“I have the right” in Germany: Child allowance for a child living abroad

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─ Good afternoon, employees of the section “I have the right”! Please help me to get the correct answer to the question about child benefits.

I am a citizen of Latvia, my ex-husband is Greece. In marriage, we had a common child. He was born and lives in one of the EU countries with me. The ex-husband has been working in Germany for 5 years, all documents are in order. The child has never lived in Germany, has never been registered anywhere, does not have any documents in Germany. However, the husband’s new wife claims that the child is entitled to child allowance, since the father works in Germany and pays taxes. Moreover, she said that I was already getting this money, which is complete nonsense and does not even require a comment. Now she plans to keep this money for herself, as I receive alimony for the child (280 euros). If the child is indeed eligible for the allowance, will it be paid to the husband? I know that it is now € 219. Does this mean that my ex-husband will pay me an additional amount of benefits? Or is this money somehow divided? Will the situation change if I get married?

Aliya R.

─ Dear Aliya!

Indeed, if the child’s father lives, works and pays taxes in Germany, then it is possible to receive child benefits under German law. In practice, we have already dealt with the registration of the child allowance (Kundergeld) for foreign citizens. In order to receive the allowance, you will need to inform the German family fund about whether you receive such a child benefit in Latvia and in what amount. Since the child lives with you, you, and not the child’s father and even less his new spouse, have the right to receive child benefits.

Both parents are eligible for ½ the child’s money. Since the child’s father pays alimony, in the case of calculating the child’s allowance in Germany, ½ of the allowance will be taken into account when calculating the alimony. Changes in your marital status will not affect your receipt of child money, however, each recipient of the payment must inform the family fund about the change in their marital status.

This answer is for informational purposes only and cannot replace full legal advice. The author is not responsible for any damage incurred when using this material. This does not apply if the damage was caused intentionally or by gross negligence.

Lawyers Irina GERMAN and Maxim BRITANOV,

Law Office Fabrika Prava

Britanow & DrHirsch

Tel .: +49 (0) 69 26 49 22420


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