Divorce in Germany [How-to 2022 English Guide] (2022)

After giving you the rundown onhow to get married in Germany, we, of course, don’t want to leave you in the dark on how divorce in Germany works, in case your marriage simply does not work out. This article will give you all the information on divorce in Germany, including the requirements, which might be different from your home country.

Disclaimer: We do not provide legal advice, and any divorce needs to be discussed with an attorney.

Table of Contents

Statistics on divorce in Germany – Is divorce common in Germany?

Divorce in Germany has become less popular in the past ten years, as143.801 divorces were recorded in 2020. That is 23% less than in 2010. Thedivorce rate in Germanyin 2020 was at 38,52% after reaching an all-time low in the last two decades of 32,94% in 2018.

That pretty much means that2,45 marriages take placefor each divorce, while theaverage length of marriageuntil a divorce is about 14,7 years.

Reasons for divorce in Germany

Since 1977 spouses no longer have to provide a reason for divorce in Germany (Schuldprinzip). Before that, divorce was only possible in case a spouse could be blamed for culpable conduct such as adultery or domestic violence.

Nowadays, the mostcommon reasons for divorce in Germanyare:

(Video) DIVORCE SURVIVAL GUIDE | #lifewithruzhoff#divorceprocess #scheidung#divorce

  • Infidelity
  • Debt
  • Stress
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Lack of commonalities / drifting apart

Who can get divorced in Germany?

Any married spouse can file for divorce in Germany, as long as one spouse has a German residency or citizenship, even if you did not get married in Germany.

Conditions for divorce in Germany

Since 1977 the above-mentionedSchuldprinzip(guilt principle) has been replaced by theZerrüttungsprinzip(break-up principle). TheZerrüttungsprinzipis the legal basis of every divorce – only marriages that have irrevocably failed can be divorced.

So how can you prove that your marriage has failed and is unlikely to be revived? There are three possible conditions for divorce in Germany:

  1. Both spouses have lived separate lives for at least one year, and both agree to the divorce.
  2. Divorce before the end of the separation year in a case of hardship, e.g., domestic violence.
  3. Both spouses have lived separate lives for at least three years, even if one spouse does not want to get divorced.

During the year of separation, you don’t need to live in separate places necessarily. You should, however, not share the same bed and activities. The year of separation was put into place to allow the married couple time and space to think about their partnership and marriage. The German court encourages couples to use this year for reconciliation. Any attempt to rekindle the marriage by living together for less than three months will not extend the year of separation.

In any case, the spouse filing for divorce will always need to consult a family lawyer to get divorced in Germany. The other spouse does not have to have an attorney if the divorce is amicable.

You can find an English-speaking attorney specializing in family law on theGerman lawyer portal. The page is in German, but you can use Google’s translate function in Chrome. Click on advanced search (erweiterte Suche), and there you will be able to enter the following:

  • PLZ/Ort: your town
  • Fachanwältin/Fachanwalt: Familienrecht (family law)
  • nur Fachanwätinnen/Fachanwälte: An (On – for only specialized lawyers)
  • Fremdsprache: Englisch

What is the process of a divorce in Germany?

Divorce in Germany [How-to 2022 English Guide] (1)

The process of a divorce in Germany begins by agreeing to live separately. Thereupon starts the year of separation.

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. You can already file the divorce petition two months before the year of separation is over. The court will serve the divorce petition to the other spouse, who has to agree or oppose.

(Video) DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE FOR FILIPINOS (RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN DIVORCE DECREE 2022 UPDATE MADE SIMPLE)

Should the spouse agree and the divorce is therefore amicable, both spouses need to decide on the custody of children if applicable, alimony, division of property and household, etc. in a so-called divorce consequence agreement (Scheidungsfolgenvereinbarung). This agreement needs to be signed by a notary but saves time and money in court. In case the spouse opposes the divorce petition, the lawyers of both parties present their proposals to the court, who has to decide.

In most cases, the court will send both spouses a questionnaire to determine the pension rights adjustment. The next step is the divorce appointment at the court. This appointment takes about 10-15 minutes for an amicable divorce, and both spouses have to attend. The judge will ask you questions on how long you have been separated, and whether both of you want to get divorced. In case one spouse opposes, the judge will also ask more personal questions. At the end of the court hearing, the judge will announce the divorce and send the divorce ruling via postal mail.

If you need to have your divorce certificate translated for your home country, you can use the online services of lingoking.

