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Divorce - Germany

Information on International Divorce in Germany

The first thing to be clarified is which country's laws the divorce will be conducted under. German law states that a divorce is subject to the laws of the country to which both spouses are citizens of, or last lived, during the marriage as long as one of the spouses is still a citizen of this country. Otherwise, the country's laws where both spouses usually live, or lived during the marriage, applies to the divorce if one spouse usually lives in that country.

If none of the above applies, then the laws of the country in which the spouses are most closely connected to applies. When the determination of which country's laws takes precedent, the divorce can proceed. The divorce judge will use either German divorce laws or foreign divorce laws to conduct the divorce.

The following is applicable if German law applies: The spouses can only divorce if the judge concludes that there is no chance for the marriage to be salvaged. Furthermore, the married couple must live apart for a certain amount of time before the divorce judge will agree to grant the divorce. This is to avoid rash decisions. A divorce will not be granted if the spouses have not lived separately for over a year. The one-year separation requirement cannot be avoided even if both spouses want the divorce. A divorce can only be accomplished by the responsible family judge's pronouncement of judgment.

Both spouses must be represented by a lawyer (an unrepresented party cannot make requests to the court). An exception to this rule is if the divorce is mutually consented by the spouses. If that is the case, the court will allow the petition for a divorce with only one lawyer present. The financial effects and the outworkings of a divorce settlement are very complicated and difficult if German law is used. It is very important to have representation to ascertain what happens to the combined fortune, house(s), shares, insurance, etc.

English Speaking Attorney in Germany

We recommend attorney Dr. Ingo Friedrich. He is an experienced, respectable, and trustworthy lawyer. Dr. Friedrich speaks English fluently and also did an internship in the U.S. for a lawfirm located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Friedrich has worked on many family law cases, as well as other law cases (such as contract law, criminal law, labor law, lease law, etc.) since 1995. He can represent you throughout Germany, before both district courts and higher regional courts for divorce cases, contract disputes, criminal law and other areas of German law. You can rely on receiving engaged and competent counsel from Dr. Friedrich. Dr. Friedrich is also available for telephone consultation. You can reach him from countries, other than Germany, by calling (+49-6073-7272-0). However, please understand that when calling from another country payment is expected in advance of service. The rate is 120 EUROs for a consultation which lasts up to one-half hour. You may have up to an hour of consultation for 180 EUROs. Advance payment can be made by wireless money transfer or by PayPal. Please ask for details. Dr. Friedrich uses Skype for phone consultations.

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