10 FAQ on Divorce in Germany

I have noticed that I receive many e-mails with the same questions, so I have started to post the most frequent questions – and of course the answers to them – for everyone to read for free. As this section might already answer many of your questions, I invite you to browse these FAQ before you contact me (or any other lawyer) about your case.

Before asking a new question, please read through the many comments which may already answer your questions. And if you find these FAQ useful or if you ask a new question, it would be very nice of you to support this blog. Thank you!

1. We did not get married in Germany. Can we get a divorce in Germany or do we need to return to the country of marriage?

As long as you have some ties to Germany, whether it be residence or citizenship, you can file for divorce in Germany. You do NOT need to return to Las Vegas, Denmark or wherever you might have gotten married. – Although it might of course be a good excuse to do so if you got married in Fiji, for example.

2. We are both non-German citizens. Can we get a divorce in Germany?

Yes. As long as one of you has residence in Germany for at least a year, or both of you have residence in Germany at the moment, the German court will accept your divorce case.
However, if you are both foreigners, the German court might apply the divorce law of your home country. This is actually often quite an interesting option, because you can use your home country’s law without having to go back or having to undergo the court process in your home country.

3. Will my home country recognize the German divorce?

That depends on your home country, of course. But if minimum requirements of due process are kept (such as giving the other party time to respond and letting them know of the court date in due time), most countries do fully recognize German divorces and other court orders.

4. What are the requirements to get a divorce in Germany?

If the court applies German law, you only need to show that you have been separated for one year. You do not need to explain why the marriage broke up or why you separated. This one year separation requirement can also be met if you still live at the same address. You are just not supposed to sleep in the same bed or engage in too many joint activities.
This also enables a couple who both want a quicker divorce to file way before the one year of separation is fulfilled by just claiming that they have been separated for one year. If both spouses stick to the story, the court is not going to find out about it and will grant the divorce.

5. I am not yet separated for one year and my spouse won’t cooperate, but I still want a quicker divorce. Any chance?

There might be a chance, but it’s not easy: We could either try to convince the German court to use the law of your home country or the country of your last residence, which might not have the one year separation requirement. Or you could try to argue that remaining married poses an undue hardship on you. The courts only accept this argument if your spouse has committed criminal acts against you or is constantly harassing or cheating on you. Usually then, these cases become so messy that the court process takes over a year and you may as well have waited.

6. 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. If you argue about custody and visitation for your children, about child support and alimony, about your house and your retirement, it might easily take a few years.
If your spouse lives in another country, getting him or her served is the things that drags it out. This could mean another one or two months if we need to get somebody served in the EU or in North America, or up to a year if you need to get somebody served in Kazakhstan.

7. Do we both need an attorney?

No, only the filing party needs an attorney. The respondent does not necessarily need an attorney if it’s an amicable divorce.
Sometimes, spouses even come in together to see me to take care of their amicable divorce. No other attorney is needed in these scenarios and you save quite some money.

8. Can I file for divorce without knowing where my spouse lives?

Yes, but we would need to show to the court that we have done everything reasonable in our power to locate him or her, e.g. by researching public records, by calling or e-mailing relatives, friends, former co-workers of your spouse. If all of this will yield no result, you can still get a divorce.

9. I would like to have an annulment instead of a divorce.

You would need to have a very good reason for that: Either you found out that your spouse is already married to somebody else. Or you can prove that your spouse lied to you or failed to disclose important things that would have prevented you from getting married to him or her, had you known about them (e.g. your spouse has a lethal sexually transmittable disease and did not tell you).
Without very good reasons (and the evidence to support them), it’s virtually impossible to get an annulment from a German court.

10. How soon after a divorce can I get married again?

Whenever I hear that question, I would like to ask “Didn’t you learn a thing from the last relationship? Why don’t you enjoy single life for a while?”. But the client is king, and no question remains unanswered: After the court grants the divorce, both spouses still have one month to appeal. Unless both of you waive their right to an appeal at the divorce hearing, you will have to wait one month before you can get married again.

CAVEAT: In a complicated legal field like international family law, there are thousands of possible constellations. It would be impossible to word these FAQ in a way that they would fit for all scenarios. These FAQ were written with “standard” cases in mind that constitute the large part of requests that I receive. They might not be applicable in unusually complex cases.
To find out where your case is on the complexity scale, some common sense will help: If you are two foreign nationals who moved to Germany, or you are a foreign national married to a German citizen, these FAQ should give you some pretty good guidance. If on the other hand, you are a dual citizen of Ecuador and the USA and got married in Cyprus to a dual citizen of Germany and Israel after you signed a prenuptial agreement in Switzerland which also governs the fate of your corporations in Russia and Turkmenistan and you have two children in school in Australia plus an adopted child from Zambia, you know that these FAQ cannot possibly address your case.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Family Law, German Law, Germany, Law and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

559 Responses to 10 FAQ on Divorce in Germany

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  6. Nadya says:

    My partner has been separated for almost four years now. How long will the divorce process take for him?

  7. Benny says:

    “We are a bit unsure about the exact procedure when a divorce occurs between a Geman man and a Thai lady after living separate more than 4 years”

    A friend of mine wants to divorce a German man but he claims that the German court process is rather complicated regarding divcorces. He explains that once he applies for divorce the German court will send my friend a document where she explains reasons for a divorce and that she signs the document, scans it, and then sends it to him in Germany. My friend wants to know if this is right because she suspect faul play to gain access to her signature.

    thanks and regards

    • No, that’s not how the process works. The court will send a copy of the petition for divorce to the respondent who may then respond or may not. His or her cooperation is not necessary in order to obtain the divorce if the couple have been separated long enough.

    • richa kapoor says:

      is a separation of a couple must for getting a divorce…. can this seperation be claimed while living in the same house. kindly reply.

    • Yes, that is answered in no. 4 of the FAQ.

  8. Schmidt says:

    Hi Mr Moser,
    Would appreciate your reply to the below query:
    A person with a Niederlassungserlaubnis based on 28 II,9 Aufenthaltgesetzt (AufenthG) which is basically an unlimited residency to a spouse of a German citizen gets divorced-
    what are the consequences in terms of the Niederlassung permit?
    – Does he need to apply again?
    – Does the Trennungsdate have a meaning? e.g. if the Trennungsdate was before the person got the Niederlassungserlaubnis.
    – If he needs to issue a new VISA permit after the divorce- what are the options? (1 year visa/unlimited/?).
    – What documents should be provided?
    Best regards,

  9. Rowena says:

    I was been separated for almost 6 years from my German husband but just a year now that we do not have totally communication at all. How can I obtain a divorce from him? We have one adopted child also here in the Philippines who is with me. Will she have any rights of support although the adoption was taken place in the Philippines and is not acknowledge by the German court?
    Thank you, and hope to hear from you.

    • Please feel free to contact me for a consultation.

    • Mariam says:

      Hi, I’m from England went to Germany & married a German nationality, we had a court marriage, I also have a son who was born in Germany, my husband did not treat me right so I’m now in back in England, it’s has been over a year I’m separate from him, he said he will marry again but we have not had a divorce can he marry in Germany again what rights do I have, he said he will take my son back from uk to Germany can he do this

    • 1) Without a divorce, he can’t marry again legally.
      2) If you have been in the UK for more than a year, your husband cannot invoke the Hague Child Abduction Convention and cannot request the return of your child to Germany. He would need to go through English child custody law/courts.

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  11. Vivian says:

    Hi Andreas,

    I am at pregnancy of 35 weeks now. My german husband wants to separate from me from next year on and going to divorce. In such a case, will I get special protection for myself and the baby? Thank you.

    • What do you mean by “special protection”? Of course you will have the full protection of the law.

    • waqas says:

      hi i am waqas.i belong to pakistan . but i am living in dubai now this time.i want will give you protection.so send me your picture.then i will tell you more information my self.truly.
      ok thanks

    • Awan says:

      plz contact to an expert PSYCHIATRIST immediately, he will definitely solve your issue..!! best of luck waqas..! :)

  12. Krystal says:

    Hi i was wondering im 32 weeks pregnant and my husband wants a divorce from me.I am an american citizen and i have no idea how the law works here.i was wondering who would get custody of the child.I cannot work,i was on disability in the US and also here i have no income and no job and was living with my husband and got kicked out.I do not want a divorce from my husband and want to work things out but he does not want to.He is a german citizen.Is there any help for an american citizen whos pregnant but cant work?I am scared about the baby being taken away as well due to no income and right now living with his parents. He has threatened me to get the baby taken away.He has convinced his family i have severe issues and i am scared about this.I am ADHD and have Dyslexia and anxiety disorder.Is there any legal help for me?

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  14. shane thomas says:

    Hello Mr. Moser

    I have been going through a War of the Roses divorce in Germany… The German laws are more geared tot he woman stubility. My wife committed adultry for Sept 2009 until I caught him and her in May 2011. The Germany courts are still dragging the divorce out trying to get me to pay her.. she has filed the divorce by no preceeding have started. Can I file divorce in the states and provide all the adultry infomration and finacial stuff too and get a divorce… They have milked me for 20,000 euros so far, and still not divorced. ??


    • Hello Shane, if you have already been served (and properly served, taking into account the NATO SOFA if you are a service member), then Germany would not recognize a proceeding in the US and any decision that would be made there. Now, if you care about this or not depends on whether you will remain in Germany for a long time or not and if your (then ex-)wife will be able to enforce a German judgement against you in the United States.

  15. Christie says:

    I have a friend that married a German lady in the United States and has a possible child but will not divorce him and provide a DNA test, what does he need to do any suggestions?

  16. Laura says:

    Hello Mr. Moser, I am from Colombia, I got married to German guy and I got divorce 3 years ago, of course I moved to Germany, but the things didn’t work out. I got married again to German and nice guy, we have been together almost 2 years. I got married in Denmark. Now the German court doesn’t accept my new marriage, they want that I show them that my divorce is also due in Colombia. Do the process from Germany is really expensive and complicated, I was thinking send all my documentation to Colombia, do the traduction and appostille and bringing to Germany. do you think they are going to accept it? Thank you very much.

    • Hello Laura,
      I am not sure what kind of court proceeding you are now in and I would need to know why the German court would not accept your divorce.
      I would recommend that you contact me directly with more information. I charge 150 € for an in-depth consultation.

