Certificate of custody declaration

Joint parental care includes the right and duty of parents to accompany their child's life, to promote his or her development and to provide adequate care for a minor child.


If parents are not married to each other at the birth of a child, parental authority is conferred by law on the mother.

If the parental care is to be borne jointly by father and mother, then they must declare that they want to take over the care together (declaration of custody). Parental care includes personal care, custody of assets and representation of the child in personal matters.

This must be publicly notarized. The declaration of custody can also be submitted before the birth of the child. For the exercise of joint care, the cohabitation of the parents is not necessary.

If this declaration is not made, the mother has sole custody.


  • The parents are not married to each other
  • Paternity is effectively recognised
  • A court decision on parental care has not yet been made
  • Parents must appear in person
  • In case of language barriers (e.g. insufficient knowledge of German), the involvement of an interpreter is necessary

Related Links

  • ยง 1626 a Civil Code (BGB)
  • prior appointment is required
    • the personal appearance of both parents is indispensable
    • can be done independently of each other in exceptional cases
  • Mutual power of attorney is not possible
  • Existence of recognition of paternity required (see separate benefit)
    • Recognition of paternity can be preceded on the same date

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