Currently living in Germany (Baden Württemberg) and married to a German girl having a kid.

Before, my wife was not working, so the country was paying the kindergarten for her kid, but now as married, I am paying for the kindergarten for her kid.

Under German law am I liable for the child's education costs even though I am not the biological father?

  • 3
    Note that the general system in Germany is that the state pays childcare and redirects some of the costs to the parents if they can afford it (as measured by the family income and other things). Unless I am mistaken, it’s very unlikely that you pay the entire costs of childcare, in particular if your income isn’t so high that you still have to think about money. Furthermore note that the child’s father may pay alimony for the child, and you probably can get a considerable tax benefit if you are working and your wife isn’t.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 30, 2017 at 13:48
  • Yes, in some regions like for example "Hessen" or the others, it is completely free, but in my city (Hockenheim, belongs to Mannheim), I am paying around 500euro, I can get a paper from them and let you see it.
    – Gothiquo
    Nov 30, 2017 at 15:01
  • 2
    Hockenheim doesn’t belong to Mannheim. Anyway, that’s still 312 € at most, and that’s if your child stays really long; for the regular duration, it’s 117 € (source). I strongly suggest that you find out where this discrepancy comes from, in particular if your wasn’t paying anything before your marriage.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 30, 2017 at 15:26
  • 1
    Please don’t show me any forms. It’s also not that I don’t believe you or need to see any evidence. It’s just that I noticed something odd, which may help you pay less.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 30, 2017 at 15:31
  • 1
    So, if you have a paper, please add some details to your question: How much exactly are you paying, what exactly are you paying for (what is the name of the fee you are paying, what is the claimed reason for paying it, etc). That wil help us answer.
    – sleske
    Jun 28, 2018 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


tl;dr: No, according to German law you are not responsible for your step-child - only the (legal) parents are (exceptions apply in special cases).

The official childcare rules for Hockenheim: Satzung über die städtischen Kinder tageseinrichtungen, and the associated fees: Gebühren.

The rules clearly say:

Die Gebühren sind durch die Sorgeberechtigten zu bezahlen.

Translation (mine):

The fees must be paid by the legal guardians.

In your case, unless you adopted your wife's child, your wife and the child's father are the legal guardians, so they must pay.

There is one exception: If your wife does not have enough money to pay for her child's needs, and the father does not contribute sufficiently either, your wife may be able to demand money from you, because as her husband you are required to financially support her if she needs money (even if she needs it for her child). However, that is a tricky legal situation and rare in practice. Also, the city of Hockenheim cannot ask you to pay for child care, only your wife can do that.

  • oh thank you so much for the answer. The problem as I described above, that the father doesn't live in the european union, and the mother doesn't work currently.
    – Gothiquo
    Jun 30, 2018 at 7:53

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