  17. sandra weissbrodt says:

    Guten tag Herr Moser,

    I have a friend who is retired military,lives on the US now has a German wife,she is still in Germany. They got married in Germany and he filed for divorce in Germany still through the military over a year ago so the trennungs jahr is over. Do he have to file in the US or I’m Germany for divorce or both?
    Thank you for your advice in advance!


    • I would be very surprised if anybody “filed for divorce … through the military”. This is nothing that the US military does. Also, the year of separation (“Trennungsjahr”) does not begin with any filing of paperwork, but with the actual separation.
      To finally answer your question, it sounds as if he can choose between the two possible jurisdictions if no divorce action has been filed yet.

  18. Mic says:

    My wife wants to divorce after 3 years separation. I still love her and want nothing to do with it. that is, I can’t go into a court and say i believe the marriage has no chance simply because that would be a lie on my part.
    My ex is on welfare and recently got me to disclose my income (about 25 000). She say unless I do it her way and lie to a court, she will somehow make me pay much more in a year or so.
    I will likely not live in Germany next year and what suits me best is for her to file, based on length of separation, and me to be notified.
    Is she correct? Ir is she just trying to get me to agree so I pay the costs?

    • The German court will split the costs for the divorce anyway, regardless of whether you agree or not. But if your wife files, she will of course have to pay all the costs upfront. The court would then try to get half of that back from you, but as you won’t be in Germany anymore they most likely won’t do more than send you a few friendly reminders before they forget about it.
      I don’t know why your wife insists so much on you agreeing because she can also get a divorce without your consent. She only needs to convince the court that the marriage has no chance. Despite your continued feelings, she should be able to do so if she can show that there is no chance on her part to resume the marriage.
      I have sometimes represented clients (always men) with your sentiment and we were never able to prevent the divorce.

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  20. krissy says:

    I live in America and my husband lives in Germany. The other day he told me that he went ahead and divorce me. His lawyer said that since he and I weren’t living together long enough that he doesn’t need me to sign anything at all. Can he do that?

    • The following applies irrespective of where you live and how long you have been separated:
      1. Your husband cannot divorce you. Only a court can.
      2. Your husband can petition the court to do so. For this, he doesn’t need your signature.
      3. The court doesn’t need your signature either, but the court will serve you with the divorce paperwork that your husband has filed and will give you a chance to respond and make your voice heard in the matter.

    • Nadia Kentzia says:

      Dear Andreas Moser,

      I am Maltese ( born in Malta), and married to a German man. We got married in Malta and lived for 10 years in Germany. 14 years ago we decided that I leave Germany and go and live with our son back in Malta. So we are physically separated however not legally separated. I must admit that I always signed his Tax returns documents in the past even when physically separated… I stopped signing some 3 years ago…. anyways, All of a sudden my husband wants a divorce, and I told him that if he wishes to divorce , all documents should be in English as that is the international language and I do not understand technical German words when it comes to these things.
      This morning I was served with papers from his lawyer and some papers which i think are from court. All is in German. I did not understand anything. Since he wants the divorce i will not pay for any expenses, not even for a translation from German to English. Am i right in sending all these papers back to his lawyer and inform her that all correspondence should be in English and that she should correspond with my lawyer?

      thanking you in advance
      Nadia Kentzia.

    • Hello Nadia,

      feel free to e-mail me the documents, so that I can tell you what they are about and what the next steps would be.

      Sending the documents back doesn’t make sense. It would just cost you postage and you would still want to keep a copy to know what they say. Also, by sending the documents back you would implicitly acknowledge that you received them.

      You are not entitled to a translation by your husband’s lawyer as they are only instructed by him.
      But once the case goes to court, you can of course inform the court in Germany that they should please translate the documents into English (or even Maltese if you prefer). The court will then do that. The court in Germany would require your husband to pay all the fees upfront and would then split the fees once it grants the divorce.

      If you have a lawyer, then you have to bear the expenses for your lawyer of course, but if you want to be represented in the proceeding in Germany, you will have to hire a lawyer in Germany. Depending on your income and your assets, you may also qualify for legal aid in Germany, i.e. the German government would pay your lawyer, court, travel and translation fees.

  21. annabelle says:

    Good Day Mr. Moser, i have an aunt who is Married a german national and is now based in Germany…… before she married the guy there, she was forced to sign a paper saying she cannot have anything from the guy if they divorced…. she signe it, afraid that she will be sent home and have no money in her pocket, ….. cant she really get none if she filed divorced, they have one son age 17, she can no longer take the maltreatment of her husband, not physically though but mentally…….

    • I would recommend that your aunt contacts me and includes a copy of the agreement that she signed. I’ll then schedule a consultation with her.
      German courts have sometimes declared such agreements to be void or have amended them, but it requires specific circumstances.

  22. Kayla says:

    I’m American, been married to a german man for 2 years. It hasn’t been working. I just got an “Ausbildung”. If i file for divorce will i be sent back to america for the one year of separation or since i now have an “Ausbildung” i can move into a per say “apartment”? How does this work since i only have residency in germany by being married to him?

    • Unfortunately, the residence permit which you have now (§ 28 I AufenthG) only allows you to remain in Germany in case of a separation after 3 years of living together (§ 31 I Nr. 1 AufenthG). If you separate before, this residence permit is no longer valid. There is a hardship clause in § 31 II AufenthG, which you might be able to invoke, but only if your receive enough salary in your training to be able to survive without any government benefits.
      Alternatively, you could change your residence permit to one based on the training contract, but it would again depend on the salary and the job if that is an option.

    • Kayla says:

      I’ve been living here since 2010 so 3 years but we’ve only been married 2. I have to renew my german visa in November (our marriage is still under Fraud observation)(They do this to all marriages to foreigners apparently) I think for the first year of my salary i won’t earn more than 520€ It’s an “Ausbildung” in “Einzelhandel” I doubt that is enough to live off of without Gov benefits. So does that mean i may have to wait till i am finished with my training? What is this about getting a residence permit from my training contract? How does that work?

    • Kayla says:


    • You seem to have reached the limit of what I am willing to answer for free. I’ll be happy to put up a similar list of FAQ for residence permits in Germany if someone finds it important enough to send me at least one of the books on my wishlist. Alternatively, I am available for a personal consultation, for which I charge 150 EUR.

    • Tony Akpan says:

      Hi Andrea i have been married to a german woman for two years and the marriage doesnt work anymore and she wants me to go away from germany.I have my job for more than a year and i have my german language test B1. I am thinking of getting another apartment to move in but i dont know the chances i have to stay back in germany. your advice please
      Tony Akpan

  23. Kate Markmann says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,
    I am British citizen, married to a German man. We have been seperated 11 years and now I want a divorce. He has been living back in Germany for 6 years and I still live in Spain, where we lived together for 10 years. He is receiving state benefit and is due to be pensioned in Feb 2014. My husband recently told my son that if I go ahead with divorce before Feb, then I would be liable to pay back the benefit that he received. Is this true? I have filed for divorce here in Spain.

    Kate Markmann

    • If the German government has never contacted you about the benfits payments to your husband so far, you cannot be forced to compensate the German government retroactively.

  24. Sally says:

    Hello Mr.Moser
    Am a Kenyan Citizen, married to a German Man almost now 4years and now i want to seperate with him after he cheated on me.What can i do because i can no longer trust him?

    • Well, you can leave him. Or you can kick him out. Which option is more feasible depends a bit on who owns your apartment or house and what your financial situation is.

      There is no need to file for separation or to get any paperwork for it. Once you will have been separated for one year, you can then file for divorce.

  25. Sally says:

    Hello once more.I have a question.This year i wanted to apply for unbefristeter Aufenthaltstitel.Will it affect me after separating from him.

    • That depends what your residence permit is based on. If it is based on being married to a German spouse, yes, it will be affected.
      I have long wanted to put up a similar list of FAQs about residence permits in Germany, but I am waiting for someone to find it important enough to send me a book from my wishlist.

  26. sajid says:

    hi, a german women divorce in another country how much time it will take to get a certificate of divorce in germany….

    • She can get the foreign divorce recognised in Germany (although she usually doesn’t need to) and that would typically take a few months.

    • sajid says:

      she have submitted her papers its already been 5 months how much time it will take further to finish the case do you experience any related case can u tell me the exact time ….

    • Of course I cannot tell you the exact time. I know none of the details of the case and I am not the one making the decision.

  27. Ss says:

    Hello Mr. Moser
    I am a Turkish citizen married to a German citizen and living abroad in Asia. We never resided in Germany but our marriage has been approved by the German state 15 yrs ago. We have been seperated for one year now here in Asia. I want to file for divorce in Germany since he is German and our child is German, to protect my child’s rights more as the German divorce law favors our protection more than the Turkish divorce law. Is this possible to do as a Turkish national having been married to a German national to file for divorce in Germany from a German citizen?
    Thank you very much
    Best regards

    • 1) You may be able to file for divorce in Germany, but you would need the help of your current country of residence to serve your spouse with the divorce paperwork. Also, your country of residence might not recognise the German divorce. So, this is really only advisable if you will both have lawyers in Germany, so that no international service is necessary, and if you don’t mind about your status in your country of residence.
      2) Filing for divorce in Germany would not help regarding child custody because Germany does not have jurisdiction as your child does not live in Germany at the moment.

  28. Chris L says:

    Mr Moser,

    I have a friend who is currently in the process of going through a divorce in Germany. He is a US citizen and she is a German citizen. They met in the UAE, she got pregnant, they married in Denmark and she lost her job in the UAE because she got pregnant before they were married. When the child was born, something was said and she claimed to the police that he was going to kidnap the child. He has since come back to Afghanistan. He’s currently paying child support and is going through the process of an ugly divorce. She wants a “Sustainment fee” of 2000 euro per month. He said he received some paperwork from the German court stating that he owed 12000 euro so far and that he can’t appeal it. Is this legal under German law? Can she force him to pay “Alimony” prior to divorce and without having a day in court? This would be 2400 euro per month, which seems high compared to America. I look forward to hearing back from you.


    • There is pre-divorce alimony under German law, and the court could make a decision in writing, but not without having notified your friend first to give him a chance to respond.
      I could say more once I see the paperwork.

