I want to know his last name

Naming rights in Germany: which name may be used?

Short and sweet

Is there a right to a name?

Yes. Every citizen in the Federal Republic of Germany has thisRight to a name. Regulations on the before and Surnamesare in BGB and inName Change Act (NamÄndG) to find.

Can you change a set name?

To aName change to obtain, there must be a valid reason according to the Name Change Act. More information on name changes can be found here and here.

What are the rules after a divorce?

After the divorce, you usually have the option to divorce yourprevious surname to accept again.

Every German citizen of of birth at. The first name, which is chosen by the parents, usually remains the same for life. By a Marriage, divorce and remarriage however, the family name can be changed. Only with that death the right to one's own name expires.

Naming rights: the historical background

Historical the naming rights can be traced back to the Roman Empire. They were there for the first time as Basic right of the citizen anchored. However, according to the law, it was possible to do both First names as well as the Free choice of family name. This regulation remained in place until the late Middle Ages.

With the Great Migration, the people in Europe only became called by their first name. The family name was only reintroduced from the 8th century. The Surname referred to the Skills or origin of a person. Someone, whose surname was Müller, mostly carried out this profession.

From the 15th century However, the family name only became inherited. For the first time in 1794 in Prussia the use of a strange or false name prohibited by law. In 1816 one followed disregard this law a fine.

In the Weimar Republic in 1919 people were allowed to enter for the first time pseudonym or may use a stage name. However, it was forbidden to give this to an officer. In case of a Name change a reason also had to be given. This was a year later with the free choice of first name added.

At the time of National Socialism was a Change of name is strictly prohibited, since it could no longer be ascertained exactly whether the person Aryan descent is. Jews had to use the name Israel or Sarah, depending on their gender, and had this entered in public documents such as passports or ID cards. After the end of World War II, the laws of National Socialism were back overridden.

Name right according to the German Civil Code (BGB)

Today the name right is in BGB and in Name Change Act (NamÄndG) codified. Section 12 of the German Civil Code stipulates that it is forbidden to use someone else's name. If this happens, the injured party can do one Injunction and assert a claim for compensation if damage has occurred.

With the death of a person the right to a name of the person concerned expires. From birth, however, the right to one applies First and family names. In the Federal Republic of Germany this is one of the protected personal rights. In addition to the BGB, the right to name is also in the Civil Status Act and in the Act on Change of surname and first name (NamÄndG) anchored.

They are valid Provisions in naming law only for Germans. For foreigners who live in Germany, the law of the corresponding Country of origin applied.

Name rights for children: what name should the child take?

The Child's name it accompanies it all its life. Hence the Decision, To find a suitable and beautiful first name, one of the best most difficult tasks expectant parents. From kindergarten to elementary school to university and professional life - the name must be suitable for all ages.

According to name law, different first names are therefore conscious rejected by the registry office.

The name should make it clear that it is not a matter but a person acts.

That too gender must be clear from the first name. Because of this, too multiple first names possiblethat indicate whether the person is male or female.

The choice of the first name is more or less in the hands of the parents. The family name is not that variable, however. Depending on whether the parents married are or not, the child's surname is derived from the Surnames of parents. In the following chapters, you will find out to what extent this is exactly the case and what other regulations exist for children's naming rights.

Name giving to the child: Can the first name be freely determined?

Nowadays parents want their children as much as possible fancy and unique names that distinguish them from the crowd. It's good that this is not just possible, because the registry office has to Agree to naming.

Very unusual names can then be used declined be as they do that Affect child welfare may or may not correspond to a given name. The registry offices use the international handbook of first names to help. in the Dispute it can also happen that the desired name is looked up in databases.

In any case, the first name must clearly indicate whether the child is a Boy or girl acts. If this is not the case, a middle name must be selected that includes the Gender issue clarifies. The following table shows some first names that are used by registry offices in Germany according to the naming law for children approved and rejected were:

Approved first namesRejected first names
sheriffTom Tom
LegolasCrazy Horse
PebbelsAnakin Skywalker
Sun DanceBierstübl

Many unmarried parents try to several first names to select the Surnames of one of the parents can also be used as the first name. So did a couple in 2011 who wanted to name their girl Bock with her third first name. The Higher Regional Court (OLG) Frankfurt actually did this in a judgment (Az. 20 W 284/10) granted.

Furthermore, for the first name of a child, it is neither Place or family name may be. Despite having several first names, the length is on four to five limited.

The first name should well considered because a change in retrospect is not that easy.

Only from good reasons can this be granted. For example, if the child is ridiculed by their first name or the name by a naturalization is changed for the sake of simplicity, for example from Kathrzyna to Katrin.

What surname does the child get after birth?