Our Choice

Lingoking | Certified Translations

  • Translations of all languages
  • Website in English & Spanish
  • Order online 24/7
  • Express service possible

Get Translations with Lingoking

Transparency: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

(Video) Germany | Pakistan | Marriage | Divorce | Asylum | Pakistanis in Germany | Refugees | How to get |

How long does a divorce take in Germany?

An amicable divorce without pension rights adjustmenttakes about four months after the divorce petition was submitted, while an amicable divorce with pension rights adjustment takes five to nine months.

A litigious divorce can last years, depending on the factors that are being disputed (e.g., child custody, alimony, financial claims, house ownership, etc.).

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

Divorce in Germany costs a minimum of 754 euros in legal fees and 254 euros in court fees. The exact cost depends on how much both spouses are earning. Should child custody, alimony, and other issues be part of a divorce in Germany, the divorce’s costs and duration will increase.

The basic court and lawyer costs for divorce in Germany are based on three times the monthly net income of both spouses (minimum 3.000 euros in total). Let’s say both spouses earn a monthly net income of 4.000 euros. This means the court and lawyer fees are based on 12.000 euros worth. That could lead to estimated 1.817 euros of lawyer fees and 534 euros of court fees for a consensual divorce.

(Video) "I Was $800,000 in Bad DEBT" | Robert Kiyosaki | How To Pay Back Your Debt Fast

Below you can find a basic divorce cost calculator for Germany. Unfortunately, it is only available in German. Here are the translations:

Nettoeinkommen = net income
Ehemann = husband / spouse
Ehefrau = wife / spouse
Vermögen = wealth (e.g., shared savings, properties, valuables that don’t belong to the standard household, etc.)
Anzahl der Kinder = number of children
Rentenversicherung = pension insurance
gesetzlich = statutory
gesetzlich & privat = statutory & private
Ausrechnen = calculate

Calculation tool for divorce cost in Germany

Translations for the result of costs to expect

Verfahrenswert = base amount for the court proceedings
aus dem Verfahrenswert resultierende Anwaltskosten = resulting attorney fees
aus dem Verfahrenswert resultierende Gerichtskosten = resulting court fees
Kosten für das Scheidungsverfahren = costs for the divorce

Can you stay in Germany after a divorce?

This is a very individual question for which you should consult a lawyer. However, the basic guidelines are as followed.

In case your residence permit in Germany is based on a work contract, your divorce should not have any influence. In case your residence permit is based on your marriage to a German or EU citizen, whether or not you can stay in Germany after a divorce depends on the number of years you have been married.

Has your marriage lasted longer than three years? Then your residence permit will be extended for one year after a divorce in Germany. Have you not completed three years of marriage in Germany, you will most likely be asked to leave Germany on short notice.

Of course, there are exceptions, e.g., if the marriage needs to be ended due to hardship cases.

(Video) Do NOT Move to Denmark! | 9 Reasons Why a Danish Life Isn't for You

Final thoughts

There you have all the general legal facts and requirements for getting a divorce in Germany. Especially if children are involved, divorce is never easy, which is why German courts take the year of separation very seriously.

FAQs

How do I start the divorce process in Germany? ›

A divorce must be applied for at the Family Court at your place of residence or that of your partner. However, you cannot apply personally, as you are obliged to be represented by a lawyer in the court ("Anwaltzwang"). In other words, you have to hire a lawyer who can submit your application to the court.

How long does the 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 long do you have to be separated before divorce in Germany? ›

The sole grounds for divorce in Germany is the breakdown of the marital relationship past the point of repair (causes are not considered and no “blame” is apportioned). This irrevocable breakdown is usually attested to by a separation of at least one year, where both parties agree to the divorce.

How long does an English divorce take? ›

With the timeframes introduced by no fault divorce, the process of a divorce takes a minimum of 26 weeks to complete (20 weeks for the Conditional Order and 6 weeks for the Final Order).

How can I get divorce papers 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 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.

What percentage of marriages end in divorce Germany? ›

Divorce statistics by country/region (per 1,000 population / year)
Country/regionContinentCrude rate
Marriage
FranceEurope3.7
GeorgiaAsia6.9
GermanyEurope4.9
63 more rows

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.

Do you have to wait 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.

Do you have to pay child support in Germany? ›

All children in Germany are entitled to child support. If their parents separate, one provides maintenance in the form of room and board, while the other provides support in the form of money. Child support is fixed soon after the separation, at a rate agreed upon by both parents.

How quick can you get divorced? ›

A divorce or dissolution will take at least 6 months to complete, even if your circumstances are straightforward. It might take longer if you need to sort out issues with money, property or children.