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  30. A says:

    Hello Andreas,
    I will marry a German man and I am not from Germany. I will quite my job and everything in my country and move to Germany. I just want to know if we get divorce later (and I couldn’t find a job there while we were married) what happen with me. Do I loose everything?
    And what happen if we buy a car or a house or something after we are married? For example, in my country, if only one person works but he/she buy a house after getting married with another person that house is half of each part of the couple. Is it the same in Germany?
    I’m not trying to get any advantage but if I will quite to everything (I’m 40 so it won’tt be easier to work later) I have to protect myself.
    Thanks very much,

  31. rosemaryoselu says:

    married to germany guy after 6years, and now we are in separation for two years. can l apply germany citizenship with my husband income papers. this becz l dont have my income for the moment.

  32. Irina says:


    I am British and married to a German. We have two children (5,5 and 1,5). During my second pregnancy my husband started an affair with a colleague and a month after the baby was born he left me and moved out of the flat. It has now been just over a year since we’ve separated and he sees the children every Wednesday and every second weekend. He doesn’t pay child support but pays for the rent of the flat where the kids and I live (1600euro). We do communicate but since I am still nursing a broken heart I often find our communication hard and painful. Over the past 12 months he has more than once given me hopes that he would return to our family but now I am starting to think that he is simply manipulating my feelings as a way of keeping me in Germany. I would love to move on with my life and go back to the UK but I understand that I can only take the children with me only with the permission of the other parent. My husband has told me a number of times that he’ll not give me the permission. I find it very disturbing and unfair that I have no other possibility to return back to my home and need to stay here because of the children.
    I don’t know where to start. Please give me with some advice.

    With kind regards

  33. cleophus johnson says:

    Hello, Mr. Mosar

    Do u have a contact number that I can call u from Germany?
    Mr. Johnson

  34. Bashar says:

    Hi Mr. Moser,
    It would be highly appreciated if you can find a solution for this issue: my cuzz is married to a German man, they got married in Jordan and after marriage they moved to Germany. Now after 12 years of marriage she wants a divorce after she knew he cheats her; they have two kids ( 11 yrs, 4 yrs old). she wants to get divorced but have custody of the kids knowing that she has a residence in Germany . Thank you

  35. Bashar says:

    Thank you . These info was useful.

  36. Nausheen says:

    Hello Andreas,

    Your FAQs section is very comprehensive. Thank you for providing clear and concise information. However, I would like to know how much a divorce is going to cost us. I understand this depends on the individual case so I am providing some information below.

    Me and my husband are both British citizens. We got married in a non EU country 10 years ago and lived in the UK for eight years after getting married. We have been living in Germany for two years and have been separated for more than one year, living in different cities. We want to get an amicable divorce. Both of us work and don’t want any money from each other. We don’t have any children.

    So basically, we just need a legal document stating that we are divorced. I am assuming you can represent both of us? Can you please advise how much it will cost in terms of lawyer fees, court charges etc.

    Many thanks.

    • The costs of the divorce are made up of two elements: court fees and lawyer fees. If none of you speak German, the court fees will also include the fees for an interpreter for the hearing.

      The court and interpreter fees are set by law.

      The lawyer fees depend on the lawyer. However, most lawyers charge minimum fees which will depend on both your incomes, not on the complexity of your case.

      If one of you has no or only little income, it would be better if that person files, because he/she might qualify for legal aid.

      I personally can’t represent you at the moment, because I am not practising in Germany. If you send me an e-mail with both your incomes and a book from my wishlist, I will however be happy to calculate what the maximum fees will be for both of you.

      If it’s an amicable divorce, it is sufficient that one of you (the petitioner) will be represented by an attorney. The respondent can remain unrepresented. The court fees will then be split. The court cannot split the attorney fees because the lawyer can only represent one of you, but of course you can privately agree to split these fees as well.

    • Nausheen says:

      Thanks for your prompt response. Such a shame that you are not in Germany. I will look into possibility of getting this done in the UK now.

    • You might have to pretend that you are domiciled in the UK in order to establish British jurisdiction (Art. 3 I b EC-regulation 2201/2003). Don’t ignore the requirements of that regulation if you plan to continue to reside outside of the UK because otherwise a British divorce might not be recognised e.g. in Germany, meaning you’d still be considered as married even if you think you are already divorced.

  37. elizabeth stueber says:

    Hi. I found your blog and was wondering if you could help. My husband I will be married 18 years on 12/24/2013. He left without any kind of notice or problems. After doing some investigation on different pages of his I found out he had been “cheating” with a woman online in Berlin for almost a year. He had been sending her money, flowers, toys for her kids… just made me ill. We had a wonderful marriage.. I have no idea what happened. He left me in a mess. To make a long story short I can’t afford the expensive divorce. I need a legal separation . I wonder can I do that in my state with him in Germany or does have to be here because he won’t come back. He knows I know the truth now so he is very ashamed for lying to me. I can’t get any money out of him from what I hear even though he did all those things… so I need somewhere to start.

    Thank you so much.

    • That depends wholly on the law of your state. German law knows no legal separation. Separation is a factual matter, divorce is the legal matter.

      Because you are worried about the expenses: you might qualify for legal aid if you file for divorce in Germany.

  38. Patsy says:

    I have just gone through a divorce in Germany and one part of it remains unclear to me. The divorce was a simple one with no contesting it from my ex. We had our court date last month and all went okay. A few weeks later, we received a letter confirming the divorce, but we were told this is not the legally binding divorce paper. I am aware of the one month waiting period and was also told we would get the final divorce paper after this period is over. But what is unclear to me is whether this month period is a month from the date we had the court hearing, or from the date this initial letter was received (which was a few weeks after the court hearing). Thanks in advance for your help.

    • It is one month from the date on which you receive the divorce decree (or the date on which your ex-spouse receives the divorce decree, if he receives it later). The idea is to give you one month to consider whether you wish to appeal.
      If both of you are represented by attorneys, you can inform the court that you are waiving your right to an appeal, making the divorce final right away.

    • Patsy says:

      Thank you for your reply. Will I receive another paper after the month is up that is legally binding (since I was told the one I have now is not)?

    • Usually yes. The court will send out another copy of the divorce decree which will be stamped “rechtskräftig seit [date]”, indicating the date when the divorce will become final.

  39. Cathrine says:

    Please help. I came to Germany for a better life after going through much and had married a German man. He began becoming abusive, lying and cheating. As we were separated a new person came into my life a German citizen who has been helping me and we will marry ocne the divorce is complete. I only fear since only been here going on 2 year end of April 2014 and the fact the auslandebehorde has had it brought to their attention of the separation I could end up deported? I am so scared as I have everything I own here and my partner and I are very happy together and have been together the past 9 months. We are talking to the lawyer that handled my divorce but in the mean time as I a bipolar, depression and mental illness(non violent) and a sufferer of anxiety I am really terrified at the thought when I thought things would be ok that I could lose all and be sent back to America and I can say I will surely die because I have no one and no support system. My partner understands me and is a huge support and help. Unfortunately when the auslandesbehorde asked about the divorce and separation we both being unsure what to do or say my fiance did not tell him the whole truth so we are hoping the lawyer can help rectify this and tell the auslandesbehorde the situation and that it does not endanger my being able to stay. I have friends,a petand people I call family and a better life here and I am not living on German benefits I have disability from America but its not alot to live on but enough with my partner so I so not use German welfare. My new visa is set to expire 30 April 2014 but I am worried anyday they could take it just because I am not living anymore with my husband. I love my partner so much and wish he had been the person I came here for originally. I can not live with begin taken away because the first person I was with quickly turned into such a horrible person. I cant express the fear and distress I have right now but I hope theres some help or hope for me.

    • If you are a US citizen and you do not claim any welfare, then in my experience the Ausländerbehörde won’t initiate any deportation proceeding. They know that as a US citizen, you can always return because you don’t need a visa for any stay of 3 months. You could also go to any other Schengen country.
      Obviously once the divorce is final, you would need to get married to your new partner in order to get a residence permit in accordance with § 28 I AufenthG again.

  40. Nana says:

    Hallo Andreas, I have a problem which I think you can help me. I got married to German citizen in Dec. 2012 and I got my aufenhaltherlaubnis in Dec. 2013, now my wife want us to separate our address without divorce which I don’t know the actual reason, my aufenhaltherlaubnis will expire in may 2015. Please can that affect my renewal of my aufenhaltherlaubnis with separation of the address? Please I need your help before any harm can be cause. Thank you so much and God bless you.

    • If you separate (even without a divorce), your residence permit will become void. If the immigration authorities find out about it, they might rescind it.
      Only after having been living together (at the same address) for 3 years, you could receive a residence permit which is independent of your marriage.

      You have two options:
      (1) Trying to keep it secret from the immigration authorities.
      (2) Or base your residence permit on something else, like studies or work.

  41. bashar says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,

    My cuzz is married to a German man since 12 years and they live in Germany since that time, they were married in her origin country ( Jordan) . if She wants to use the divorce law of her origin country Jordan and her husband wants the German divorce law, what law the court will choose. She has residency in Germany.

  42. Oooooo says:

    I am an American married to a German. We have always lived in the US. We have been married about 7 and a half years. He has only worked for about a year and a half in the US. He is a permanent resident. I can not tolerate the verbal abusive situations he sets up. He humiliates me in front of other men. I have tried to talk to him and he agrees to stop only to do it again. I have even tried writing emails to explain how it makes me feel. He says nothing if I use email and if I try to talk to him verbally, he accuses me of yelling at him and he gets very abusive and defensive. I am so tired of the whole thing. I want as quick and clean divorce as possible. I take it that it would be easier to do while he is still here in the US. I am on Social Security and I am concerned that I might would have to support him. Could you at least tell me how to get started. I am not interested in romantic relationships now or in the future. I just want peace and no more arguments and abuse. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer. I have done well but it makes it hard when I feel emotionally abused. Please just get me started. I do believe he would cooperate with a divorce and I don’t care what he does afterwards. Part of his problem is alcohol I think. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  43. Spartacus says:

    I’m an American citizen that has been recently divorced after a long separation. The state I divorced in does not allow to remarry for 6 months once the divorce is granted. However, I can go to a different state and remarry as long as I do not reside in the state where the divorce was granted for the 6 month period. What prompted me to finally complete the divorce process was the desire to move on with my life and marry my German girlfriend. QUESTION: Will I be allowed to remarry in Germany before the 6 month period? Thank you.