Every citizen has that at birth Right to a name. If the child's parents are married, the child automatically receives the according to the right to the name Married names as a birth name. Even if the parents are already at the time of the birth divorced are, this is the case. Another family name may not be given to the child in accordance with Section 1616 of the German Civil Code.

Have the parents no common married name, the surname of the child is based on the parental care. For example, if the mother has custody, the child is given the mother's surname. If both parents have custody, the parents may use the family name of the mother or the father at birth as Determine the birth name.

One is not possible Double name from the two family names. For example, if the father is called Müller and the mother is Schulz, the child's surname cannot be called either Müller-Schulz or Schulz-Müller. After the birth, the parents have the right to name a monthadd the child's maiden name to the certificate to change. This takes place at the responsible registry office.

Later born, further childrenwho have the same parents must have the chosen one Also take over the birth name. The choice of parents for the first birth is therefore binding. So too with Adopted children of the couple.

Name right for children after their parents marry

Are the parents at the birth of the child not married and accordingly do not have a joint married name, they must determine a maiden name for the child. It can either be the Family name of father or mother selected become.

If the couple marries after the birth of the child, one surrenders common married name.

If the maiden name of the child differs from the married name, it is possible according to the naming law that the parents use the maiden name of the child to change to let. However, if the child is five years or older, it must be Agree to change of name. For the change, the parents have total three months.

Example: The parents Klaus Meier and Gerlinde Schröder have a child in 2010, which they call Lina Schröder. In 2015 the couple married and now run the common married names Meier. The child can now decide whether it will continue to be Lina Schröder would like to be called or the married name Meier accepts.

Same surname for stepchildren: is it possible?

In a Patchwork family the parents often want a common surname. Your own children and any children they share should all be same last name wear to strengthen the feeling of togetherness. But to what extent is a change of the family name loud Naming rights even possible?

Example: Gerlinde Schröder brings her daughter Lina Schröder into the marriage with her new partner Ingo Klein with his son Max Klein. The couple agree on the common Married name small. Can Ingos Stepdaughter Lina take his last name?

This is under certain conditions quite possible in Germany. The prerequisites for this are the following:

  • The married couple must same family name to lead.
  • The child must be in common household live with the parent and new spouse.
  • If the parent does not have sole custody, the other parent must have the Agree to change the child's name.
  • Is the child five years or older, it must agree to the name change.

However, this is one Exceptional case. The family name should not be changed easily, as the child will change his name over the years identified. However, if the other parent does not take care of the child and one of them agrees Name change to, this can be granted without problems according to the naming law.

Name right at marriage

When two people Yes word give, they tie the knot for life.

Marriage seals love and can also bring tax benefits.

When getting married on the Registry office the spouses are asked which common married name they want to use after the marriage according to the naming law.

If you plan to marry, or one registered life partnership aim, you should accordingly think in advance about which Surnames You want to accept. Plus there is various possibilitieswhich we have listed for you below.

German naming law: No definition of a married name

According to the naming law, the spouses must be married no common married name determine. They are free to keep their maiden name or the surname that they had before the marriage. In this case, nothing changes for the couple in terms of their name and they continue to wear different names.

Was a spouse married before and has the married name at that time of the partner assumed, this name can still be used as a surname.

Example: Gerlinde Schröder was born in Dietrich. She would like to marry Klaus Meier. Both decideto accept no common married names. Gerlinde can now be called Schröder by her family name. She can adopt her maiden name again by changing her name. Klaus keeps his maiden name Meier.

Spouses don't have to regret their decision in retrospect, because it is not final. If both spouses want to use a married name after a few years, one is sufficient publicly certified declaration. The name right allows a name change to be carried out.

Name right in marriage: Joint married name

According to naming law, you can have one common married names determine when you tie the knot for life. They are, however not obliged to do so to choose a family name. However, this can make sense and strengthen the feeling of togetherness if you and your children have the same surname.

If you choose to share a married name, you have various possibilities. You can use the last name you or your partner wore as common married names determine. This is then also the family nameFuture children together will automatically receive.

It is also loud when getting married Naming rights it is possible that you designate one of the surnames leading to the marriage as the joint married name. This does not necessarily have to be the maiden name. Also a Last name from a divorced marriage can serve as a new common married name.

Example: Gerlinde Schröder, née Dietrich, marries Klaus Meier. The spouses now have the option of using a common married name Schröder or Meier to determine.

If you have decided on a married name in accordance with naming law, the surname of one of the spouses is omitted. However, many perceive this as a disadvantage because they are already in their job made a name have and this not lose want.

According to naming law, in marriage there is therefore the possibility that the joint married name of own name appended becomes. The name suffix is ​​only used by the spouse whose surname is not the family name. Common children to get only the common married name as a birth name.

