Divorce in Berlin | German Divorce Lawyer (2022)

Separation and divorce are traumatic events. The partnership is broken, but most couples are bound together through the children. How to deal with the situation, how to preserve one’s own interests, without risking a war of the roses?

I can help you with my experience and my knowledge as a divorce attorney and mediator.

Since 2002, I specialize in family law as well as dealing exclusively with divorces and other family law issues. I work in partnership with another lawyer who are also working exclusively in family law, so you benefit from our professional exchange.

Procedure: Free initial assessment

You can contact me by phone or via the contact form through the page Divorce in Berlin on my website.

I will call you immediately or at your own convenience. You can describe the current situation, and I will give you an initial assessment, which is without charge. Then if you wish, we can arrange a personal meeting, you will then promptly receive an appointment, usually for the next working day.

Personal meeting

In this first meeting, we asses your very individual situation. I will guide you through the conversation and develop the connections on a flip chart. My goal is to make the legal situation clear to you, to enable you to recognize and evaluate your options for action. We will discuss thoroughly the external procedure, the time frame and the costs.

You can take a photo of the flip chart at the end of the consultation, as a reminder of our discussion. Please put aside up to two hours for the first meeting.

Next steps: Mediation?

I am not only a specialist lawyer for family law, but also a certified mediator. If you and your (spouse) partner agree on clear settlement of all separation and divorce sequences, I can act as mediator instead of as a lawyer. In this case you should point this out at the beginning of the contact.

Getting divorced internationally can have additional difficulties, but it can also be an advantage.

  • Do you or your spouse have a foreign nationality?
  • Were you married abroad?
  • Do you live abroad or have recently lived abroad?
  • Are you considering moving abroad or already in the process of making arrangements to do so?
  • Do you have assets abroad?

Even if only one of these options mentioned above apply to you, then you should be advised at an early stage.

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There is a substantial difference if you choose to get divorced in Germany or abroad. In so far as considering how your assets will be divided and child maintenance contributions are decided.

Planning International Divorce

1. First points to consider are

  • In which country you were married in and
  • Under what law

In order not to be caught unprepared, it is important to inform yourself on which state of law would best serve your rights. Quite frequently experienced point is, that a spouse may put forward their choice of country without the other being aware of what this might mean for them in the long term divorce and accompanying procedures.

2. You must become aware of the alternatives in order to know where you stand. For this purpose, your assets as well as all your other living circumstances must be carefully examined. In order to clarify things like; what is the position of the property, who is the entitled person, how is the income situation, what are the earning possibilities of the individuals involved, who will the children live with, what are the custody considerations etcetera.

3. Considering all the above points, how would you like the divorce to proceed? do you feel that, there is a possibility of coming to an agreement of how things should be after the the divorce.

4. If everything is clear, then the strategy and the approach must be defined. For this purpose, it is necessary to understand and recognize which legal system is the most favourable for the respective legal area. From this point further procedure has to be derived. The implications of these decisions are manifold. From the early relocation to or from abroad to the mere waiting for an immediate filing of the divorce petition, many things are conceivable and possible. It depends on your incomparable individual case and on you.

The divorce costs consists of two parts:

  • Lawyer fees and
  • the court costs

The lawyers compensation is governed by the law on the compensation of Consultants (RGV) act, and the court costs (are regulated by the Family law court costs (FamGKG). These costs are the same for every lawyer and every court.

In over 90% of all cases

– Court costs are between 216 € and 812 €

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– Lawyers fees between 621,78 € and 2.591,23 € .

How high the divorce costs will be is dependent onthe spouses total net income, the number of dependent children and the number of entitlements in the Pension scheme. From theseconsiderationsthe so-called “Process value” is calculated.

Process value (Legal value)

At the time of filing for divorce, the current monthly net income of the spousesare added together, from the total, 250 €are subtracted for each dependent child and the result is then multiplied by 3. This is the first calculation of the divorce proceedure.

In addition, there is thelitigation value of the pension compensation (if this is carried out). For each individual pension provision one tenth of the procedural value of the divorce is taken as the basis and the sum is added to the method value of the divorce.

The court’s procedural value is determined consideringinitial courtcharges as well as the charges incurred by the end of the court case.

