Law on the procedure in family matters and in matters of voluntary jurisdiction

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Basic data
Title: Law on the procedure in family matters and in matters of voluntary jurisdiction
Abbreviation: FamFG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Procedural law , private law
References : 315-24
Issued on: December 17, 2008
( BGBl. I pp. 2586, 2587 )
Entry into force on: September 1, 2009
Last change by: Art. 4 G of March 19, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 541 )
Effective date of the
last change:
March 31, 2020
(Art. 6 G of March 19, 2020)
GESTA : C116
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Law on the Procedure in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction ( FamFG ) is a federal act on the reorganization of judicial proceedings in family matters and various matters of voluntary jurisdiction that are not family matters . It was passed in June 2008 as Article 1 of the Law on the Reform of the Procedure in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FGG Reform Act - FGG-RG) and came into force on September 1, 2009.

In particular, the FamFG has replaced the Act on Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FGG) and Book 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO), insofar as these governed family law procedures (such as determination of paternity , maintenance or adoption matters). In addition, it has restructured the procedure for register law .

Goals and content

The aim of the law was a fundamental reorganization of the family court procedure, which should meet the practical needs of those involved in the proceedings and be understandable to interested laypeople in terms of content, structure and language. The main changes made by the new law are:

  • Introduction of the “Grand Family Court”, especially for all legal disputes in connection with separation and divorce
  • Promotion of judicial and extrajudicial dispute settlement for divorce cases
  • Acceleration of procedures on access and custody by introducing elements of the so-called Cochemer model
  • New regulation of the representation of interests of children and young people in proceedings ( procedural assistance , § 158 FamFG)
  • More effective enforcement of decisions and court-approved settlements on access rights and decisions on child surrender
  • Introduction of interim legal protection independent of the main issue .

In addition, the previous guardianship court was dissolved. His responsibilities were divided between the family court and the newly created supervisory court . The latter is responsible for childcare procedures , placement procedures and other measures of deprivation of liberty as well as matters relating to childcare assignments. The latter mainly concerns guardianship according to the BGB for adults .

The FamFG leads over the previously usual new terms (for example, Request for action , the applicant / in place plaintiff / in, participants held parties; decision instead of judgment, legal aid instead of legal aid ; procedures assistance (for minors) next method nurses apply to adults). Some regulations of the new law (for example § 157 FamFG) were brought forward in April 2008 together with the new version of § 1666 BGB through the "Law to facilitate family court measures in case of endangering the child's well-being". With regard to the child-related matters ( §§ 151 ff. FamFG), two procedural principles were particularly emphasized: the requirement of speed and the promotion of the amicable settlement and settlement of disputes.

In addition, the appeal system is being restructured. For the first time, the parties involved have direct access to the Federal Court of Justice through the appeal on points of law . In the future, complaints against judicial decisions will generally be limited in time, with the period generally being one month, adapted to the usual regulations; only in exceptional cases is it two weeks.

Temporary legal protection


Sections 49 ff. FamFG contain the basic requirements for temporary injunctions. In addition, special provisions that only apply to certain procedures are regulated in a special place ( e.g. Sections 246–248 FamFG for maintenance matters ). The interim order is independent of a similar main matter or an application for legal aid. This results from Section 51 (3) FamFG.

Initiation of main proceedings

Section 52 FamFG regulates the cases in which, in addition to interim legal protection proceedings, main proceedings are to be initiated. The decisive factor is whether it is a FGG family matter (official procedure) or a family dispute (application procedure). If all parties involved are satisfied with the provisional settlement, main proceedings are usually superfluous.

Paragraph 1 defines the modalities for bringing about the main proceedings for proceedings initiated ex officio. At the request of a party involved in the preliminary injunction procedure, the court must initiate the main proceedings ex officio in accordance with sentence 1. Information about this right to apply is to be provided in accordance with Section 39 FamFG. So that the parties do not rush into the main proceedings, sentence 2 stipulates that the court can determine a waiting period for the preliminary application in the interim order. If the court has already decided to initiate the main proceedings when the interim order is issued, the deadline will not be set.

