Considering the specificities (domestic law) of each country, which frame the operationalization of the mechanisms provided for in the 1980 Hague Convention, you can consult in this section detailed information on the Federal Republic of Germany.
English language version French language version
- Parental responsibilities / Custody rights
If the parents are married, they have joint custody rights (section 1626 of the German Civil Code).
If the parents are not married, the mother has the sole right of custody unless the parents declare that they wish to take on parental custody jointly (section 1626a of the German Civil Code).
The declaration of parental custody must be notarially recorded and the reporting agency then notifies the making of such a declaration to the Youth Welfare Office (section 1626d of the German Civil Code).
Relevant articles of the German Civil Code:
Parental custody, principles
(1) The parents have the duty and the right to care for the minor child (parental custody). The parental custody includes the care for the person of the child (care for the person of the child) and the property of the child (care for the property of the child).
(2) In the care and upbringing of the child, the parents take account of the growing ability and the growing need of the child for independent responsible action. They discuss questions of parental custody with the child to the extent that, in accordance with the stage of development of the child, it is advisable, and they seek agreement.
(3) The best interests of the child as a general rule include contact with both parents. The same applies to contact with other persons to whom the child has ties, if maintaining these ties is beneficial for its development.
Parental custody of parents who are not married to one another; declarations of parental custody
(1) Where the parents, at the date of the birth of the child, are not married to one another, they have joint parental custody
1. If they declare that they wish to take on parental custody jointly (declarations of parental custody),
2. If they marry one another, or
3. if the family court transfers joint parental custody to them.
(2) On application by a parent, the family court is to transfer parental custody or a part of parental custody to both parents jointly in accordance with subsection (1) no. 3 if the transfer is not inconsistent with the best interests of the child. If the other parent fails to submit any reasons which might be inconsistent with the transfer of joint parental custody, and if no such reasons are otherwise manifest, it is to be presumed that joint parental custody is not inconsistent with the best interests of the child.
(3) Apart from this, the mother has parental custody.
Special requirements for the effectiveness of the declaration of parental custody
(1) A declaration of parental custody subject to a condition or a stipulation as to time is ineffective.
(2) The declaration of parental custody may be made even before the birth of the child.
(3) A declaration of parental custody is ineffective to the extent that a court decision on parental custody under section 1626a (1) no. 3 or section 1671 has been made or such a decision has been altered under section 1696 (1) sentence 1