Divorce in Berlin is alwaysconsidered based onthis model. However, in courts outside of Berlin, sometimes there is the possibility of a reduction in the procedural value (and the lawyer’s as well as court fees), but the financial assets of the spousesare additionally taken into account with a fraction and the procedural value is added on top.

How the individual courts proceed ,and what can be done to save costs, are discussed in the initial consultation.

Divorce costs

Before the start of the procedure, I will calculate the divorce costs, then go in advance to submit the request to court.

Payment is required in 3 installments:

  • after filingfor divorce, the initial court charges must be paid directly to the court
  • after the filing of the divorce application, the first half of the legal costs have to be paid
  • after the divorce, the second half of the legal costs are required

We can arrange a different paymentprocedure, acording toindividual requirements.

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Reimburstment

The court costscan be reimbursed (on request) by the other spouse. Each spouse is responsible for their own legal expenses. Only ifthe applicants spouse is represented by a lawyer, can there bean Agreement ofcost division, it can not be enforced.

Advance payment of procedural costs and legal aid

In some circumstances there is the possibility that the spouse or the state fund will assume the costs of court and lawyer fees.

First of all the cost of the procedure will be taken into consideration. The prerequisite for this is that the person entitled to divorce has little income and no assets. If, on the other hand, the other spouse has a good income, he can be asked to pay the divorce costs – in advance.

Whenever a procedural cost allowance is possible, there is no entitlement to the granting of legal aid. If, however, the other spouse has only a low income and no assets, thena claim for legal aid can be made. However, the bureaucratic effort is not to be underestimated. We can discussother possibilities.

Divorce agreement

These are the main topics of a divorce settlement agreement:

  • Asset allocation
  • Gain compensation
  • Spousal support
  • Pension equalization (pension entitlements)
  • Loans, debts
  • Property
  • Decisions on rights of access

The aim of my consultation for these matters, is to always find a solution out of court.

Therfore I initially negotiate with the other spouse or with the other appointed lawyer.

As a result of the negotiations with each other, the spouses ideally come to the conclusion that a contract should be created in which all the issues in question are regulated. This contract is then referred to as divorce settlement agreement, sometimes as a marriage contract.

In order to become effective, the agreement must then be certified by a notary or recorded in court.

If it is not possible to come to such an agreement, or if only partial areas can be regulated, then a court procedure is often carried out at the request of the spouse who demands something from the other party.

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Negotiate or sue?

If the matter is not clear or the interests differ considerably, the issues always come to the surface during the entire negotiation process, which brings us tot he question:

Which contractual arrangements are favorable for one’s own client, but at least acceptable in relation to a court decision? Is it worth it to pursue the court decision or to risk the action of the other side?

To do this, the lawyer must be able to estimate from experience what a court decision would look like and within what time frame it can be expected. He must be able to calculate whether the participants can muster the financial and psychological power over the duration of the procedure and which circumstances that are significant for a court decision will vary with what probability during the procedure.

I compare it to a game of chess. I only get involved, if some characters are missing and there always are more than 2 players behind the board (and this sometimes can change even during the game). That makes it more interesting. I see every case in its uniqueness and act accordingly. I listen to you, in all fairness and let you decide the pace, but I will not hesitate to inform you if you are wrong about the rules of the game or the other side involved.

Divorce, how long does it take?

The process that leads to a divorce can take a long time. You can form these into three main groups.

  • Express divorce (2 – 4 months)
  • Normal divorce (about 1 year)
  • Disputed divorce (3 years and more)

Express divorce

This is the instance in which, the spouses have excluded the pension compensation before submitting the divorce petition through a divorce settlement agreement or marriage contract. Whereby the court admits the divorce petition of one spouse to the other by mail, and then during the next 3 weeks, the court will determine a date for divorce proceedings, this process time is usually 3 – 4 weeks. The divorce will take place at this date, that’s it.

Normal divorce

This is the instance in which the spouses did not exclude the pension equalization. Then, after the divorce application has been served, both spouses will be sent a questionnaire by the court. This information is about all pension rights which is mandatory. Based on the information given, the pension insurance is then obliged to determine the entitlements in amount.

The whole process takes at best six months, but usually longer, because pension periods are unanswered or questions from the pension insurers are answered hesitantly or incorrectly by the divorce parties or the pension providers are working slowly, for example, the public service in Berlin is known for taking their time.

However, it is possible to reduce this duration: If both spouses participate without delay and three months have passed, the divorce can be brought forward based on joint request.

