Parents can receive the parental allowance (Elterngeld) for up to 14 months and ElterngeldPlus for longer. The parental allowance is paid per month of the child's life. The parents can freely decide between themselves who would like to stay at home and for how long. One parent can receive the allowance for a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve months.
Parents who live apart can also receive the parental allowance. Single parents can receive the full 14 months of parental allowance.