Paragraph 2 defines a mechanism for bringing about the main proceedings for proceedings that are only initiated upon application, which is largely based on the provision of Section 926 ZPO, which applies to arrest and interim injunctions . At the request of a party whose rights are impaired by the interim order, the court shall, pursuant to sentence 1, order the person who obtained the interim order to apply for the main proceedings to be initiated or for legal aid to be granted.

The redesign of the right of appeal

In marriage and family matters, the uniform legal remedy is the complaint in accordance with Sections 58 ff. FamFG. This is the consequence of the decision form by resolution according to Section 116 (1) FamFG.

Contrary to the legal situation before the FamFG came into force on September 1, 2009, it is no longer necessary to differentiate between whether a FGG-related matter or a ZPO-related matter is being contested.

As for marriage and family matters in association, the FamFG also applies to isolated family disputes and "simple family matters". According to the old law, there is no longer any distinction between so-called ZPO family matters and FGG family matters. The only procedural law is the FamFG with corresponding application of the ZPO regulations, as far as the FamFG refers to it. The only legal remedy against the final decisions of the family court is a complaint according to § 58 ff. FamFG to the Higher Regional Court . In addition, there is also an immediate complaint, objection, objection and reminder in individual cases. Against the complaint according to § 58 the legal complaint to the Federal Court of Justice according to Sections 70 ff. FamFG are only admissible if the appellate court has approved them. There is no admission complaint in the event of a legal complaint that is not admitted. In proceedings before the BGH, representation by a lawyer licensed there is necessary ( Section 10 (4) FamFG).

The redesign of the legal remedy takes into account the fact that by including the family disputes, the legal remedy must now also fulfill the function of the previous appeal in family matters according to the civil procedure code . This applies not only to the previous ZPO family matters, but also to the previous general civil litigation matters, which now become matters under the FamFG due to the expansion of jurisdiction within the framework of the Great Family Court. Section 58 (1) of the FamFG determines the fundamental admissibility of complaints against final decisions. According to the legal definition in § 38 FamFG, this is the decision that finally decides on the subject of the proceedings in the instance in whole or in part.

The complaint thus assumes the function of appeal and the temporary complaint according to § 621e ZPO a as the main legal instrument in the FamFG . F. and other rules of procedure. The complaint must be submitted to the family court and not to the appeal or appeal court as was previously the case. The family judge does not have the right to remedy complaints under Section 58 in family matters . The receipt by the family court is decisive for the observance of the appeal period of one month for main proceedings and two weeks for interim orders.

The regional court is the complaint authority in care and placement proceedings. The Federal Court of Justice is responsible for appeals on a point of law , Section 133 of the GVG (the higher regional courts no longer have any function in these proceedings).


Due to the different types of procedures, the FamFG is divided into several "books":