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Disputed divorce

The most common disputes are not the divorce as such. The spouses argue about the divorce consequences such as the gain compensation and the post-marital maintenance. These procedures – referred to as follow-up cases – are connected with the divorce court. The marriage contract will only be ended, when the subsequent matters can be decided. And then there can still be a complaint against these decisions – and against the divorce itself. It then continues in the 2nd Instance.

In these instances divorce proceedures might continue for at least 3 years, but they can also take much longer.

FAQs

Is it difficult to get a divorce in Germany? ›

Divorce and separation procedures are relatively simple in Germany, especially if both partners agree.

How long does divorce process take in Germany? ›

How long does a divorce proceeding take in Germany? If both of you live in Germany and you have only the divorce (no child custody, no financial claims), it usually takes between 4 and 6 months.

How much does it cost to get divorce in Germany? ›

What costs should I expect? In a divorce process, the court's and the lawyers' service fees should be covered by the couple. The court fees usually amount to 450- 800 €; i.e. you and your partner each have to pay between € 225 to € 400. To apply for divorce at the Family Court, you also need a lawyer.

How do Germans view divorce? ›

The only ground for divorce recognised by German law is the breakdown of the marriage. There is no divorce based on the fault of one of the spouses.

Who pays divorce in Germany? ›

To start the divorce paperwork, one spouse must submit a divorce petition through an attorney at the family court. At that time, the spouse who files for divorce has to pay the court fees upfront. Usually, the fees get split in half by both spouses afterward.

How much is alimony in Germany? ›

According to the courts, the employed spouse should pay pocket money of about 5-7% of his net income to the unemployed spouse.

How is property divided in a divorce Germany? ›

According to the German legislation, spouses filing for divorce will separate their common household assets, in the sense that each partner can keep the assets he or she owns. The expensive objects acquired by both partners during the marriage are jointly owned.

How much is child support in Germany? ›

Child maintenance in Germany going up in 2022

For children aged between six and 11, the minimum payment is increasing by four euros to at least 455 euros per month. For children aged 12 to 17, parents will have to pay at least 533 euros per month. Children above the age of 18 are entitled to 569 euros per month.

How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce? ›

There's no legal time limit on when you can start divorce proceedings, as long as you've been married for one year. You can begin divorce proceedings as soon as you separate.

Does Germany have alimony? ›

Spousal Maintenance Law in Germany. Following a separation it is likely that one of the partners may be entitled to a form of alimony payment in the form of separation spousal maintenance (Trennungsunterhalt). This payment will generally continue during the separation phase until the final divorce.

Which country has the lowest divorce rate 2022? ›

Based upon available data, the country with the lowest divorce rate in the world is Sri Lanka, with a divorce rate of 0.15 divorces per 1,000 residents. Vietnam and Guatemala have the next lowest rate at 0.2 divorces per every 1,000 residents.

Why are divorce rates so high in Germany? ›

The reasons for divorce in Germany have changed with time. Violence, alcoholism and infidelity have been replaced by communication problems and lack of common interests. By comparison, the divorce rate in Germany is higher than the rate of Ireland.

At what age does child support stop in Germany? ›

Obligation to Pay

So, the non-custodial parent may be paying child support until the child turns 25 or older. It's up to the custodial parent to make a claim for child support on behalf of the child.

Who gets custody of child in divorce Germany? ›

Section 1632 of the German Civil Code provides that custody over a child includes the right to claim the child from anyone who keeps him unlawfully. If one parent claims the child from the other parent, then jurisdiction lies with the local family court.

Which country has the highest divorce rate? ›

The Maldives has the highest divorce rate in the world, with 5.52 divorces per 1,000 people per year.

How many divorces are there in Germany? ›

Value
YearMarriagesDivorces
TotalTotal
2018449,466148,066
2017407,466153,501
2016410,426162,397
70 more rows

What is separation assets? ›

Separate property refers to any property the spouses acquired separately before the marriage or after separation (or in some states after divorce). Separate property also includes any gifts or inheritances acquired by either spouse at any time.

How long is alimony paid in Germany? ›

There is no time limit to that as long as the marriage is not divorced. After the divorce usually a time limit applies. The law does not say for how long the alimony has to be paid. As a rule of thumb spouse support has to be paid for about 1/3 of the duration of the marriage.

