Custody and visiting rights

There is no change on joint custody for minors after a divorce. Only in matters of some importance does the parent with which the children stay have to ask for permission from the other parent. This applies to school choice, application for passports, important medical treatments and some financial matters like opening a bank account for the child. The local family court can be asked for a ruling on any matter where consent from the other parent is needed, but not provided (Regelung eines Teilsbereichs der elterlichen Sorge).  Only in very grave cases can the court be asked for a decision on full custody (Übertragung des Sorgerechts) .

Quite often arguments arise on the matter of visitation rights. The local youth agency (Jugendamt) can be contacted in these cases and will try to find a solution by speaking to both parents. But the youth agency cannot make a binding decision on that. So if the issue cannot be resolved between the parents, the family court can be asked to make a binding ruling on that. The ruling can be enforced with fines.