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- my article on new German alimony law (1 May 2008)

- new law for contesting paternity in Germany (22 February 2008)

- Certified Specialist for Family Law (15 December 2007)

- German court grants divorce according to Kazakhstan law (24 October 2007)

- new member states to the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions (1 September 2007)

- German court rules about child custody rights of US soldiers in Iraq

Andreas Moser on new German alimony law  (1 May 2008)

In the May 2008 edition of the newsletter of the International Family Law Committe of the American Bar Assocication, I provided a brief summary of the new German alimony law that is in in effect since January 2008: (on page 5)

new law for contesting paternity in Germany  (22 February 2008)

Already in February 2005, I was discussing the law on contesting paternity with Germany's Attorney General Ms. Zypries. For a fathers' rights organisation, I presented a proposal for a reform of the law, which was also called for later by the Supreme Court in a ruling on 13 February 2007. The German law until then had often made it impossible for fathers to contest the paternity of their children.

German Parliament now passed a new law for contesting paternity on 21 February 2008:

- Now, the father, the mother, and the child all have a right to have paternity examined.

- There is no deadline to exercise this right. This right is also not limited by any other conditions (e.g. showing reasons for doubting one's paternity).

- If one of the persons involved refuses to accept a paternity test, he/she can be ordered to do so by the Family Court.

- The new law is supposed to enter into effect no later than 31 March 2008.

Certified Specialist for Family Law (15 December 2007)

On 15 December 2007, the Bar Association has awarded Mr. Andreas Moser with the title "Certified Specialist for Family Law".

For this, Mr. Moser had to show that he has had extensive experience in family law in the past 3 years and had to pass several exams in family law. The title of certified specialist is only awarded when the attorney can prove experience and knowlege way above that of the average attorney.

Being a certified specialist brings with it the obligation to take part in continuing legal education every year.

Based on ever increasing demand after having received this specialization, I will increase my standard hourly fee from 150 € to 180 € (plus 19 % VAT if it applies) in 2008. For all my existing clients, I will however of course continue to bill to the old rates.

German court grants divorce according to Kazakhstan law (24 October 2007)

In a proceeding with the Amberg Family Court (case number 1 F 94/07), we have successfully petitioned the court to apply Kazakh divorce law, although only one of the parties is a Kazakh citizen (the other one is German).

In contrast to a German divorce, this has two advantages for the divorcing couple:
1. The divorce law of Kazakhstan does not require any time of separation (like the one-year separation requirement in German law). Therefore, either husband or wife can file for divorce immediately after the separation.
2. Kazakhstan law does not have any provision for the distribution of retirement benefits, therefore saving the parties this lengthy and complicated process that German divorce law otherwise requires.

As the family laws of most former Soviet and now CIS states are very similar, this ruling can also be helpful for citizens of other former Soviet republics.
If you yourself are from one of these states or are married to a (former) citizen of a CIS country, you can contact me for any questions about a possible divorce - and of course also for any other querstions.

new member states to the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions (1 September 2007)

The list of member states of the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions, with which this treaty is in effect with Germany, has been expanded by five countries in 2007:
- Nicaragua
- Peru
- San Marino
- Thailand
- Trinidad and Tobago

If you have experienced a child abduction to or from one of these countries, it will now be easier to request the return of your child and your chances will be higher than before. If you have any questions about international child abductions, please contact Mr. Andreas Moser.

German court rules about child custody rights of US soldiers in Iraq

In a case in which Mr. Moser of our law firm was the plaintiff's attorney, the Nürnberg Appeals Court has issued the following ruling:

A US soldier's one-year deployment to Iraq is no reason for the suspension of his parental rights, i.e. his custody rights in this specific case.

The court ruled, thereby upholding a ruling by the Amberg Family Court, that these foreign deployments are for a limited time only and that it is clear when the respective soldier will likely return. A further argument by the court was that the US Army (and this should extend to all military branches, of course) provides sufficient means of communication to their soldiers, so that they can stay in contact with their children and/or wife or ex-wife (husband or ex-husband respectively).

The case number of the Nürnberg Appeals Court's ruling is 10 UF 1260/05. The ruling was published in the leading family law journal FamRZ 2006, 878.