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Foreign maintenance

On the following pages we would like to present you selected information regarding the activities of the Federal Office of Justice related to claiming and enforcing foreign maintenance.

The Foreign Maintenance Act (Auslandsunterhaltsgesetz – AUG), which came into force on 18 June 2011, forms the framework for asserting statutory maintenance claims in the case of states with formal reciprocity, in proceedings in accordance with the 1956 UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance, and in proceedings in accordance with the EC Maintenance Regulation.

The Federal Office of Justice is the exclusive Central Authority for the assertion of claims both in and out of court in maintenance cases. The Office does not charge any fees for its services. The application of the respective type of procedure depends on the place of residence of the applicant or of the respondent:

Foreign Maintenance

The procedure to be followed in case of formal reciprocity

The Federal Office of Justice coordinates sets of proceedings with foreign states with which no international treaties have been concluded, but where formal reciprocity has been ensured. This applies to the USA, Canada and the Republic of South Africa. The Federal Office of Justice supports persons entitled to maintenance living in Germany in pursuing and enforcing their claims in these states. Persons entitled to maintenance who are resident in these states can submit their requests to the Central Authority from abroad via the liaison authority. You will find more information here.

EC Maintenance Regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 4/2009)

In accordance with the EC Maintenance Regulation, the Federal Office of Justice processes in accordance with the Foreign Maintenance Act the incoming and outgoing requests of all 27 EU Member States, which fell under the 1956 UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance until the Foreign Maintenance Act on 18 June 2011 came into force. You will find more information on the EC Maintenance Regulation here.

1956 UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance

The Federal Office of Justice acts as the Receiving and Transmitting agency in accordance with the 1956 UN Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance. It supports persons entitled to maintenance living in Germany in proceedings against persons obligated to pay maintenance living abroad. It also supports persons entitled to maintenance living abroad in proceedings against persons obligated to pay maintenance living in Germany. This is contingent on either the persons entitled or the persons obliged living in Germany and the other party living in one of the currently 65 States signatory, but not in one of the 27 EU Member States (see above). You will find more information here.

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