Can you get divorced straight away? ›

If you've been married or in a civil partnership less than a year. You can't get a divorce or dissolution yet. You can get a legal separation, but it's usually better to wait until you can get a divorce or dissolution.

How do I know if my divorce is final? ›

When Is a Divorce Final? Your divorce is final on the day the court signs the divorce decree. You normally will receive it a few days later, since it is sent to your attorney, who will then send you a copy. You are legally divorced as of the date the decree is signed.

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.

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.

Are divorce records public in Germany? ›

German Civil Court Case Files are not Public Records. U.S. lawyers do naturally assume that court files are public records and can be easily accessed and inspected by the public. Not so in Germany! As with, for instance, land registry information (see here), Germany is rather secretive when it comes to legal documents.

What is a divorce decree? ›

Decree of divorce is the court order issued under the authority of the family law judge on the dissolution of marriage and related matters like division of marital assets and child custody ..etc.

Does Germany have no fault 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.

How long does spousal support last 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 should a father pay for child support in Germany? ›

For children aged 6 to 11: You must pay €455 per month for 2022. From January 1, 2023, the monthly payment will increase to €464. For children aged 12 to 17: You must pay €533 per month for 2022. From January 1, 2023, the monthly payment will increase to €543.

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 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.

Can I stay in Germany after divorce? ›

If you have been married for three years or more, however, you can renew your residence permit for a year after the divorce. After this period, you can apply for the right to reside in Germany independently.

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 do you calculate divorce rate? ›

Here are a few of the ways that divorce has been measured: The crude divorce rate: The number of divorces for every 1,000 people in the population. The Census Bureau uses this measure. It is not a great measure because it depends on the proportion of people who are married.

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.

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.

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.

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.

How much is child benefit in Germany per month? ›

As of January 2022, for the first and second child, child allowance is 219 euros per month. For the third child it is 225 euros. For the fourth and any subsequent children the sum is 250 euros. Applications must be made in writing to the local Family Office ("Familienkasse").

How do you know your marriage is over? ›

"If you're no longer spending any time together, if one or both partners is spending all their time at work, with friends, online — and if feels like a relief not to be with each other — it's a sign that you've already disengaged from the marriage." You don't support or listen to each other.

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.

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 Kinderzuschlag in Germany? ›

Parents can claim the Kinderzuschlag (children allowance) for their children under 25 years of age when: The child receives Kindergeld (child benefit), Salary of the parents is under the minimum allowance, Salary of the parents does not exceed the income limit.

How do I apply for child benefit in Germany? ›

You apply for Kindergeld at the Family Benefits Office (Familienkasse) of the local Labor Office (Agentur für Arbeit), with written forms that must be signed. Another party can make the application if you grant them power of attorney.

Can I lose my residence permit because of a divorce in Germany? ›

It may be the case that your residence permit in Germany is derived from your marriage. In this instance it can be particularly worrying if divorce proceedings begin. However, it is not an automatic rule that a person's right to remain in Germany is removed following a divorce.

How soon after marriage can I 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.

What percentage of marriages end in divorce Germany? ›

Divorce statistics by country/region (per 1,000 population / year)
Country/regionContinentCrude rate
Marriage
FranceEurope3.7
GeorgiaAsia6.9
GermanyEurope4.9
63 more rows

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 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 long do you pay child support in Germany? ›

Single-parent families are entitled to child maintenance payments until the child becomes of age (at 18), leaves full-time education, or gets married. The parent paying maintenance can deduct half of the child benefit from their obligation, since this also counts as part of the child's “income”.

Does Germany have no fault 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 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.

Can I get divorced straight away? ›

Can I get a divorce straight away? No. You must be married for at least one year before divorce proceedings can take place. After this time you can apply for a divorce.

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.

How do you calculate divorce rate? ›

Here are a few of the ways that divorce has been measured: The crude divorce rate: The number of divorces for every 1,000 people in the population. The Census Bureau uses this measure. It is not a great measure because it depends on the proportion of people who are married.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Videos

1. Interpreter Breaks Down How Real-Time Translation Works | WIRED
(WIRED)
2. How To Win Friends And Influence People Audiobook
(AudiobooksForFree)
3. Discover Canada Study Guide Audio with Important Notes 2022 - #canadiancitizenship
(Proud Immigrant)
4. Family takes photo wife files for divorce after seeing this detail
(Trending Story)
5. How to fill schengen visa application form - Schengen Visa update 2022
(Travel with Mr singh)
6. Babysitter Tries To Seduce Husband, What Happens Next Will Shock You | Dhar Mann
(Dhar Mann)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 10/19/2022

Views: 6194

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.