I will be traveling to Germany from the United States for 2 weeks with my 15 year old cousin. I will be 23 years old at the time of travel. I am curious to know, for those 2 weeks, would I be considered a Custodial Person for my cousin under the German law as defined here?

"A Custodial Person is an individual who is personally or together with another individual responsible for care and custody of other persons according to the legal provisions of the (German) Civil Code [BGB]." (pg. 1)

Thanks for your help!

  • If the Civil Code [BGB] says you are, you are.
    – Dale M
    Apr 4, 2016 at 2:32

2 Answers 2


No. The custodial person that is meant by this are usually the parents or another court-appointed person that stands in for their parents. I think the common law term closest is "legal guardian". The details are defined in § 1616 ff. of the German civil code.


No, as explained by neo, the "custodial person" (German personensorgeberechtigte Person) is the one who possesses the full parental rights (typically the biological parents).

However, if the parents authorize you, you would be the erziehungsbeauftragte Person (literally, "person charged with education", translated as "Person with Parental Power" in the text you linked) for your cousin.

If you read the law, you'll see that when defining concrete responsibilities, in most cases it says "Custodial Person or Person with Parental Power". So in most situations a "Person with Parental Power" has the same competencies as the "real parents". There are some exceptions (e.g. only the custodial person may authorize drinking alcohol or seeing a movie that would normally be restricted), but mostly the two are equivalent.

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