Childcare maintenance

In principle, the caring parent is entitled to childcare maintenance after a separation or divorce. Unmarried parents are now largely on an equal footing with married and divorced parents. Maintenance payments to the caring parent are considered at the earliest four months before the birth. The maintenance obligation exists for at least three years after birth. It shall be extended as long as and to the extent that this is equitable. In particular, the interests of the child and the existing possibilities of childcare must be taken into account.

In the context of legal proceedings, proof of income and assets is required in particular. The court requests the necessary documents in detail.


  • The requirements of the Civil Code for the maintenance claim of mother and father on the occasion of childbirth are met,
  • the dependent parent cannot provide for his or her own maintenance (neediness) and
  • the other parent is able to contribute from his income and assets to the maintenance of the needy parent (capacity).

Related Links

  • § 1615l Civil Code (BGB) (maintenance claim of mother and father on the occasion of birth)
  • § 1609 BGB (order of precedence of several dependants)
  • § 18 of the Social Code, Book of Eight (SGB VIII) (advice and support in the exercise of personal custody and rights of access)
  • § 1570 Civil Code (BGB)

Consensual settlement

If you have any questions about maintenance, you as a single parent will receive free advice and support from the local youth welfare office. There you can also have the amount of your claim determined. The counselling also takes place in connection with the recognition of paternity (notarisation by the Youth Welfare Office).

Assert the maintenance claim in writing and first seek an amicable settlement. A voluntary commitment is certified by the Youth Welfare Office. With the deed ("enforceable title"), your claim is immediately enforceable even in the event of a dispute.

Maintenance application

If the maintenance debtor does not meet your claim, you can assert your claim by filing a maintenance application with the court . In any case, you should seek advice from a specialist lawyer for family law before applying . The details of maintenance law are complex, so expert advice is highly recommended.

The application for care maintenance is usually submitted to the family court by the specialist lawyer you trust.

A substantial change in the circumstances that were decisive for the maintenance claim in a previous enforcement title may give rise to an action for amendment.

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