Divorce lawyer in Germany
If you are looking for an English speaking divorce lawyer in Germany/Bavaria you came to the right place. How does the divorce process work in Germany?
Usually – after „ROME III“ – a divorce will take place where you live (lived) and not in regard to your nationality. Certainly if you have chosen the applicable law this will be considered. But usually the parties make no (identical) choice and the Article 8 applies (for people from countries who signed Rome III):
Applicable law in the absence of a choice by the parties
In the absence of a choice pursuant to Article 5, divorce and
legal separation shall be subject to the law of the State:
(a) where the spouses are habitually resident at the time the
court is seized; or, failing that
(b) where the spouses were last habitually resident, provided
that the period of residence did not end more than 1
year before the court was seized, in so far as one of the
spouses still resides in that State at the time the court is
seized; or, failing that
(c) of which both spouses are nationals at the time the court is
seized; or, failing that
(d) where the court is seized
This made some matters easier, but not all. In an international divorce there are still many points that need to be considered.
Sometimes there are laws of more than one country that apply.
Divorce Process in Germany
Before a divorce in Germany you have to live separated for a least one year. After that you can file for divorce.
It starts with a „divorce petition“ by a lawyer (one party must have a lawyer).
The divorce petition is a formal legal document that explains to the court that you are seeking a divorce. In that request the court is informed about the formalities and if it is a contested or uncontested divorce. The appropriate filing fee needs to be payed in advance (or the court does nothing).
A copy of the petition must be served on the defendant. The date of the service is important because it marks the end of the marriage.
Once the other party is formally served with the divorce petition, she or he usually has couple of weeks to respond to the filing with an answer. The answer is sometimes missing but usually there is a reply.
In most cases (with marriages that lasted for more than 3 years) the court has to take care of pension rights equalization („Versorgungsausgleich“). If there is no prenup (Prenuptial agreement) or a later postnuptial agreement that excludes the pension rights equalization (lawfully) the pension rights equalization must take place (required by law). This takes usually 3 – 5 months depending on the pension rights and the replies from the involved insurances, companies, etc..
If there are other issues, that need to be addressed (child support, alimony, child custody, division of marital property, etc.) this can be done in this „waiting time“.
When everything is resolved and the data for the pension rights equalization are all available, the court sets a date for the trial. A short trial date is always required in Germany. It sometimes takes only 5 – 10 minutes.
There the parties are heard by the judge and still want to be divorced, the judge will announce the findings (the divorce itself, pension rights equalization and maybe other issues that came up).
The filing fee is always shared by the parties and both have to pay their lawyer themselves (except a prenup or postnup says otherwise).
If you have any questions call +49 931 46079111 or send an e-mail.