Relationship between Children and their Married Parents

After giving birth to a child you will want to know which first name can be given and who is the top dog in a family when teens are to be monitored.


We have become proud parents of a healthy 3.458 kg child. Since our child was born shortly after our wedding, we are uncertain if it is a legitimate child. We have been living in Germany for some time and are not planning to go back.

The legitimacy of your child depends on the law where he has his residence. Your child is living with you, and since you plan to stay in Germany, your child’s residence is Germany. Therefore, German law applies. According to §§1591, 1592 BGB, the wedded mother and father are considered parents of the child; thus your child is legitimate.

My in-laws are nagging me for my late husband’s inheritance. He died some months after our child was born in Germany. Is our child legitimate? Is he entitled to some parts of the inheritance?

Your child is legitimate. §1593 BGB says that children born within 300 days after the father’s death, are legitimate. Your in-laws will just have to learn to share.

My wife just came up with a bright idea. She wants to give our child the awful first name “Fahrt”. The family name is to be “Burp”. I cannot persuade her to change her mind. Can you help?

Well, she really seems to have a bad stomach… Anyhow. Parents or a single parent have the right to determine the child’s last name in accordance with the law of their nationality (art. 10 III, 23 EGBGB). German law (§1616 BGB) states that children must receive the joint last name of their parents. Parents who do not have a joint last name, must pick one of their last names as the child’s family name. The names “Fahrt” and “Burp” are unacceptable because they are considered as insults. Therefore, they are illegal.

Our ever so charming ten-year-old daughter thinks she is getting omniscient. She believes she knows how we are to raise her. What does German law say?

In matters of personal care and education, you have to consider her growing abilities and her changing needs, so she can learn to assume responsibility for her own behavior. Therefore, you have to talk to her about your decisions and come to some sort of agreement instead of simply ordering her around (§1626 II BGB).

Our 15-year-old son is on the edge of adulthood, or so he thinks. He says he wants to spend the night at his girl-friend’s place. We happen to know her parents are out of town. Men… I disagree with his idea, but my macho husband says the boy should conquer the girl. Who has the most say in cases like these?

Neither parent’s opinion overrules another parent’s attitude. The law says, parental care is to be performed by mutual agreement in the best interest for the child in accordance with their conscience. If you disagree with your husband, you have to sit down and reach an agreement (§1627 BGB). No German court will rule on how you have to raise your kids.

The love of my life left me and took the kids with her. I, too, love our kiddies and I also want to see them regularly but my ex forbids it. What can I do?

The right to have time with the kids is structured as the child’s right and not a privilege to be granted from one parent to another (§1684 BGB). Parents do not only have the right but also the duty to spend time with their offspring. Should this question go to court, the judge will have to officially determine the constitutional parental rights for the good of the child. The court will have to balance both positions and decide in accordance for the good of the child. Normally, each parent has to actively support the other parent’s decision and not just tolerate it.

Okay. I got the message that both parents are to share the kids. But my ex is telling them a lot of nasty lies about me and my parents. My ex is putting all the blame on me. I believe my ex is harming the kids. What can I do about it?

Supposing your ex-spouse is really actively trying to deteriorate your relationship with your child and/or otherwise harm the children, then the court will grant you sole custody. However, to proceed in this direction, you will first have to hire an attorney. Otherwise, the risk of false suspicion is much too high. Collect objective evidence as much as you can and that as soon as you can! Neutral witness (i.e. no family members like school teachers) can count as an "objective" kind of evidence.

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