    • Unless the 6-month waiting period is explicitly mentioned in your divorce decree (which you will need to submit with a German translation), you won’t have any problem getting married in Germany within these 6 months.

    • Spartacus says:

      Unfortunately, it will, but it’s only applicable in that state.

  44. Sally says:

    Hello, I have a question. I have a friend( Africa) who got married German woman.As they were Married, this woman had an Affair with her X boyfriend too. So, the woman got pregnant from her X boyfriend and she threw her husband out of the house. So the husband when to live alone and he looked for a full time job. So, one day he was at work and his women with her X boyfriend went to the Immigration office and they sent Policemen to her working place and he was thrown out of work. So he went the next day to Immigration Office and took his Passport and gave him what is Called” Duldung”. One day he was not at his house and some men brooke to his house and Stole some things. This Duldung he was given he had right to work so he looked for another full time job where he was paid 1000€. So his Duldung expired expecting to be given his passport because he knew he could live as he had a good job but has he went the Immigration office denied him and he was told to live out of German. He left his new job too.Is there anything you can help him as he was denied his right?

  45. Alfonse says:

    Hello Andreas,
    Let me start by thanking you for all the help you provide to people, I can see many people have a better idea about their statuses after you have adviced them.

    Now, regarding my situation:

    I am a Salvadoran citizen living in Germany, my wife is German. I have almost two years of living in Germany with Aufenthalstitel. Things are not going well in our marriage and it might end soon. How long can I stay in Germany after we decide to separate? I have read we have to wait a year after separating until we can file, which will give me time to prepare and figure out where I’ll go. Mywife says I have to leave immediately, which I think is BS. Please advise.

    Vielen Dank!

    • It’s true that your wife has to wait for one year before she can file for divorce.
      However, if you have a residence permit based on the marriage, it can become void already as soon as you are separated (if the immigration authorities learn of that fact), not only once you are divorced. Only after living in Germany for 3 years would your residence permit become independent of the continuing marriage (§ 31 I no. 1 AufenthG).

    • Alfonse says:

      Thanks for the response, Andreas. I guess I have to start looking for legal assistance if it comes to this. I have spent thousands of Euros in consumer durables and other expenses that dried my bank account, things that she would keep and have benefited her. I don’t want to stay in Germany nor I want any type of assistance from the local government, I just want to make sure I get a fair deal here. Again, thanks for your help!

  46. Devra says:

    I am an American citizen my husband is a German citizen. He came over on a visitors visa and we were married in the USA. He went back home and because of not being able to sponsor him he never moved here and we separated. He filed for divorce in Germany and we have no assets or children together. Once the divorce is final will they send me a divorce decree? And who would I give it to here in the USA to make our divorce legal here?

    • If the German court has your address, then they will send you all the paperwork, including the divorce decree once it will be issued.

      As to what you need to do in the US, I am not sure because I am only a German lawyer. I suspect it might be different in each state.

  47. Anna says:

    Dear Mr. Moser,

    My husband and I want to get a divorce ASAP, He is german, im venezuelan. We have been together in our relationship for 10 years, but married since August 2009 in Venezuela, and came here on October 2011, things didnt work out, and now we want to get a divorce, but since we dont have 3 years married within living in Germany, will this be an issue? will the court see it as a convenience marriage and would start an investigation if we file for a divorce right now?. . (We both live on harz V)

    Than you so much for your answer
    Best regards

    • No, the Family Court would not care about that. It’s not unusual or suspicious to get divorced after being married for only a few years. Many couples find out that early that marriage doesn’t work out.

      If anyone (possibly the immigration authorities) will ever accuse you of a convenience marriage, you can easily point out to the long relationship before that. You can usually prove that by photos of joint activities/travels or with witness statements of friends and family members.

    • Anna says:

      Thank you so much for your answer!,
      i do have more questions, where do I go to file for divorce (the German name/place), and would they know how to deal legally with a divorce under Venezuelan law? because I´ve been told that by my country’s law, its only 3 month period. And what type of documents do I need to give?.
      Best regards

    • You need to get a lawyer because you cannot file yourself (that’s mentioned in the FAQ above).
      The German court would apply German law because this is the place of your last joint residence, unless you both choose to apply Venezuelan law (Art. 5 I c Rome III regulation).

  48. ST says:

    Hi Andreas,
    Thank you for the informative website! I have been a silent reader so far.
    Would you be able to tell me what would happen to my Niederlassungserlaubnis after leaving Germany for more than a year? I got this permit because I was married to a German guy – I lived in Germany for more than 5 years and I also worked full time while living there. We have unfortunately been separated for more than a year, even though I don’t think that our divorce proceeding is finalised. Would I still be able to keep the Niderlassungserlaubnis (for example for work purposes) if I should decide to return to Germany again in the near future? Some sources claim that after leaving Germany for more than 6 months, a non-German citizen would lose his/her Niederlassungserlaubnis and would have to apply for a new residency permit when they want to live or work in Germany again, is this true? Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read and answer my question.

    • Yes, that’s true. It usually expires if you leave Germany for more than 6 months (§ 51 I Nr. 7 AufenthG). If you want to leave longer and keep it valid, you need to obtain prior permission from the German immigration authorities.

  49. ST says:

    Thank you for the quick response, Andreas :).

  50. Spartacus says:


    I’m getting married in Germany this summer and a document Germany needs from me is a certification of no appeal concerning my previous marriage. We don’t have this to my knowledge here in the states. Can you tell me what it is and how I obtain one? I’ve visited the court house and records clerk and they’ve never heard of such a thing. THANKS!

  51. Hello, fiance is American,married to a German, separated for over two years, she s in GE he is in the States. They have no children or valuables but she refuses to send the american divorce papers back. Still the divorce will happen here in the US. Question, will the divorce here be recognized in Germany or does he have to go through the whole process again there?
    Thank you

    • If the US has jurisdiction (as determined by the German law), then the divorce should get recognized by Germany. Generally though, German divorces may be easier because the cooperation of the other party is not required to grant the divorce.

  52. Mate one says:


    I have couple of simple questions and I am not sure if I will need a consultation to get them answered!

    I have separated from my german wife five years ago and by papers we r still married.
    She has filed a divorce and they been contacting me via my cousin in Switzerland
    This has been going on for years, the court has finally sat the date to early next month and I have been invited to attend the hearing.

    I have a daughter with her and she is 7.
    Frankly I was not supporting her much due to financial issues however I have only started doing that now.

    I am outside the eu now and my residency was expired 5 years ago it was only a three years spouse visa.

    1. Will I be able to renew my residency via the German embassy abroad before I go to the hearing?
    2. Will I be able to ask for my child custody to be equally divided between us?

    3. Can I still live germany after divorce to support my daughter?

    4. I have a credit card and bank debt of around 30k euro can I still get in there and what r the chances of paying that debt back’?

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    • Because this involves questions of divorce, child custody, immigration, child support, contract and possible bankruptcy law, it probably really best if we schedule a consultation. A lot of these depend on each other and I would need to know more details (e.g. your citizenship, the kind of contact between you and your daughter) and I’d like to take a look at the paperwork that you received.

      I charge 150 EUR for a telephonic consultation.

  53. raudha says:

    Been married to a german for 9 months,but he acts so different from how i met him, he gives me a psycological torture, he says everything i do annoys him and everything i do annoys him, i really can not stay with such a person who puts me down all the time, if i ignore all his accusations and keep quiet, he says we can not live like this,i must file for divorce, he says one year of separation and he wants me to get out of his house during the separation and go home where i closed everything bse i loved him and wanted to live with him, he tortures me bse he knows i lost my business bse i wanted to live with him, i feel like a poor girl he picked on streets, i have no freedom of speech, no peace, i only get peace when i fuck with him then he comes back to normal but am fed up, how can i even think of making love when my minds are tortured, he created fear in me, so i end up keeping quiet day by day, i need help, i need a divorce but i can not file for it bse i am a house wife with no income at all, i want to go back home. Can u please advice me, am new in german. Thank u

    • raudha says:

      He is never blamed and when he feels guility he can never apologise to me , never makes me feel like a wife, i feel like a house helper, many issues that i can not say but how do i get rid of him, i want to divorce and go back to my home country free, where i have peace, freedom. We just had a terrible situation but i think he is impossible, wat can i do? Any authorities that i can contact?

    • You can return to your home country any time, you don’t need to wait for a divorce. After being separated for one year, you can then instruct a lawyer in Germany on legal aid (depending on your financial situation then) and you don’t need to return yourself for the divorce.

    • raudha says:

      Thanks alot, yes i can return to my home country but how? Is there any authority that can help me get home bse i have no money at all, like i said i gave up my everything at home thinking i have found a better person. I totally have nothing home nor here. If i ask him to take me home
      Bse he is the one who brought me he says he only brought me as his wife that since i dont want to be his wife any more, i shud take myself, where in germany do i go for help if i need to be deported home, i thought i would make him pay for wat he has done to me and for making me believe his a nice man and i gave up my all just to be with him but its a wastage of time. I even think he is a psycho bse he acts like one. Where do i go to be deported home? Thank you so much again.

    • What is your home country?

    • raudha says:

      I come from uganda, am 26yrs old married to a 64yr old german , who promised heaven and earth to me. I regret every single day and i hope i will never be stupid again.

    • You could try the Ugandan Consulate to see if they can loan you the money for a flight to Uganda.

      Other than that, you could go to the German immigration office and tell them that you are separated and that you need help. This will mean that your residence permit will become void (because it is based on you being married, I assume) and you can then suggest that they pay you the flight to Uganda and have one case less to worry about.

      But there is no entitlement to have your expenses taken care of because it was your own decision to come to Germany.

      Another possibility is that you work (if you have the residence permit in accordance with § 28 AufenthG, you have a work permit) and save the money.

    • raudha says:

      I don’t work, am a house wife just been here for 2 months but married already. Thanx alot, will go to the above for help.