How much is child support after divorce? ›

On the basic rate, if you're paying for: one child, you'll pay 12% of your gross weekly income. two children, you'll pay 16% of your gross weekly income. three or more children, you'll pay 19% of your gross weekly income.

Who pays Unterhalt in Germany? ›

The maintenance law stipulates that family members must provide for one another when one of them needs support. Such support is called "maintenance" or "Unterhalt"- and when it is paid for children, child maintenance or "Kindesunterhalt".

How does divorce affect your immigration status in Germany? ›

If your right to live in Germany is solely due to your marriage or you came to Germany through family reunification, you may lose your entitlement to reside there if you get divorced; especially if you have been married for less than three years.

How do I get a copy of my divorce decree in Germany? ›

Divorce decrees can only be requested by involved persons and their children. To be allowed to request the decree, we need you to issue a power of attorney and a copy of your passport for identification purposed, for children we also need a copy of the birth certificate.

How long does it take to get over a broken marriage? ›

The emotional intensity of this period usually reaches a peak within the first six months of separation. However, the grieving process may take as long as two years. Although you are likely to experience all of the grieving stages at some point, they may not occur in the same order for each person.

How much does a single mother get in Germany? ›

The allowance ranges from a minimum of 300 euros to a maximum of 1,800 euros per month and is paid for a maximum period of 14 months if the other parent also claims Parental Allowance for at least two months.

Do you get money for kids in Germany? ›

The child benefit is a monthly payment given to all parents in Germany, regardless of their income, to ensure that their children's basic needs are covered. The German child benefit is provided by the Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse) at the Federal Employment Agency.

Who can claim child benefit in Germany? ›

Just about any taxpayer living in Germany with children can get the Kindergeld, whether employed, self employed or independent. You get it as a rule until the children turn 18, though it can continue until they are 25 if they are still in school or meet other requirements for an extension.

How do I accept my marriage is over? ›

How to Accept That Your Marriage Is Over
  1. When It's Over. The partner not wanting the divorce may not understand why the other person isn't willing to try to work it out. ...
  2. The Road to Recovery. ...
  3. Embrace Your New Life. ...
  4. Look Outside Yourself. ...
  5. Practice Letting Go. ...
  6. Look for Joy. ...
  7. Make a Plan. ...
  8. Be Self Aware.

Who pays for a divorce? ›

There appears to be a myth that the person being divorced (known as the Respondent) always pays the fees for a divorce, when in reality this is not the case in the majority of divorce cases. The person filing for the divorce (known as the Applicant) will always pay the divorce filing fee.

Does a husband have to support his wife during separation? ›

If you're in the process of filing for divorce, you may be entitled to, or obligated to pay, temporary alimony while legally separated. In many instances, one spouse may be entitled to temporary support during the legal separation to pay for essential monthly expenses such as housing, food and other necessities.

Do you need a reason to get divorced? ›

A no fault divorce can be granted on grounds such as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, or after a period of separation, depending on the state. Neither party is held responsible for the failure of the marriage.

Why do you have to wait 20 weeks for divorce? ›

The reason for the introduction of the 20 week time-frame is to provide separating couples with a specific period of reflection before the divorce is finalised.

How should a woman prepare for a divorce? ›

9 Critical Steps Women Should Take To Prepare For Divorce
  1. Gather your financial records. ...
  2. Open a Post Office Box. ...
  3. Start putting money away for legal and other professional fees. ...
  4. Open a new checking and savings account. ...
  5. Open new credit cards in your name only. ...
  6. Get a copy of your credit report.

How do you determine alimony? ›

If the alimony is being paid on a monthly basis, the Supreme Court of India has set 25% of the husband's net monthly salary as the benchmark amount that should be granted to the wife. There is no such benchmark for one-time settlement, but usually, the amount ranges between 1/5th to 1/3rd of the husband's net worth.

Does Germany recognize us divorce? ›

As far as German law is concerned, a marriage divorced abroad is considered to continue to exist until the foreign divorce decree has been recognized by the competent Land Department of Justice.

What happens when you marry a German citizen? ›

If you marry a person who holds German citizenship, you will not automatically be considered a German citizen, but you are entitled to a residence permit for three years if you and your partner both want to live together in Germany.

Which country is No 1 in divorce? ›

Luxembourg: 87 per cent

And right now, it's also the top country with the highest divorce rate in the world.

