Parental care Order in case of endangerment of the child's well-being

If the physical, mental or spiritual well-being of a child is endangered and the parents with custody are not willing or able to put a stop to this endangerment of the child's well-being, custody can be interfered with.

This always requires a family court decision.

In the event of an interference with custody, only those areas of parental care may be withdrawn whose withdrawal is necessary for a development conducive to the well-being of the child.

If parts of the custody are withdrawn, a caregiver is appointed for the areas. If custody is withdrawn altogether, the child receives a guardian.


For an interference with custody, either an application by a parent is necessary or a complaint from the Youth Welfare Office, reports from neighbors, educators or relatives on indications that justify the withdrawal of custody even without an application or suggest the transfer of custody to one parent from the point of view of the child's best interests.

Related Links

  • ยง 1666 Civil Code (BGB)
  • Act on Proceedings in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)

Often one parent applies for sole custody of the offspring and thus tries the family court (a special form is not prescribed), because in principle the parental care is of course incumbent on both parents.

In the other cases, the procedure is initiated by official channels, in particular by complaints by the Youth Welfare Office.

Throughout the custody proceedings, the parents are under close observation and the family court obtains a comprehensive overview of the child's family situation, including experts and expert opinions as required.  

As a rule, the family court acts on the parties involved so that the parents reach an out-of-court agreement and work out a solution in favor of the child together (also with the Youth Welfare Office).

If the healthy development of the child is endangered and there is a suspicion of endangering the well-being of the child, however, quick decisions must be made in custody proceedings (urgent procedures, for example for the surrender of the child and exclusion of contact), which often do not allow a joint solution.

As a rule, the court appoints a so-called procedural counsel. This ensures that the needs of the child are secured during the procedure and that the child does not become the mere object of the parents.

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