  54. Stani Nilov says:

    my wife and i are both from the US. We aren’t expats. We have and hold residency permits in Germany. one of us works and the other stays at home. i want a divorce as soon as possible because of some abuse issues. i do not wish to remain married to her. we have 2 kids and she is not aware that I am going to proceed with this. My question is this: what is the best way going about this if I want this done immediately. i have friends here who went through it in less than 1 week. How is this possible?

  55. AG says:

    Do you know how is the procedure to separate life insurance in case of divorce? I didn’t have kid(s) from my 3 years marriage, only daughter from my wife.

    • That depends on the specific life insurance contract.

      If you have a life insurance policy which will be paid out in regular installments, it generally falls under the “Versorgungsausgleich”, the mandatory distribution of retirement benefits (§ 2 II no. 2 VersAusglG). But if you have a cash-value life insurance, it will fall under the “Zugewinnausgleich” (the distribution of marital property) which is not obligatory. It will only be carried out if one of the parties asks for it.

  56. Ss says:

    Dear Mr. Moser

    My husband is a German citizen and I am a Turkish citizen, we have a 15 year old son who has both of the nationalities. We have A German marriage certificate too. Our marriage is registered in Germany. We never resided in Germany but my husband still is registered as a resident there as well, as he gets child money from the government. We have been seperated for more than a year. Although we live abroad he is employed by a German company based in Germany and his salary is put in a German bank, in Germany every month. I have been married to him for almost 16 years. He never made me a partner of this bank account. I have never seen what he has been doing with our savings. I want a divorce but he is resisting not to lose money. So what I want to do now is to file for my rights in Germany for the money to make sure this bank account goes under watch and I want to claim whatever the half of the money now, to rescue my share. Since he is not comprimisimg for divorce it will take at least another three years to get the divorce done. By that time he can use up all the money in the German bank account. Can you please tell me what I can do to claim my share of the money asap and put this account under some kind of control? I will hire you as my lawyer .

    Thank you so much for your help.

  57. Omo says:

    Hello Mr Moser,
    Thanks for all the insight and help you give on this forum.
    I have a friend who is in a relationship with a German man for the past 7 years. When they met he told her that he was separated from his wife who lives in Germany with their two kids. She erroneously thought that meant he was divorced. He now claims that his wife in Germany won’t grant him a divorce. My questions are:
    1. Is it possible that he can’t get a divorce just because his wife says she doesn’t want one? Especially when they’ve been separated for the past 7 years? ( He works and lives in Kenyan but travels to Germany twice or thrice a year to visit his kids).
    2. If he can get a divorce irrespective of what the wife says, how long will the process take since he resides outside Germany?

      1. No. Wives don’t grant divorces, courts do. After such a long separation, his wife cannot prevent a divorce.
      2. If he files in Germany (which he can even without living there because the wife still lives there), it wouldn’t really matter that he lives in Kenya. He will hire a lawyer in Germany who will do everything for him. The duration of the proceeding will depend on how much the spouses will argue about (especially financial matters).
  58. Marco says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,
    thanks a lot for all the info.
    I have 2 questions: we are both foreigners but married in Germany and now got separated.
    My ef-wife moves to UK and I stay here with our 2 kids.
    She will not get money from me but the notary (a woman) told us that if she wants, she is eligible to get a monthly alimony.
    Can this be true ? She is the one that leaves the family and goes to another country.
    If she will live with another partner, will she still be eligible for the alimony ?

    • It could be possible, but it depends on a lot of factors, primarily both your incomes and your employment histories throughout the marriage. Other factors are the age of your children, the duration of your marriage and plenty more details.
      This is a question which I could really only answer properly if I speak to you about all the details of your case. For such a consultation I unfortunately need to charge my standard fee of 200 EUR.

  59. Layla says:

    Hello Mr. Moser and thank you for taking the time to read and answer this post.
    My husband is an alcoholic. He said he will start the divorce papers and I will not get the German passport. We’ve been married more than 3 years, but I just started to learn German, he did the impossible to hinder my way to independence. So, I don’t work and I only have my aufenhaltherlaubnis which it’s due next year Oktober. If I reject the divorce, he has to wait one year to proceed. Within that year, Am I allowed to get at least my permanent residence?. I put him an Anziege at the police for family violence, they took away a schrekgun he used to threaten me and he had to declare. Can that situation help me? Could I get some indulgence to get my citizenship with out my husband’s consent?

    • You don’t need your husband’s consent for citizenship at all. It’s not up to him to decide, but it will depend on your language skills and your economic integration at the time of your application. For more on this, please see my FAQ on German citizenship law.

      Regarding the residence permit, the documented domestic violence can indeed help you to obtain an independent residence permit: § 31 II 2 AufenthG

  60. ML says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Hope you can help me on this. My husband and I started the divorce in January 2014. Since we don’t have kid or property together, our lawyer said it will take just half a year to proceed. Now it’s almost end of July and I still haven’t heard anything from the court or lawyer. I’m in the 27 weeks of pregnancy with my new partner right now and I have heard that if the baby is born before the divorce, the Acknowledgment of paternity will go automatically to my husband. And the last name of my baby will follow as my husband as well. My due date will be end of October, do you think the divorce will take that long until October? Will it help a bit faster if I talk to the lawyer about this? I still haven’t told both my husband and the lawyer about the pregnancy yet. I’m worrying about this right now, please help. Thanks in advance!

    • Yes, it might help if you tell your lawyer. If he will tell the court, they might expedite your case because of this. Keep in mind though that your husband will then of course find out about it as well.

      Even if you give birth before the divorce is final, the paternity can be sorted out, particularly if the actual father cooperates.

    • ML says:

      Thanks for your prompt reply! I was told that if the divorce will be done after the baby is born. Three of us (my husband, new partner and me) can go to the authority and my husband has to declare he is not the father. Anyway the baby’s last name will first be written my husband’s last name on the birth certificate and we can change it to my new partner’s last name later but the original last name can never be deleted, is that right? Besides, I don’t mind to go to the authority twice (once with my husband once with my new partner) but I really don’t want to go with both men at the same time. Do u know if case I don’t hear anything from the court before my due date, can I go separately with them to declare everything?

    • Before I take a lot of time to respond to these questions in detail, I suggest your lawyer tries to get the divorce expedited based on the pregnancy. If it works, fine. If not, we will cross that bridge when we get there.

    • ML says:

      Sorry Andreas,

      Do u mind if I ask one more question? I called the lawyer this morning and he didn’t sound like he will help me (my husband is the Antragsteller, and we are sharing the same lawyer). So I called the court after and the lady there suggests me to write a “Abtrennung vorsorgungsausgleich”. She explained something about my german isn’t good enough to understand. Could u tell me what is this please? Does it mean I should give up something for instance some money which I may suppose to receive? Thanks in advance!

    • Now I understand why your divorce might be taking so long. The court is working on distributing your pension rights. That usually takes a while because they have to get the information from all the retirement insurance schemes that either of you have contributed to during the marriage.

      You have two options at this point in time:
      (a) Get your own lawyer.
      (b) Talk to your husband openly and see if he is willing to instruct his lawyer accordingly. After all, it also shouldn’t be in your husband’s interest to be considered the legal father of a child which is not his.

  61. elizabeth says:

    I’m an EU citizen and married a German citizen 4 years ago. He has been divorced from his German wife for 12 years before we got married. He is a pensioner and his ex wife gets 50% of his gov pension. If she has to die before him, will he get the other 50% back? He told me that when he dies I’ll be entitled for percentage of his pension. I was a teacher in my country where we live but due to health problems now I’m on disability pension and I only get 480 euros a month. We don’t live in Germany but in a EU country. Is this true please? Thanks

  62. elizabeth says:

    I’m Maltese and I never lived in Germany. Thanks

  63. ML says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Don’t know if my coming questions will cross the border, but we’re very helpless now and I just give a try!  Thanks in advance if you could help.  

    My boyfriend has 2 kinds (6 & 9), divorced,  paying approx.  600€ child support to his ex. who works full-time (she has her own kindergarten) and get paid normally.   My boyfriend got fired (his company has no money) and will be unemployed starting from September.  His wage is now 1850€ and will get around 1250€ “Arbeitslosengeld” from Sep.  I’m pregnant with him and our child will be born in October.   He bought a house some years ago and is paying 900€ for the mortgage.  Unfortunately he isn’t able to afford it anymore due to the child support therefore he rents it out to two families which makes his mortgage just equal.  He is now living in his dad’s place for free.  Besides he needs to pick up and bring back his kids from other city which is about 150km away every 2 weekends from where he, his ex & kids used to live together.   ( so one weekend he needs to drive 150km x 4 times on his own cost).  His life is really hard at the moment and since he will be soon unemployed and wanted to know if he still has to pay that 600€ child support?  He called Jugendamt but seemed like they are not happy to help.  Do you have any suggestions what he can do?  Hiring a lawyer is not affordable for him unfortunately.   Any non profitable organisations in Germany which can provide help and support?  

    Hope you can help!  



    • Child support obligations change with changing financial abilities of course. What he would need to do depends on whether there is a court order or other enforceable document.

      The expenses for the contact with the children can also be deducted from his income for the purpose of child support calculation.

      I am keeping this reply brief because I’d like to set up a separate list of FAQ on child support. I’ll do that as soon as someone mails me a book from my wishlist for that effort.

  64. elizabeth says:


  65. Doris says:

    Hi, am Kenyan working in German, I pay tax every month. Am woundering can not get kinder geld while I pay school fees for my children in kenya, pls help me what shall I do, I need kindergeld. Doris

  66. Doris says:

    Hi! My Kenyan girlfriend marriage Australia man, she was visited once she lives in Kenya, she is a housewife. Now she need a work permit to work in Australia. What doe’s she suppose to do?

  67. Paul says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I was a student in Germany and had a son with a German girl. Upon graduation I began working in the middle east and started sending €350 a month as a minimum. I have done that for the last 2 months. My sons mother lives completely off welfare but will start an ausbildung paying her €500 a month from this month. She has told me I have to submit all my financial information because she will get in trouble if the German government sees that I am sending her money. I will continue to send money for my son but I do not want to submit my information to a country which I do not live in, and cannot even enter without applying for a visa (I have citizenship in a Caribbean island). My question is: do I have to send my information or is this something she can work out with the German authorities? Thank you and best regards,

    • First of all, if you have a son in Germany you could even get a long-term residence permit for Germany (§ 28 I AufenthG) if you could get shared custody.

