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Information on the assertion of maintenance claims in accordance with the Foreign Maintenance Act in case of formal reciprocity

Application to the Local Court (Amtsgericht) at the seat of the Higher Regional Court of the person entitled to maintenance; sections 7 and 9 of the Foreign Maintenance Act

It is recommended to use the bilingual forms provided for this, which can be retrieved here (see below).

The Local Court which has jurisdiction for the seat of the Higher Regional Court in whose district the applicant has his/her habitual residence (section 7 of the Foreign Maintenance Act)

  • accepts the request that has already been drafted, or
  • accepts the request to be recorded by a senior judicial officer,
  • carries out a preliminary examination of the request as to the completeness of its contents and of the number of the necessary supporting documents,
  • issues a judicial certificate regarding the prospects for success if the preconditions are met (section 9 subs. 1 No. 1 of the Foreign Maintenance Act),
  • forwards the documents to the Central Authority, and
  • carries on the correspondence between the Central Authority and the applicant.

The following need to be forwarded:

  1. the original request,
  2. the documents supporting the request, each in the original, duplicate or certified copy,
  3. where applicable the original of the judicial certificate of the prospects for success,
  4. the certified translations of the documents re 1., 2. and 3., carried out by a sworn translator, each in the original,
  5. three certified copies of each of the documents re 1., 2., 3. and 4.

The documents listed at No. 5 must hence be forwarded in quadruplicate (section 9 subs. 3 of the Foreign Maintenance Act).

Necessary and expedient documents supporting a request:

  • Affidavit of the applicant or of his/her statutory representative as to the correctness of all information contained in his/her request insofar as this affidavit is not already contained in the request,
  • Certification of the authorisation of representation for the lodging of the application (e.g.: lawyer’s power of attorney, custody ruling, certificate of the effective appointment of a curator or guardian),
  • Specified calculation of maintenance arrears with a separate affidavit.


It is recommended to convert the amount into the foreign currency, stating the day’s conversion rate.

  • other useful documents such as a maintenance ruling, divorce decree, paternity acknowledgment certificate.

Translation costs:

The costs of the translations and of the supporting documents are to be met by the applicant as a matter of principle. The Local Court which has jurisdiction in accordance with section 7 subs. 1 of the Foreign Maintenance Act exempts the applicant on request from the obligation to refund costs incurred for a translation which the Central Authority has arranged if the applicant meets the personal and economic preconditions for instalment-free legal aid in accordance with section 113 of the Act on the Procedure in Family Matters and in Matters concerned with Non-contentious Litigation (Gesetz über das Verfahren in Familiensachen und in den Angelegenheiten der freiwilligen Gerichtsbarkeit) in conjunction with section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) (section 10 subs. 3 of the Foreign Maintenance Act).

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