Arguments & fights
over children

Crossing boundaries

Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts

ZAnK - Zentrale Anlaufstelle für grenzüberschreitende Kindschaftskonflikte

You want to take your child to another country

You have split from your partner. And now you want to do just one thing: leave the country together with your child. Because you want to make a new start, or because you feel lonely and are longing for your family and a familiar environment which can help you look after your child, give you a feeling of security, or cushion your financial problems. Or because your career prospects are bad and would be better in your home country. Or maybe you are afraid that local authorities in your country of residence would put you at a disadvantage in the custody proceedings.

If you live in Germany,

You are allowed to leave the country, provided that:

  • You have sole custody of your child (e.g. if you are a single parent and no joint custody declaration has been made),
  • A court, upon application, awarded sole custody to you,
  • Your partner has explicitly (in writing) given his or her consent to your move.

Whether it is sufficient just to have the “right to determine the place of residence of the child” must be discussed in the individual case and depends on the country where you are residing now.

If you live abroad,

The national laws of that country apply. This means that the preconditions for being allowed to leave the country with the child may be very different, depending on the State. Not every State automatically permits the custodial parent to leave the country with the child. In some States, a special permission may be required.

Therefore, make sure to be informed which preconditions have to be met and which rules apply. Otherwise, you may run the risk that your child will not be allowed to travel with you and must possibly return because your partner e.g. applies under the Hague Convention to have the child returned, or turns to the police.

How it affects the child

In any case, make sure to consider what the move will mean to your child. His or her contacts with the other parent will be made more difficult. The same applies to contacts with classmates or relatives. Therefore, it will be advisable in any case to discuss with your partner, and possibly also with your child, which contact arrangements should be made in future. Maybe it would also be helpful if you propose a contact arrangement which is legally enforceable, giving the left-behind parent as well as the child a certain amount of security.


Please note

This website is currently under construction. We apologize for any inconvenience because some pages are not yet complete. For any questions, please call: 030 / 629 80 403.





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