      Regarding the child support, I’d like to open a separate thread because it really has nothing to do with divorce and there are already more than 150 comments on this thread. I’ll set up FAQ on child support as soon as someone will send me a book from my wishlist in order to do so.

  68. micheal says:

    Hello, i seeked alsylum 18months ago,but Im legallly married here in Germany for four months with a German lady. My qustion is can i still be sent out of the country if my alsylum request is regected? thanks

    • As this has nothing to do with divorce, it would be better to post this on my FAQ on asylum law or on residence permits for Germany. I will put them up once somebody mails me a book from my wishlist in order to motivate me.

  69. Ben says:

    Hello Mr Moser,

    I am English and my wife is American, can we divorce in Germany or can we choose which country of which the rules should apply. ie) can we get divorced in the US and simply get the paper work rubber stamped in Germany. As we did for our marriage.

    If it is in Germany, We have agreed a financial split, would this agreement simply be accepted by the German authorities ? Or would they decide who gets what ?


  70. Gwapito says:

    Hi Andreas,

    You’ve been very helpful to many people. Thank you for spending time to answer all the queries from us people you don’t even know. May God Bless you.

    By the way here’s my situation. I am a Filipino student here in Germany and I was separated from my wife 3 years ago. We were married in the Philippines. I have a girlfriend right now (also a Filipino Student). My question is, can I file a divorce against my previous wife here in Germany and marry my girlfriend here? There is no divorce in the Philippines, Only annulment.

    Once again, thank you very much and more power to you!

    • Yes, because you are a resident in Germany you can file for divorce in Germany. It will take a bit longer than a normal divorce proceeding because the court will have to serve your wife with the divorce paperwork in the Philippines (unless she agrees to hire a lawyer or appoint a representative in Germany). So don’t plan the new wedding yet! ;-)

    • Gwapito says:

      Dear Andreas,

      Wonderful! Thank you so much for your apt reply. I better think of settling this issue first before I plan the wedding LOL :).

  71. Natasha says:

    Hallo Andreas,

    Thank you so much for helping people here with some peace of advice and how to deal with their problems, well am a Kenyan too, been married to a Germany since one yrs , I have a child from my passed relation and she lives here with us but life is not good with this man though the country is beautiful, I really would want to separate and may be divorce but I don’t know how the law is about this, will I be kicked out with my child and am 2months pregnant but he wants me to get rid of the baby which I can not do no matter what, I wanna keep my baby and I want to stay in Germany to raise my kids in case the second comes out. please I need ur advice, one thing for sure is I can not live with him any more.

    thank you

    • Generally, you need to be married and live in Germany for 3 years in order to retain a residence permit after a separation (§ 31 I Nr. 1 AufenthG). But exceptions can be made in order to avoid a special hardship (§ 31 II AufenthG). I would argue that pregnancy is such a special hardship, in particular as your child will have German citizenship based on the German father and you could then return to Germany and base your residence permit on your child (§ 28 I Nr. 3 AufenthG). It would be silly to ask you to leave Germany now when you could return once your child will be born. Given that a dispute about your residence status would probably take longer than it will take for your baby to show up (7 months), I think it’s safe to say that you would be able to remain in Germany.

  72. Natasha says:

    Thank you so much Andereas, pls guide me again if I separate with my husband before divorce am I supposed to go back to my country or I can keep around during the separation, if yes how do I do it to separate, and if not can I go home during the separation and will he support me and my pregnancy, if am here or not here. And one more qn pls can I keep around with my family bse I have relatives here.

  73. Pingback: 10 FAQ on Freedom of Movement in the EU | The Happy Hermit

  74. nadia says:

    Hello my friend from the German of Turkish origin wants to divorce his wife on a separate year and half ago and gave all the papers to a lawyer, but his wife refused and did not provide any paper and Thanks

  75. Nolan Ramage says:

    Good Day Mr. Moser!
    I have a slightly complicated situation. I am an Australian, and married a German citizen in Australia in July 2010. We moved to Berlin together in August 2011, at which point I was granted a visa until the 1st March 2015. We have been married for over four years now and I have resided in Germany for over three years. We have begun to grow apart and have decided to get an amicable divorce, but as I have established a life here, I would very much like to stay. I do not wish to be naturalised, as I will not give up my Aussie passport, so what are my options? Can I change from a marriage visa to a settlement visa? What options do I have relating to residency after getting divorced?
    Thank you Sir for your time.

    • Hello Nolan,
      after living together with a German spouse in Germany for 3 years, you are entitled to your own independent residence permit (§ 31 I Nr. 1 AufenthG). This residence permit will be granted for one year at first, after which time your status will depend on what you do (work, study, business) and your financial situation.

    • Nolan Ramage says:

      Okay! Wonderful, thank you. And do I have to prove current working status in Germany at the time of application? I have been doing some contract chef work in France for the last seven months, returning to Berlin in mid November.

  76. Dianna says:

    Hi Andreas, I am getting divorced in Cyprus on 5 November and wish to remarry on 18 November, there is a waiting period of 42 days after the hearing in Cyprus. Can I get married in another country before the waiting period is over and will this marriage be considered valid?

    • What citizenship do you and your prospective spouse have? Where do you want to get married and where do you want to live?

    • Dianna says:

      I am South African and my prospective spouse is German, we want to marry in Denmark and e wish to live in the UK, Ireland, or Germany. I would really appreciate you advice.

    • My advice is to wait and postpone the wedding.

      If your marriage will be voidable, you will run into all kinds of problems regarding spousal visas, if you ever have children, when one of you dies, when you divorce. Even if you won’t experience any problems, your children might in the future because if you are not legally married, they won’t automatically get the father’s citizenship for example.

      Don’t do it, in particular because there is no need to hurry.

  77. Michael says:

    Hi. Andreas I am an in need of a copy of my divorce decree granted by a Court in Berlin, Germany in 1995 or 1996. Either I
    never received a copy or I lost it. My German wife filed there after being married here in the USA. It was an amicable divorce and now my Pension Plan informed me that they need a signed copy of the divorce decree before they can process my retirement application. I do have some of the paperwork including the case number. What is the best way to proceed?

    • Contact the court and ask for another copy. With the case number, it should be easy to find the file (if they still have it).

  78. julia says:

    Hi Andreas, can you give me an idea of typical costs of creating an ehevertrag in Germany? I am from the US, and my partner is German. Also, what is the difference between going to a lawyer, and to a Notar? Will the notar help us draft an agreement, or simply witness the document? And is it possible to limit the duration of an ehevertrag? Can we say, for example, that the agreement becomes invalid, or changes in some way, if we are still married in 5 years? Neither of us has any assets to speak of, and I have significant student loan debt in the US, which I will be paying off for probably the next 20 years. I am currently unemployed, but when I find work, it is likely that I will earn more than my partner. We each have the possibility of inheritences, however, in the future, and I would like to keep those entirely separate.
    Thank you for you generosity in providing so much information on this page! It has been very helpful already!

    • In Germany, notaries are lawyers, so the notary will also help you draft it. I honestly have no idea about fees nowadays, but notaries usually don’t compete on fees, so it will be the same everywhere.

      Of course you can put a time limit on it, that’s actually quite a good idea.

      If German law were to apply in a divorce, you wouldn’t need to worry about inheritance as it would not become community property. Nonetheless, an “Ehevertrag” is usually a good idea, if only because it forces you think about all of these issues beforehand, and you can choose and pick what you like from codified law and what you want to amend and tailor to your own situation.

  79. May says:

    Hi Andrea,
    My husband and I are both holding Belgian citizenship. With our three kids, we have been living in Germany for 11 years.
    Can I apply the divorce in Germany and following the German law? In my 14 years marriage, most of time have been living in Germany. Kids are also going to German school.

    • Yes. Because you both live in Germany, German has jurisdiction and the application of German law is the default choice (Art. 8 a Rome III Regulation).

    • May says:

      Dear Andreas,
      Thank you very much for your quick reply.
      Because Belgian Embassy in Berlin told my husband we only allow to follow the belgian family law if we get divorce in Gemany, which worried me.
      I also have been told by a belgian lawyer in Brussel, that I have to hire two lawyers ( one in Belgium and one in Germany) to represent me. Can I just find one German laywer for the divorce?
      Sorry have to trouble you again. Thank you.

    • One lawyer is more than enough.

  80. May says:

    Thanks! Now I am more confident to continue the divorce process.

  81. Ben says:

    Dear Andreas,

    My wife and I are happy to use one Lawyer to facilitate our divorce. Why are the fee’s so complicated ? The type of answers I am getting from layers are as follows:

    Lawyer 1:
    “There is a degressive table of the fees according to the value. The value is mainly determined by
    the income of three months. There is an additional value for each child, high assets and the pension adjustment depending on the number of funds involved. At a value of 10.000 EUR the lawyers fees would be around EUR 1,600.–, at 20.000 it would be 2,120.–. The court costs are about half as much.”

    Lawyer 2:
    ” fees are basically governed according to our assets.”

    Thanks for your advice.

    • I never made it that complicated for my clients and simply charged a flat fee or an hourly fee with an upper limit. But I can’t comment on the fees that other lawyers charge. Unfortunately, most lawyers are not very customer-friendly in this respect.

  82. Eloisa Labahn says:

    Hallo Mr. Moser,
    Im married with a german nationality but the ceremony took place in Philippines. So many stories arises that really scares me because i have a child. Were still leaving in a same roof but no sexual contact, no same activities for two years. I told him im planning to move in other apartment but he doesnt say anything. Im thinking what is better to file a divorce here in Germany.(but some said if ever i couldn’t get marry in germany) Or annulment in my country.

    • If you both live in Germany, Germany is really the only country that has jurisdiction for your divorce. It will also be much easier to have your husband served with paperwork.
      It doesn’t matter that you got married outside of Germany (see no. 1 of the FAQ above).

  83. Rune says:

    I am a EU citizen, natural born US citizen. May I bring my 23 year old child to live in the EU legally?

    • That has really nothing to do with divorce law in Germany, has it?

      I recommend my FAQ on freedom of movement within the EU, but I would need to know which citizenship you have, in which country you live, what you do there, what citizenship your child has and what he/she would want to do in the desired country of residence.

