What happens if I am pregnant or if I have children?
If you have children or if you are pregnant, the situation is complicated for you. Especially, if you came to Germany without your parents. But you are not alone! In Germany, mothers get a lot of help. Even mothers that were not born or did not grow up in Germany. For example, there is housing for young mothers and their children.
Your marriage is not valid?
Then, only you have the custody for your children. Custody means who is responsible for the children. Most of the time that is the parents.
Your husband does not automatically count as the father. He can get his paternity officially recognized (this means that he is officially the father). The Youth Welfare Office can do this, for example. This can take some time. The Youth Welfare Office is a state agency that deals with children and young people. If the Youth Welfare Office recognizes the paternity, then you both have custody.
Your children get a guardian until you are 18 years old. The guardian is responsible for your children and supports you in difficult situations. The guardian could be a woman or a man. If you want a female guardian, you need to say that very clearly. If you are younger than 18, you are not allowed to sign documents alone. You will do this together with the guardian. But, she or he does not decide without you. And, of course, you take care of your children.
Your marriage was annulled?
This means that your husband is automatically the father of your children. You both have custody. That means that you both take care of your children.
Do you want to have sole custody (that means only you have custody)? Then the court needs to decide that. The guardian will help you, if you are under 18.