Child Support Enforcement

At this time, there is no treaty in force between the United States and any other foreign government pertaining to the enforcement of child support orders or any other court decrees. However, considerable work has been done by states in the United States, most of which have entered into reciprocal agreements with some foreign countries. Germany has such a reciprocal arrangement with most U.S. states as a result of German legislation known as the “Foreign Support Act,” or FSA. Under the FSA, Germany maintained reciprocal agreements with all but five U.S. states as of Dec. 1, 1996. (The non-reciprocal states are Alabama, South Carolina, District of Colombia, Maine, and Mississippi.)

The first step for a parent in Germany seeking enforcement of child support arrangements from a U.S. parent residing in the U.S. would be to contact the German authorities responsible for the Foreign Support Act to file a petition. The Central Authority at the German Attorney General’s Office in Bonn or the Deutsches Institut für Jugendhilfe und Familienrecht will process the petitions according to article 7 of the German “Foreign Support Act.” (In turn, the Attorney General’s office in Bonn will contact the competent local city and county youth welfare office involved.)

The addresses of both offices are:
Bundesamt für Justiz
Referat II 3
Adenauer Allee 99-103
53113 Bonn
Tel. 49-228-41040
Fax 49-228-4105050

Deutsches Institut für Jugendhilfe und Familienrecht
Referat USA
Poststrasse 17
69115 Heidelberg
Tel. 06221-98180
Fax 06221-98180

Click here for a list of the state child support enforcement agencies in the United States.

For more information, please visit the International Child Support Enforcement page.