  84. Sageena Thakur says:

    Hi, I just have a query. I have am aunt in Germany and she has an Indian passport with an indefinit visa to stay in the country and has been living in Germany for the last 14 years or so. Is there a possibility that she may be able to get a German passport.

    Any help you maybe able to provide is greatly appreciated.

    Yours sincerely,
    Sageena Thakur

  85. Tautu Gabriela says:

    Hi Andreas,
    ca you help me with your advice ? My sister( she is from Romania) is married with her German husband for about 17 years ( they married in Germany, but even now she’s just a resident because he never filled the paper for citizen), they live in heidelberg and they have 2 children ( 16 and 12 years old ). My sister , after she had the second child became mentally ill ( schitzofrenia ) . It took 3 years to go with her to the doctors ( just because the police and child protection get involve ) , now she’ s barelly functional because she start to drink too and as is expected things are hard for children and him . So he want to divorce and he said that she can’t afford to have an attorney and he won’t give her more than 400 euro/ month ( that won’t cover her medicine ) even his salary is over 10.000 euro/month ( he works in IT ) and if i want to take her it’s ok , if not he doesn’t care if she lives on streets. I want to take her , but my situation , here in Romania is not very good ( I’m a single mom , with 2 children and a salary of 200 euro / month). So my question is : can he divorce after 17 years and let her at the mercy of fate, with nothing . Any advice will be appreciated .

    Yours sincerely,
    Gabriela T.

    • First of all, I have to address the misconception that your sister’s husband could have done anything to give her German citizenship: He can’t. She needs to apply for naturalization by herself and nobody can prevent her from doing so.

      Now to your question: Based on the length of the marriage, your sister’s bad health and the enormous discrepancy in income, your sister would be entitled to receive alimony for the time of the separation and probably also for at least a few years after the divorce.

      Your sister should hire an attorney in Germany. She is eligible for legal aid, meaning the state will pay the attorney’s and court fees.

      Generally, your sister should act more independently. She is not at the mercy of her husband. She has rights. In family law, it makes no difference if she is German or Romanian. I don’t know what type of residence status she has, but as long as they keep at least shared custody over the children, she is already entitled to a residence permit based on that (§ 28 I AufenthG).

    • Tautu Gabriela says:

      Thank you very much ! We will try to search for legal aid.

      Have a nice day

      Gabriela T

  86. Tony F. says:

    Hi Andreas,

    I’m going to ask the question first and then explain the circumstance. I’ve been directed by the German Court in Berlin to show up for the final Divorce proceedings. What are valid excuses “wichtige Gruende” that would excuse me from having to show up in person? I’m american and live in the U.S. My wife is german and lives in Germany. She filed for the divorce and we’re finally to the point where we’ve both received the inivitation where we show up and tell the judge that we in fact really do want the divorce and then he signs the papers. However, I live in the U.S. and do not have the money for a plane ticket besides the fact that I can’t take off from University or work. Thank you for your help!


    • 1) I’ve represented hundreds of Americans in German court who didn’t show up for the divorce hearing (it’s a 30-minute hearing at most, so it’s hardly worth the flight), and although the judges were sometimes angry, they always granted the divorce. This will be the case even more so if your wife really wants the divorce.
      2) You could explain to the court that you can’t afford the flight and ask for legal aid, asking them to pay the flight. Then the court will think long and hard if your personal presence is really necessary.
      3) You can let the court know in writing that you also want the divorce, that you have no objections against your wife’s petition and that you have no financial claims against her.
      4) If you have exams or important classes at university that might be a good reason. If you have already used up all your holidays and would need to quit your job in order to be available that would be a good reason as well.

      These letters by the German courts are standardized letters which they mail to every respondent in every case. They are not tailored to your specific case. Therefore they don’t need to be taken as seriously as they sound. If you undertake one or several of the aforementioned steps, the judge will probably be satisfied.

    • Tony F. says:

      Thank you so much for the super quick response and great advice!

    • And even while I am on holiday! :-) Greetings from beautiful Montenegro.

    • Sandra Weissbrodt says:

      How long would it take for the paperwork to be send if the divorce in Germany is final? Is there a way to get info if the divorce went through before the legal paperwork? Thank you in advance Sir!

    • The petitioner must be represented by a lawyer. The easiest thing would be to ask him/her.
      I guess the mail takes a week or two.

  87. alex says:

    Hi Mr Moser,
    i have been living with my german wife in germany for 3 years after getting a 3 years residance permit (aufenthaltserlaubnes).our marriage was interrupted in the last year and i was denied my one year residance extention,but after me and wife decided to reconsile,i was told that i will be granted a residence permit for another 3 years,in which our marriage should be persisted otherwise i wont have to right to live in germany, and my question is,when can i apply for the german citizenship?

  88. Ella says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,

    We are a Canadian couple, also EU citizens, living in Germany. We are planning to get married in Denmark (having all of the required papers). We are not signing a prenuptial agreement but still want to know, in case that things do not work for us in the future, can we divorce in Denmark if we are not residents? Thank you very much!

    • No.
      If both of you will live in Germany at that time, only Germany will have jurisdiction over your divorce. If you will live in different countries, it will depend on who has lived where for how long.

  89. léa says:

    Hello Mr Moser,
    After one and a half year marriage, i would like to separate from my husband ( who is german , and i not). Unfortunately I am financially dependant on him as i did not work here, so having no income, and no family here leaves me wih no coice than staying in the same house..Still i find this unbearable..Is there any help that i can get so that i may move out ? (I got the German Pass after our wedding) I also don´t have the money to buy a ticket to go back to my country ( being 12,000 km far from germany, a ticket then costs a lot).

    Thank you

    • If you are a German citizen, all the financial help that you need to sustain your own household is available to you. You should inquire with your local town/municipality whether they offer social housing.

  90. okde says:

    Hi Andreas,

    What happens when a guy gets divorced let us say in December, and changes his class from III to I, does he have to pay back the tax to the authorities for the whole year?

    I know that you get tax back when you change your tax class from I to III after getting married.

    I hope this question belongs to the FAQ and thanks very much for providing all this info in such clear English :)

    Best wishes for the new year.

  91. Ben says:

    Hi Andres,

    My wife (US Citizen) and I (British Citizen) got married in the USA (2007) but have lived in Germany for 15 years. The marriage paper work subsequently was filed in Germany. We now would like to divorce. Can we return to the USA get the divorce and then file the paper work, as we did for our marriage.


    • Germany would not recognize that divorce because the US does not have international jurisdiction over your divorce because none of you lives there. If you try that, you run the risk of being divorced in the USA, but not in Germany and/or the UK. This will lead to numerous problems in the future.

      It usually is also much cheaper to get divorced in Germany (unless you could do it without lawyers in the USA).

  92. honey says:

    I got married last year in november in denmark. now i haven’t german visa. now i cant go in german. can i get divorce ..! i didn’t pass german language test .. and embassy refused my visa.! please tell me what can i do ..! can we get divorce ? Thanks

    • That depends on where you live and where your spouse lives.

    • honey says:

      now im in italy and she is in german

    • In Germany, you can only file for divorce if you have been separated for one year. That means you have to wait until November.
      In Italy it’s even harder to get a divorce, so that’s no alternative.
      But if you are in Italy legally, you can always visit Germany. Both countries are in Schengen, you don’t need a visa for visits.
      And of course you could try the German language test again. You only need A1 level, that’s very basic.

  93. honey says:

    but i haven’t italy visa too ..its expired on January 19.

    • honey says:

      can i not get divorce brfore one year? and if i will get married in india without divorce.is it any problem .!

    • There are a lot of issues in play here, divorce, immigration law, possibly freedom of movement, renewed marriage and so on. We would need to talk about your case, also for me to find out what your priorities are.
      I charge 200 EUR for a consultation.

  94. honey says:


  95. Mo says:

    Hi there,
    I’m sorry if someone has already asked you this but I’d like to know how to proceed. My husband is German but I am not and do not have citizenship, we have two underaged children and I wish to get a separation because I think that he has committed a crime against me. He has deleted the evidence and lies but I catch him out over and over again. I would like custardy of the kids, both of whom are German citizens but I’m afraid that if I am not a German citizen, then he will get custody. Is there any truth in that or is there anything which I can do to change it? We have been living together in Germany for over two years now.


    • The citizenship of the parties involved is or should be of no relevance in a German custody proceeding.

      You will find more in my FAQ on child custody law in Germany.

  96. jackie says:

    My husband and I are both UK citizens. When we married he did not declare to the registrar (or me) that he had been married twice before in Germany. Does this make the marriage legal, and is there any way that I can check that he is definately divorced from his German spouses.

    • 1) If you married and live in the UK, the legality of your marriage depends on British law. If your husband had been divorced by the time you got married, then your marriage is definitely legal. There are no consequences for lying about factors like past marriages.

      2) In Germany, there is no central register. You would need to contact the municipality where your husband last lived and ask them if they had him listed as married or divorced.

      3) However, this is not completely foolproof either, because he might have gotten divorced in another country and forgotten to inform the German authorities.

      4) You would really need to know more about the past spouses, the places where he lived, and so on, to make absolutely certain.

      5) But the easiest way is probably to ask your husband.

  97. Ben says:


    I moved to Germany and married my wife in 2008. At which point I already had property in France. I sold this property in 2009. Now we are divorcing, is the gain from the property split between us or is regarded mine prior to the marriage ?


  98. jane says:


    I am trying to help a friend who wants to divorce his wife (i have no interest in a relationship with him). He has a net income of 1,600€ per month. They have two children aged 2 and 4.

    from the Dusseldorf table he should be paying 333€ per month per child.

    so , in total, he should be paying his wife in the seperation year approx 1,000€ which leaves him only 600€ per month. (she doesnt work). Is there a minimum amount that the man must be left with per month ?

    i have not calculated in any money paid by the state dor the children.

    thanks for your time

    • The minimum amount that he should be left with is 1,060 € of his net income.
      If there is not enough money to pay child support and alimony, the children have priority.

