You are a single parent and does your child’s other parent not pay child support? Or they pay only in part and not regularly? Then your child has what translates to a ‘limited financial livelihood’. To compensate for this disadvantage, you can apply for an advance on child support payments at the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt). If the requirements are met, the Youth Welfare Office can take over the task of paying the child support that should actually be contributed by the other parent. The Youth Welfare Office then tries its best to get back the advance payments from the other parent. In principle, children are entitled to child support from their parents until they turn 18.

As of 2021, the maximum amounts paid per month are as follows:

Children from 0 to 5 years old: up to €177

Children from 6 to 11 years old: up to €236

Children from 12 to 17 years old: up to €314.

The exact amount is calculated by the child support advance department (Unterhaltsvorschussstelle) at the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt). If the child receives regular child support payments from the father, but these are less than the child support allowance to which the child is entitled, the father's payments are deducted from the allowance from the Youth Welfare Office. In this case, only the difference is paid out. Also, if the child has their own income from education or receives orphan's benefits (Waisenbezüge), these are deducted from child support. The child support advance is always paid to you at the beginning of the month.

You do the application for child support advance in the child support advance department (Unterhaltsvorschussstelle). This is usually located at the Youth Welfare Office. The Youth Welfare Office in your place of residence, i.e. the town or district, is responsible. The staff there will advise you on all questions concerning an advance on child support. You must apply in writing. A phone call will not suffice. The Youth Welfare Office will also help you fill out the application if you need it.

If you have problems with the paternity acknowledgment (Vaterschaftsanerkennung), you can apply for a legal guardianship (Beistandschaft) at the Youth Welfare Office for support. If the father is unknown, you can still get an advance on child support payments. However, you then have the legal obligation to cooperate with the determination of the father. Thus there are demands placed upon you to help Youth Welfare Office find the father. For example, if you refuse to name the father or give important information about the father, you will not get child support.

An advance on child support also depends on whether you care for your child without the father. So unless you are permanently separated from the child's other parent, you are not entitled to an advance on child support payments. This is true if you share the care of the child and you do not clearly have the greater responsibility for raising the child. This is the case, for example, when the child regularly spends half their time with the other parent. It is best to get advice on child support requirements directly from the Youth Welfare Office.