  • Book 1: General Part (§§ 1 to 110)
    • Section 1: general regulations (§§ 1 to 22a)
    • Section 2: Procedure at first instance (Sections 23 to 37)
    • Section 3: Decision (Sections 38 to 48)
    • Section 4: Provisional order (Sections 49 to 57)
    • Section 5: Appeal (Sections 58 to 75)
    • Section 6: Legal aid (Sections 76 to 79)
    • Section 7: Costs (Sections 80 to 85)
    • Section 8: Enforcement (Sections 86 to 96a)
    • Section 9: Procedures with a foreign element (Sections 97 to 110)
  • Book 2: Proceedings in family matters (Sections 111 to 270)
    • Section 1: General provisions (Sections 111 to 120)
    • Section 2: Proceedings in matrimonial matters; Proceedings in divorce cases and related matters (§§ 121 to 150)
    • Section 3: Proceedings in child-related matters (Sections 151 to 168a)
    • Section 4: Proceedings in matters of parentage (Sections 169 to 185)
    • Section 5: Proceedings in Adoption Matters (Sections 186 to 199)
    • Section 6: Proceedings in marital housing and household matters (Sections 200 to 209)
    • Section 7: Proceedings in Violence Protection Matters (Sections 210 to 216a)
    • Section 8: Procedure in pension equalization matters (Sections 217 to 230)
    • Section 9: Procedures in Maintenance Matters (Sections 231 to 260)
    • Section 10: Proceedings in property law matters (Sections 261 to 265)
    • Section 11: Proceedings in other family matters (Sections 266 to 268)
    • Section 12: Proceedings in civil partnership matters (Sections 269 to 270)
  • Book 3: Procedures in care and accommodation matters (§§ 271 to 341)
    • Section 1: Procedure in childcare matters (Sections 271 to 311)
    • Section 2: Procedure in Placement Matters (Sections 312 to 339)
    • Section 3: Proceedings in custody court assignment matters (Sections 340 to 341)
  • Book 4: Proceedings in estate and division matters (§§ 342 to 373)
    • Section 1: Definitions; Local jurisdiction (Sections 342 to 344)
    • Section 2: Proceedings in probate matters (Sections 345 to 362)
    • Section 3: Proceedings in matters of division (Sections 363 to 373)
  • Book 5: Procedure in register matters, company law procedures (§§ 374 to 409)
    • Section 1: Definition of terms (Sections 374 to 375)
    • Section 2: Responsibility (Sections 376 to 377)
    • Section 3: Register matters (Sections 378 to 401)
    • Section 4: Company law proceedings (Sections 402 to 409)
  • Book 6: Proceedings in other matters of voluntary jurisdiction (§§ 410 to 414)
  • Book 7: Procedure in Deprivation of Liberty Matters (Sections 415 to 432)
  • Book 8: Proceedings in Public Proceedings (Sections 433 to 484)
    • Section 1: General procedural regulations (Sections 433 to 441)
    • Section 2: List by the owner of land , ships and shipbuilding structures (Sections 442 to 446)
    • Section 3: Notification of the obligee of land and ship liens as well as the person entitled to other real rights (Sections 447 to 453)
    • Section 4: List of probate creditors (Sections 454 to 464)
    • Section 5: Calling off the ship's creditors (Section 465)
    • Section 6: Notification for the invalidation of documents (sections 466 to 484)
  • Book 9: Final provisions (§§ 485 to 491)

Costs of the proceedings

The costs of the proceedings are not regulated in this law, but in the law on court costs in family matters - FamGKG. The law on costs of voluntary jurisdiction for courts and notaries (Court and Notary Fees Act - GNotKG) applies to other matters .

See also


Legal materials

  • Draft law of the federal government - Draft of a law to reform the procedure in family matters and in matters of voluntary jurisdiction (FGG Reform Act - FGG-RG) . In: German Bundestag printed matter . 16th electoral term, printed matter 16/6308, September 7, 2007 ( [PDF; 8.8 MB ; accessed on December 31, 2018]).
  • Recommended resolution and report by the Legal Affairs Committee (6th committee) on the Federal Government's draft law - printed matter 16/6308 . In: German Bundestag printed matter . 16th electoral term, printed matter 16/9733, 23 June 2008 ( [PDF; 5,7 MB ; accessed on December 31, 2018]).


  • Kersten / Bühling: Book of forms and practice of voluntary jurisdiction. 23rd edition. Verlag Carl Heymanns, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-452-27278-2 .
  • Martin Haußleiter: FamFG. Comment. 1st edition. CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-61046-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Draft law of the federal government - Draft of a law to reform the procedure in family matters and in matters of voluntary jurisdiction (FGG Reform Act - FGG-RG) . In: German Bundestag printed matter . 16th electoral term, printed paper 16/6308, September 7, 2007, p. 201 ( [PDF; 8.8 MB ; accessed on December 31, 2018]).
  2. ^ Draft law of the federal government - Draft of a law to reform the procedure in family matters and in matters of voluntary jurisdiction (FGG Reform Act - FGG-RG) . In: German Bundestag printed matter . 16th electoral term, printed paper 16/6308, September 7, 2007, p. 203 ( [PDF; 8.8 MB ; accessed on December 31, 2018]).