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Unmarried fathers to get automatic joint custody over children

AFP/The Local · 24 Jul 2010, 12:29

Published: 24 Jul 2010 12:29 GMT+02:00

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The idea is to introduce a presumption of joint custody over children, rather than the current presumption of a mother’s right to sole custody, according to a report in the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper.

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has told officials to draw up a draft to make the change, and intends to start it on the way to becoming law this autumn.

“Children should have the right that their fathers taken on responsibility and make joint-decisions over important things in their lives,” Stephan Thomae, family rights expert from Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger’s Free Democratic Party.

He said unmarried parents would share custody unless the mother – or presumably, the father - convinces a court to grant her sole custody over the child.

The Christian Democratic Union would seem to be in favour of the proposal, according to Ute Granold, who speaks on family matters for the parliamentary CDU.

Story continues below…

“Living together should not be a prerequisite for joint custody,” she said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:08 July 24, 2010 by claudegaveau
Germany's antiquated laws slowly moving into the 21st century.
14:30 July 24, 2010 by whatzup
Great idea. Its about time
19:47 July 24, 2010 by MonkeyMania
now to find the father!
13:08 July 26, 2010 by OMFG
@Rnrchres: Great contribution! ;-D I couldn't agree more with your statements...

@kafi-giessen: From where come you? :-DDD

@royp: Very good comments... I think the key part here is "If people are mature"! It proves a high level of maturity, if an ex-couple is able to behave like the example you told us - and the same applies for divorced couples, by the way, with even older children... Sadly and too often there is bitterness involved, which doesn't exactly help the children.
05:38 July 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The primary criterion should be "what is in the best interest of the child." That is what courts of equity decide. The default legal position must be that the mother and the father have joint LEGAL custody (as opposed to joint PHYSICAL custody) from the time the child is born. From that default position, each parent should be allowed to argue in court and present compelling evidence that he or she is better suited to be the full custodian.

That would solve one problem, but fails to address others: Why should the noncustodial father be obligated to pay child support when the noncustodial mother is not? How can the noncustodial father be sure that the support money he must pay actually goes to support the child? If the mother is deemed the sole physical custodian, what are the father's legal rights as to his child's upbringing, and what are his rights of visitation with his child? The courts have never adequately addressed these important issues, and they must.
09:04 July 31, 2010 by JimBWarrior
Greetings from New Zealand - The sooner we Enshrine **Equal Parenting** - **Presumption of joint custody over children** deep within GLOBAL FAMILY Law and Social Policy the sooner our **Whole Natural Biological FAMILIES** will recover from many generations of very destructive Law and Policy.

GLOBAL **Equal Parenting** will take the Fight, Profit, and other Anti-Family agenda from Law and Social Policy.

Go HARD my German Friends - Keep us up to date - Join some groups on my website below

Onward - Together in CHRIST, and in Coalition with ALL who value the **Whole Natural Biological FAMILY** as Created by God - Equal Parenting @ Ration Shed - Jim - www.rationshed.wordpress.com
23:39 August 5, 2010 by ChildrenNeedParentsEqually
Yes, "Hang the father until he proves he is good for kids" or ' The beatings will continue until the morale improves" is the rule of the court in the US for almost any mother who requests that treatment of the father. The judges will not tolerate ever being told that they are hurting children with sole custody or that they are unfair when they give the children, the house, the furniture, the good vehicle, the father's savings and most of his income for 15 years to the mother and the lawyers. The judges believe they are perfect humans and will BEAT DEAD the father until the father calls the judge honorable in every paragraph of his court filings. It helps 'a little" to glorify and praise the judges as they expect as long as it's OK with you to worship false gods. I fear the Almighty Judge and what He will do with those who worship the people who help steal children and BEAT DEAD the fathers.
12:42 August 29, 2010 by ChildrenNeedParentsEqually
'Automatic' 'joint' custody sounds good, but what does it really mean????? Needing to pay a lawyer isn't "automatic." People, CONTACT THE GOVERNMENT AND PUSH FOR EQUAL PARENTING TIME. Unless defined as equal, joint means 5%-95%, 10-90 or 50-50. Joint doesn't mean EQUAL RIGHTS for children to have equal relationships with both parents. Organize PROTESTS NOW in public during public holidays for equal parenting TIME. Equal time is what children need the most! Blogs and editorials won't get the attention needed. It is very unlikely that "joint custody" will give the "visitor" parent any joint decision making other than regarding family name changes and long distance moves of the children. The parent with the majority of parenting time in "joint" custody will make almost every decision regardless of what the law says. The ONLY WAY that "joint custody" actually results in joint custody is when childrens' time with parents is nearly equal. "Joint custody" is often deception to make the government look good. Often FAKE JOINT custody results in fathers taking on the responsibility of paying more money. The article doesn't mention parenting time, it states, "equal rights over their children" and ¦quot;Children should have the right that their fathers taken on responsibility and make joint-decisions over important things in their lives,¦quot; PROTEST NOW SO THE LAW INCLUDES REAL JOINT CUSTODY - EQUAL PARENTING TIME. Otherwise the law is mostly generating money and work for lawyers.
15:19 February 14, 2012 by tamirsoliman

This is a good new, I have been waiting for it for quite almost 3 years now. I'm an unmarried father and my son lives with his mother in Germany. What I could I achieve so far on legal base is to legitimise as my son.

No need to tell how do I feel about the situation because I'm sure that the author of article and who ever is reading this comment is somehow got involved or at least have solidarity to unmarried fathers.

non European unmarried father have got much more serious problem. because what if I got the joint custody after very long struggle... what is joint custody if I don't have the right to live where my child lives?

I do have some few questions and I was wondering if anybody can provide me with some answers or information.

I'm an Egyptian, I got a Master degree from German University in 2007. By the Germany law i got the right to apply for one year residency in Germany to look for work there. I didn't apply after I finished my study.

Currently, I'm working in Hungary and studying my PhD in Austria. I'm trying to get the joint custody either ways by court or by an agreement from the mother.

The question is: Do I have the right to reside in Germany if I get the joint custody?

I'm looking for any answers with information that might help.

Here is my email address you may contact me : tamirsoliman@yahoo.co.uk

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