Example: Gerlinde Schröder, nee Dietrich and Klaus Meier want to get married. Both agree on the common Married name Meier. Gerlinde would like to use her last name in addition to the married name. she can Gerlinde Schröder-Meier or Gerlinde Meier-Schröder be called. Gerlinde can, however, choose to return to hers Birth name respectively. It would then be called Gerlinde Dietrich-Meier or Gerlinde Meier-Dietrich. The additional name has no meaning for common children and the spouse.

Name right after divorce

For various reasons, the closed marriage fail. The spouses have each other drifted apart and maybe even found a new life companion.

Then the only way out is often this divorce. But to what extent does name law change in the event of a divorce?

Which possibilities If you want to divorce your partner and which family name you are allowed to carry according to naming law, you will find out below.

Can the married name be kept?

The easiest option is to keep your married name even after the divorce. In this case it is of course possible that you will get married again Last name again as a family name choose.

Here is an example: Gerlinde and Klaus Meier are married. Gerlinde divorced Klaus because of another man and kept her married name Meier. If she marries her new partner Dieter Schmidt, you can use both a married name Schmidt and Meier choose.

You also have the option of keeping your married name and your maiden name or the one before to add the surname. In our example, Gerlinde Meier would be called either Gerlinde Meier-Dietrich or Dietrich-Meier or Gerlinde Schröder-Meier or Gerlinde Meier-Schröder, since she was already married before and until Marriage had two names with Klaus.

When is a name change possible after the divorce?

If you do not want to keep your married name after the divorce from your husband or wife, the right to a name gives you the option of oneName change a. You have various options for this:

  • Name change to the Birth name
  • Change of name to Married namesthat was conducted before the marriage
Example: Gerlinde Meier, née Dietrich, who is divorcing Klaus Meier, can do both Gerlinde Dietrich as well as Gerlinde Schröder be called. She used the second name before marrying Klaus.

If you're particularly under the Marriage suffered it can be useful to have the married name in your Birth name to change. In this case, you no longer need to identify yourself with the name of your ex-spouse.

Is yours Spouse deceased, the name right also grants you the above-mentioned options for changing your name.

However, as a widow or widower, you can also use the name of the deceased spouse to keep.

In order to be able to change the name, it is not sufficient for you to enter theYear of separation live on your spouse.

The divorce must according to naming law legally binding so that a name change can take place. Legally binding means that you can no longer appeal against the court order and the Divorce for good is.

How can I have my name changed after the divorce?

To a Name change To be able to carry out after the divorce, you have to go to the relevant registry office that carried out your marriage. You have been since then moved, you can also call your registry office Place of residence to seek out. The officials then forward your request. You will need the following documents to change your name:

  • Divorce decree with legal notice
  • ID card or passport
  • Certified copy from the marriage register or the marriage record of your last marriage, if you have moved since your wedding.
For the name change according to the name law you have to pay around 25 euros calculate for the notarizations and notarizations. Certified copies from the family book are included about 10 euros to book. Also, remember that you have your Change documents have to. The new name must be noted on the passport, identity card, EC card, etc. This is also with costs connected.

Change of name of children after the parents divorce

Spouses who are divorce, often ask to what extent a name change is possible for the children together in accordance with the name law. First of all the child keeps the family name, which is also the maiden name. Under certain circumstances, however, the child can take on a new married name if the parent with custody has remarried. These include the following:

  • The parent who has custody must declare that the child has the new married names as family names should lead.
  • The new spouse needs this Also make a declaration.
  • The married couple must have one common married names to lead.
  • The child must be in same household how the new spouses live and be minors and unmarried.
  • So is the other parent custodial, he must agree to the name change.
  • Is the child older than 5 years, it must also agree to the name change.

However, it is also possible for the child to have a Double names accepts. It can continue the old family name and add the new married name.

Official name change in Germany according to the Name Change Act

A change of name under public law for reasons other than birth, marriage or divorce is under naming law difficult. Legally, both the first and last name may only be changed if a good reason is available (§ 3 NamÄndG).

Both names are there not at your discretion. Reasons for a name change can include:

  • exotic name with a naturalization
  • Likelihood of confusion
  • Ridiculous or offensive first name
  • No clear identification of gender
  • Notation or Pronunciation is problematic
  • gender transformation

You should get your First or last name want to change and do not know exactly whether your reasons under the right to change the name could be sufficient, it is possible for yourself at the responsible registry office seek advice before submitting the application.

It is possible to do both the To replace first names entirely as well as a first name too to brush or one to add more. Also the Notation a first name can be changed. For example, foreign names in German can be customized become.
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Naming rights in Germany: which name may be used?
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