• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Dads to get joint custody even if mum says no

The Local · 4 Feb 2013, 08:06

Published: 04 Feb 2013 08:06 GMT+01:00

Until now, single fathers have always had to get the mother's blessing before they could be granted custody of their kids, a rule that fathers' organizations have long seen as unfairly weighted against them.

But now new legislation would allow unmarried fathers custody even if the mother is against it. The new law emphasizes that in normal circumstances both parents are to share responsibility for the child, unless this is not in the child's best interests.

Unmarried fathers denied joint custody of their children by mothers will in future be able to go to the Youth Welfare Office or appeal directly to the family court. The mother will then be given six weeks to give a statement on the father's custody application.

If the court does not see any threat to the child's interests, it will automatically grant the father custody on principle.

It would no longer be enough for the mother to say that she does not want any contact with the father, as the child's interests alone will now be prioritized.

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said the new law was a clear step forward in social equality.

"Fathers will be in a much better position," she told Die Welt newspaper on Friday. The new custody rules would reflect social changes and the process would work "quickly and without bureaucracy," she added.

However, German fathers' organisations have said the new rules do not go far enough to redress the balance between parents.

Story continues below…

The reform implements a ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court in 2010 which overturned the existing law that a father cannot get joint custody without the mother's permission, a rule the European Court for Human Rights had also criticised.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:49 February 4, 2013 by bellsucks
Keep it in you pants. Not worth it.
Today's headlines
Nine injured after freight train crashes into bus in Osnabrück
The crash site in Osnabrück. Photo: DPA

A freight train crashed into a bus in Osnabrück on Wednesday morning, leaving several people badly injured, local media report.

In Pictures
Düsseldorf swoons as Prince William comes for royal visit
'Well hello Mr. Prince'. Photo: DPA.

Prince William paid a visit to the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf on Wednesday to celebrate the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's 70th birthday. Here's a look at his royal stay.

Brexit
Frankfurt attempts to charm banks away from London
Frankfurt am Main. Photo: DPA

Germany's finance capital has spotted an opportunity with the Brexit-wary banking beasts of the Square Mile.

How did this bike end up on top of Berlin’s Molecule Man?
A professional climber 'rescuing' the bike hanging from the Molecule Man. Photo: DPA.

Berliners are still scratching their heads over how a bicycle ended up dangling from the capital’s iconic statue.

Travellers stuck after dozy train driver forgets Freiburg
Photo: DPA

It's one thing to miss a train - it's another when the train misses you.

Berlin airport employee admits taking €150,000 bribe
Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Photo: DPA

The German capital's long-delayed international airport has been haunted by claims of corruption and incompetency.

Teachers' union: school burqa bans only isolate girls more
Women wearing niqabs. Photo: DPA.

A German trade union for teachers has warned of the consequences of banning certain religious attire in schools after a teen this week was told she could not wear a face veil to school.

Bundesliga
Bayern ban big bags and bottles for Bundesliga opener
Photo: DPA

Bayern Munich have tightened security measures at their stadium, banning spectators from carrying big bags and bottles, ahead of Friday's home match - the first of the new German league season.

Drugstore chain DM starts selling pepper spray
Photo: DPA

One of Germany's largest drug stores has started selling pepper spray due to "increased requests" from customers.

AfD accused of using neo-Nazi symbols on campaign car
Photo: Facebook of NO LEGIDA.

The Leipzig branch of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has come under fire for seemingly using Nazi symbols on a campaign car.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,582
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd