childbirth, she herself has a maintenance claim against the father. This also applies if the mother cannot be expected to be gainfully employed because she takes over the care and upbringing of the child. In these cases, too, the Youth Welfare Office can offer advice and support.

If the father cares for 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 applicable, the divorce decree and
  • the birth certificate(s) of the child(ren)


What is required in individual cases will be clarified in a personal conversation. A telephone conversation before a visit to the Youth Welfare Office can be helpful here.



No special requirements apply to the authorized persons.

Income or assets have no influence on the right to advice or the establishment of an assistance.

Related Links

  • Advice and support for child support (§ 18 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 SGB VIII)
  • Assistance (§§ 1712 ff. BGB)
  • Advice and support for young adults (§ 18 Abs. 4 SGB VIII)
  • Advice and support during maternity leave (§ 18 para. 1 no. 2 SGB VIII)

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 request. 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 Gender Equality

Last update or date of publication