Which country in Europe has the highest divorce rate? ›

According to the 2019 UNIDOMO questionnaire Luxembourg clearly led the list of European countries with the highest divorce rate per 100 marriages.
...
Divorce rates in Europe in 2019, by country (per 100 marriages)
CharacteristicNumber per 100 marriages
Luxembourg88.9
Portugal61.4
Finland59.9
Spain55.5
9 more rows
27 Jul 2022

Which country has most successful marriages? ›

West Bank and Gaza had the highest marriage rate in the world as of 2018, with 10 marriages per every 1,000 population. Fiji followed directly with 9.8 marriages. Thereafter, Egypt and Bahamas counted 9.6 and 9.5 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants, ranking third and fourth, respectively.

Is divorce easy in Germany? ›

Divorce and separation procedures are relatively simple in Germany, especially if both partners agree. If you and your partner have chosen to permanently end your marriage, you have two options open to you.

How many German marriages end in divorce? ›

Divorce statistics by country/region (per 1,000 population / year)
Country/regionContinentRatio
Percent
FranceEurope51.35
GeorgiaAsia18.84
GermanyEurope38.78
63 more rows

What is the divorce rate in 2022? ›

Marriage and divorce are both common experiences for adults, although both can be challenging. About 90% of people in Western cultures marry by age 50. In the United States, about 50% of married couples divorce, the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world.

How much does it cost to divorce in Germany? ›

What costs should I expect? In a divorce process, the court's and the lawyers' service fees should be covered by the couple. The court fees usually amount to 450- 800 €; i.e. you and your partner each have to pay between € 225 to € 400. To apply for divorce at the Family Court, you also need a lawyer.

Can you go to jail for not paying child support Germany? ›

A person who is in breach of a maintenance obligation can be sentenced to up to three years' imprisonment or ordered to pay a fine. If a custodial sentence is unavoidable, the court can suspend the sentence and order the convicted party to fulfil his or her maintenance obligations.

What is Sorgerecht in Germany? ›

The German word Sorgerecht means custody, referring to the right of parents to take care of their children and to manager any assets.

How long does divorce take in Germany? ›

How long does a divorce proceeding take in Germany? If both of you live in Germany and you have only the divorce (no child custody, no financial claims), it usually takes between 4 and 6 months.

How is property divided in a divorce in Germany? ›

According to the German legislation, spouses filing for divorce will separate their common household assets, in the sense that each partner can keep the assets he or she owns. The expensive objects acquired by both partners during the marriage are jointly owned.

Do grandparents have rights in Germany? ›

What do we know about them and their grandchildren? Grandparents have a right of access. This means that they are entitled to see their grandchildren regularly. If they are denied contact, they still have a right to contact the child (§ 1685 BGB), but only if the contact serves the best interests of the child.

How is property divided in a divorce Germany? ›

According to the German legislation, spouses filing for divorce will separate their common household assets, in the sense that each partner can keep the assets he or she owns. The expensive objects acquired by both partners during the marriage are jointly owned.

How long do you have to be separated to get a divorce? ›

There's no legal time limit on when you can start divorce proceedings, as long as you've been married for one year. You can begin divorce proceedings as soon as you separate.

Which country has the highest divorce rate? ›

The Maldives has the highest divorce rate in the world, with 5.52 divorces per 1,000 people per year.

Does Germany recognize us divorce? ›

As far as German law is concerned, a marriage divorced abroad is considered to continue to exist until the foreign divorce decree has been recognized by the competent Land Department of Justice.

How much is child support in Germany? ›

Child maintenance in Germany going up in 2022

For children aged between six and 11, the minimum payment is increasing by four euros to at least 455 euros per month. For children aged 12 to 17, parents will have to pay at least 533 euros per month. Children above the age of 18 are entitled to 569 euros per month.

Does Germany have alimony? ›

Spousal Maintenance Law in Germany. Following a separation it is likely that one of the partners may be entitled to a form of alimony payment in the form of separation spousal maintenance (Trennungsunterhalt). This payment will generally continue during the separation phase until the final divorce.

How does divorce affect your immigration status in Germany? ›

If your right to live in Germany is solely due to your marriage or you came to Germany through family reunification, you may lose your entitlement to reside there if you get divorced; especially if you have been married for less than three years.

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