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Family Separation in Germany – What You Need to Know

When you moved with your partner/family to Germany and a separation is inevitable a lot of questions might come to your mind:

  • How does a separation work in Germany?
  • Which rules apply?
  • What are the financial consequences of a separation?
  • Is a divorce in Germany even possible if we e.g. got married in Denmark but are currently living in Germany?
  • Which legal fees and costs arise from the separation/divorce process?

Due to few requirements regarding submitted documents, a lot of couples with international background marry in Denmark, register their marriage in Germany and live here.

Find more information about separation in Germany in the following article.

Which law applies to my situation?

First, it needs to be established which law applies. This depends on the nationality both partners hold, where they got married and where they live.

In case of a divorce while living in Germany, it is generally possible in a German divorce process to apply foreign law. In case you have any questions regarding these circumstances do not hesitate to contact us. We will review which law applies to your specific situation and explain the rules of the respective country to you.

Which consequences does the separation have in regard to possible maintenance/spousal support payments?

If you and your partner have children the German family law offers many calculation rules for financial child support/maintenance, separation maintenance for the parenting partner and if applicable also post-marital maintenance. The child support varies and depends on the age of the child, the specific needs, the number of children and further maintenance obligations. However, it could be the case that the partner who needs to pay maintenance is financially not fully capable of paying. Therefore, the income of both partners as well as the needs of the child are reviewed and all are subject for the calculation of the maintenance. Also, costs like kindergarden fees are considered when calculating the maintenance claim.

For the specific maintenance claim the age of the child/children as well as their specific needs (state of health, care needs) are relevant for the calculation.

Which requirements are necessary for a possible divorce petition?

When filing a divorce petition under German law the separation year should be almost over. The separation process can begin in a shared flat and continue with the move-out with one partner.

Which legal fees and costs arise from the separation/divorce process?

In a petition for divorce it is compulsory under German law to be represented by a lawyer who files the petition. For the first counselling interview (Erstberatungsgespräch) a fixed sum of 190,00 EUR plus 19 % tax is payable by law. The costs for a divorce depend on the salary of the partners and the aspects which should be decided by court.

Further questions?

Do you have any further questions regarding family law in Germany? Would you like to have another aspect covered in this article? Or do you have any other legal subject that troubles you in Germany? Then drop us an email.

Write an [email].

Need advice or representation? Get in touch for free.

If you have trouble with your spouse or simply in need of advice regarding family law (Familienrecht) in Germany, just write us an email with your inquiry.

Photo credit: Siora Photography on Unsplash

28.01.2019 | Expats