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legal eagle
legal eagle, Attorney
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 16842
Experience:  20 years of experience in all kinds of law, especially employment law and family law.
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What is the statute of limitations for suing for child support

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What is the statute of limitations for suing for child support in Germany (my son was born in Germany, and his father still lives there, though we live in the US)? My son's father paid no child support for 14 years, then, when he got a good job in 2007, began paying a self-determined amount (not determined by the Duesseldorfer Tabelle). I have looked into the possibility of suing him from the US, but Germany does not have reciprocity with the US for enforcement of payment. And so I am considering suing him in a German court of law - he did sign a paper through the Jugendamt in Duesseldorf, where we used to live, stating his paternity and his obligation to pay child support. I never enforced child support as he was unemployed for many years. But since 2007 he's been well employed, but has not paid according to any rules but his own (he has even taking breaks from paid work for continuing education, and has suddenly not paid child support for months). Our son is now 20 years old - is it too late to sue for retroactive child support in Germany? If not, how far back are damages awarded? Thank you.
Dear Customer,

thank you for using Just Answer.

The statute of limitations for child support in Germany is three years from the 21st birthday

If however there is a paper whr he obliges to pay child supprt you need to take a closer look: Does it say " Vollstreckbare Ausfertigung "

Then it is executable.

There is however a problem. If you have not demanded child support you can only execute retroactive child support for a year.

This is called forfeiture.

The reason is that the father could trust in not having to pay child support.

So forfeiture is based on that the father can trust in not having to pay .

If however the father could not trust in not having to pay , if for example he was reminded of his duties by you or the child, teren is no forfeiture.

Last year I managed to execute retroacitve child support for 5 years becuase of the fact that the mother kept reminding the father that he has to pay

If I have helped I would very much appreciate positive feedback

As this is a very difficult matter please do not hesitate to ask

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks very much for your reply.

I initiated a court hearing here in Washington, DC about 1 1/2 years ago, and my son's father hired a DC - based lawyer to negotiate a settlement. However he has delayed many months in finalizing this settlement and I am concerned he may in fact have no intention of completing our business. This is the reason I contacted you at JustAnswer/German law today. So - would my demand for Child Support through the Washington, DC court constitute evidence for my demand for child support under German law? You've stated that if I never reminded him that he had an obligation to pay, this would be considered "forfeiture". He has been reminded verbally for many many years, and in writing (email and letter) for about 10 years. My issue is that he pays what he wants, and when he wants. Although under German law he is obligated until the time our son graduates from college or turns 26 (I think?), child support ends in Washington DC at our son's 21st birthday. I am trying to determine whether it is better to sue under the German system or under the US legal system.
Dear Customer,

if you have reminded him over and over again there is no forfeiture.

Please look at the document you have from the Jugendamt.

If it is in your child´s name the child is the one who is entitled and you can be a witness for the fact that you have reminded the father.

As for the German system and for the US system.

As I am a German lawyer I do not know about the system in the US

You may have to ask one of the experts on the site for US family law
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry to say I don't have the document to look at just at the moment, but as soon as I can, I will look to see if the term "Vollstreckbare Ausfertigung" is used.

The only remaining question I have is: that given that there's no forfeiture, how much retroactive child support might I be entitled to under German Law?

Thank you fo your help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.Current attorney appears to be offlineAlso: in reference to Legal Eagle's question about whether the term "Vollstreckbare Ausfertigung" appears on the document I have - the answer is, yes, it does. It states "Vollsteckbare Ausfertigung ist dem Kind erteilt worden". Next to this appears the signature of my son's father, dated March 8, 1993.
Dear Customer,

thank you for your response

Your son can execute and you can be a witness
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is good news - does "executing" mean that my son is entitled to retroactive child support from the date of his father's signature (I.e. march 8, 1993) or is the number of years of retroactive support something to be determined by the court after a suit is initiated?
Dear Customer,no what he has got is a deed conferring a right to levy immediate execution.It is valid for 30 years, lest there is forfeitureSo he can execute retroactive child support , if you serve as a witness that there is no forfeitureIf I have helped I would very much appreciate positive feedback
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