Children & care – what can the new partner do?

If the ex-partner has a new relationship after the divorce and there are children together, many conflicts can quickly arise. In addition to the emotional problems, there is a particular question of what rights the new partners have in relation to the upbringing of children?

The new partner does not change anything at first!

Basically, a new partner or a wedding does not change the child’s care. If there is sole or joint custody, this will also remain with the new partner. Joint custody of the step-parent part with the biological parent is only possible through adoption.

Step parents must protect the child’s welfare!

Step-parents are obliged to protect the best interests of children in children living in the same household. The new partner is obliged to act if there is danger to the child’s well-being due to violence in the family, sexual abuse or the behavior of third parties. If both are married, the new partner also has an obligation to support the spouse in bringing up the children they have brought with them.

Acts of representation vis-à-vis third parties (eg excusing the child from class) may only be carried out with the authorization of the legal guardian. Unless the biological parent is prevented and action must be taken immediately.

Educational tasks can be transferred to the new partner!

In principle, the parent entrusted with the custody can also transfer the care and child-rearing powers and the associated supervisory and instruction rights to third parties. This is not only limited to the new partner, but can also be any other third person: sister, brother, grandparents, childminder or friends. In this case, the new partner can, for example, pick up the child from school, bathe or change the child or prepare food for him.

Whether a medical treatment can be made, is subject to the consent of the persons entrusted with the custody. If both parents are responsible for custody, the new partner needs a power of attorney from both parents. However, this does not affect the accompaniment to the doctor.

Parenting rights can be withdrawn at any time!

The parent entrusted with the custody can revoke the transfer of nursing rights at any time. If the person refuses to stop taking care of the child, this constitutes a serious encroachment on parental care and an injunction can be brought. In addition, this can constitute a criminal offense, namely child withdrawal in accordance with Section 195 of the Criminal Code.

Does the ex-partner have a veto right?

Yes. The other parent, if he / she has concerns about the person in charge of the care – for example because the new partner has an alcohol problem – can present his reasons in court or before the youth welfare office. The court decides which procedure is best for the child in the non-litigation procedure. The court can therefore also withdraw the new partner’s nursing rights.

Step parents can also be considered foster parents!

Step parents can also take on the legal status of foster parents. Namely, when the new life partner is caring and education factually concerned, for example because the biological parent does regular work and can only take care of the upbringing to a very limited extent. In this case, the step-parent part automatically has all – without the need for a specific explanation Rights and Duties of foster parents. This applies, for example, to legitimation of applications in court in matters of childcare and upbringing. However, this does not change custody of the child.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is only general information and does not replace professional legal advice. Any liability for correctness, completeness and topicality is excluded.


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Christina Cherry
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