    • jane says:

      Thankyou for your extremely prompt and also informative answer Andreas ! :)


  99. Taylor says:

    I have a few questions concerning my relationship with my boyfriend who in fact is still married to another woman that lives in (
    Kiel, Germany, (he was born in the US)

    They got married in 2012 In Denmark , he came back to the US 2014 around the mid way of the year, on belief that he was coming here to start a job and get things prepared for them to live in the US, but after month of separation, she decided that she wanted a divorce VIA MOBILE CONTACT . Because she had interest of living here in the US, So now he still resides in the US and we have been together for a few months, she keeps on telling him to file for the divorce because it cist to much there and he’s telling her to do it in there since it would be a faster process.
    ( I dont know if this will be any useful imformation, but hrs Before he left , she enclosed the actually wedding certificate, and the photography book of the wedding like she had this planned beyond his knowledge in his suitcase and found it after plane departure.)

    my concerning questions are,
    Since he’s still married , can he be at fault for openly having another relationship?

    For Us Conceiving a child together?
    ( the baby didn’t make it)

    For him not returning to Germany for the year separation “law” ?

    If he does file for divorce here in the US who will have to pay? Will he be forced to pay Germany or the US… For them to grant the divorce?

    Will he have to make an appearance in front of German Law Court to Get Them to approve of the Divorce?

    • Taylor says:

      NOTE** No property was obtained during marriage, and there was no children involved.

    • You are free people in a free country. Being married to someone else is no legal limit to a new relationship, nor does it affect the divorce process.

  100. Alice says:

    Hello again Mr. Moser. My husband is German and I’ll get the citizenship in about 4 to 5 weeks. But we are standing on the verge of divorce. After the papers go out, I might start it if that’s economically convenient for me. He’s an alcoholic and abuser, but I am doing my won life, that’s why he’s angry. We bought a house, I do not work, he put that house on my name, we are married four years now. He said if we get divorce, he’ll get the house anyways because it was his money, I do not work because he didn’t allow me to. So, if I get divorce, how will that work with the house and the car and some property we have in my home land? Will everything be split in two, also our bank accounts or will he get most of it because he paid for it. We have no children, because I lost my baby and he doesn’t want me to have any children. So, I am contemplating getting a donor anyways, if I am a mother will that benefit more after a divorce? But since it won’t be his child, will he be able to walk about of it? The child I lost was also through a donor and my husband agreed to it. I heard that my husband has three years to reject the child if he wants, but he agree to it, how can that be? I know lots of Q. But thank you so very much in advance.

    • For so many questions, we would really need to schedule a telephonic appointment. I charge 200 EUR for a consultation.

    • Alice says:

      He cut my credit card and EC card yesterday. I have no macht over the account. I wish I could sell this house without his consent…

    • Alice says:

      And yeah, I got into a relationship now, can he use that against me in court for the divorce? Or it simple doesn’t matter whether I can have 100 relationships while married and still will not affect the outcome of the financial side of the divorce?

  101. Susan says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,
    I am an American citizen who married a German citizen in the US in 1991. We were married for almost 20 years and divorced in 2011. In total, we lived 7 years in Germany, 5 in Asia, and the rest in the US (Ohio). Two of our three children were born in Germany (the other born in Singapore). My ex worked for a large German corporation almost all of our marriage (which I will not name in case this could cause legal issues). My issue is that he no longer wants to pay his child/spousal support (he still has three more years to pay). He has told his lawyer and our children that he is going to move back to Germany with his new wife (German citizen whom he married 3 weeks after our divorce in Las Vegas). My question is simple. If he does move back to Germany, is there an alliance/agreement between the US and Germany which would require him to continue paying his spousal/child support? Also, my divorce says I am to receive half of our German retirement accounts (three). Is this difficult to do?
    Thank you so much for your help in this matter

    • If you have a court order for child/spousal support, this can be enforced in Germany as well.
      The same goes for the retirement benefits.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for this information. As an added question (and I thank you so much for your help), can my name be added to my ex-husband’s retirement accounts? The accounts are from Bosch, Gothar Insurance, and another firm. Even though my divorce decree states I receive half of all three retirement accounts, I fear my name is not on the accounts and this can become an issue at his retirement. I have hired an American lawyer to require him to get me account balance statements, but my lawyer is not sure if German law allows for my name to be added to the policies. Is adding my name possible? Thank you so much for your help! Happy travels!


    • You will probably notice when your ex-husband will retire. It will be around age 65.
      Then you contact the insurance companies and send them a copy of the divorce decree.
      Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

  102. Rebecca says:

    Hallo mr.Moser
    My problem is I got married in Denmark last oct20,2014 I’m a Pilipina I’m only tourist in Denmark. Got married to German residing in Germany. My marriage isn’t register in Philippines not accepted in Germany. What will I do now that I have been here in Philippines since jan22 and I don’t want to be with my German husband no more , can I file an annulment …?? Thank you

    • I don’t know why your marriage wouldn’t be accepted in Germany. You got married in another EU country, after all.

      You can either file for divorce in Germany (if your husband lives there) or maybe file for annulment in the Philippines, but only a Philippine lawyer would know for sure.

  103. Mirko says:

    Dear Andreas,

    I would like to separate from my wife to start the divorce process, but she does not want to separate. She has cheated on me in the past and on her Facebook I can see that she is still having contact with the same guy and would like to have a threesome with him, which I would not like to participate in.

    We have two young children who I dont want to lose, and I realize that as I am working full time, I cannot look after them all day even if I was granted 50% custody.

    If we stay together for the sake of the children, is there a duration of time in the marriage after which I have to give here half of my house when we divorce ? My parents signed the house over to me before we were married.

    I thought that I read somewhere that after 5 or 6 years of marriage I had to give her half of everything. But now I cant find it. We have been married for 4 years now and we have been together for 6 years. She has 2 older children from a previous marriage who also live with us.

    Thankyou for your time,


    • Hello Mirko,
      1) your wife cannot really prevent you from separating. You can either move out or kick her out or you can separate while living at the same house if you move to different rooms. Separation does not need to be recorded or registered anywhere, it’s simply a matter of fact.
      2) I am not sure the children will benefit from you staying together. They usually notice that something is wrong. Particularly if there is tension, it might even be better for the children if you are separated. I know I was happy when one of my parents moved out because then at least the arguments stopped and it was quiet again. Admittedly, I was a bit older than your children are right now.
      3) If the house is in your ownership, you will keep the house, regardless of how long you remain married. However, if the net value of the house increases (whether due to a rise in value or debts being paid off), you may have to pay your wife pat of that increase in value in the case of a divorce. But both your other assets and financial developments play into this as well. There is really no cut-off time after which this kicks in, but obviously you may have to pay more if you stay together longer and if your net value increases over this time.

    • Mirko says:

      Thankyou for that information.

      One thing that I find confusing though is, how can I “kick her out ” when she won’t move out. She wont even recognise that I want to separate. She doesnt work, so I guess that she likes having everything provided for her and wants it to stay that way.

      I am afraid that if I move out then she will damage my house.

    • Ultimately, you would need to get a court order to evict her. She needs to understand that she can’t stay against your will forever (although she can of course make it complicated). You are the owner of the house, she has no lease contract. You could ask her to pay rent, but if she won’t do that either, there is really no other way than to either sell the house or go to court.

  104. lilly says:

    Hi , am a nigeria citizen , married to an Italian guy for 9yrs without any child. He left me 2yrs again for another girl, without caring for me. Pls which country can I divorce him without a signed papers for saparation. The Italian laws, is to wait for 3yrs sign paper separation, before we can finally divorce. Pls help me, I don’t want to wait that long anymore.thanks

  105. Ivonne Ayala says:

    I’m getting married in June. I’m a German citizen with a permanent US resident card and was married to an American in the US on vacation, but still lived in Germany. I’ve been a resident of the US since 91. I got divorced in Jan of 2001. I just tried to get my german passport and found out that I’m still legally married in Germany and I can only get my passport in my current married name. Should I get my passport in that name for now and can I start the proceedings, whatever that entails, afterwards? How much does it cost to get my divorce recognized in Germany?

    • Getting your divorce recognized in Germany is a relatively easy process. You don’t need to go to court, you just file some paperwork and pay a fee which will be based on your income. I will put up instructions on how to do this soon/one day.

  106. depressiv frau says:

    Hi Andreas
    I’ve been married for five years now, my husband is half German half Pakistani but he’s a German national, he recently abused me physically and kicked me out of our house
    I did my A1 language course but didn’t appear for the exam in 2013 because he changed his mind and he wanted us to stay in Pakistan, he didn’t proceed with the paper work, now I ve read a lil about German law and understand why he didn’t wanted us to move to Germany as the law against domestic violence is so strict and strong.. Anyway for the second whole year of our marriage I was working as he was unemployed and he use to pay the house rent,bills and everything with my money…
    Then he forced me to quit my job as he made a small company and registered it in his home country, since then I m a complete house wife and I look after our house and do all the chores.. We don’t have any kids ..last I went for a medical check up was two years back, he didn’t do anything about it as he didn’t wanted himself to be checked or go for the tests nor did he took me to a doctor for my tests or anything, as I’m completely dependent on him financially, he’s very aggressive loud abusive both mentally and physically, this incident of complete torture happened for the 5th time , he always says how sorry he is and stuff, but this time he kicked me out of the house even though the rent agreement is on my name, he has my car, my credit card and everything with him he didn’t let me take anything from my house, a few years back I caught him talking to his x girlfriend so he cheated on me as well, he hasn’t payed a single penny to me for the last three years, he’s a total control freak…. Now I’m here staying with some friends I don’t know what to do, I tried calling the embassy but they wont help me as I’m still a Pakistani national, the local people didn’t put my call through to anybody who’s related to or who deals with such cases they told me to go to the local police, I know my husband’s visa has been expired but he didn’t bother as he says its Pakistan who’s going to bother, he can stay here für as much as he wants.. Plus the embassy guy told me to go the police as its their matter, now i know my husband can bribe anybody from the police
    Plus the police is shit scared of saying Anything to any foreigner here in Pakistan… I cant go to any lawyer as they charge fees and I’m completely empty handed, I just have my marriage certificate(we got married here) and the German attested marriage certificate I found there copies in my email..thats all I have please advice me I’m in a terrible state of mind..

    • depressiv frau says:

      So how do I get a divorce, through a German court??? Will I be able to get any help from the govt,legal and financial???

  107. solomon says:

    I have read all your post and I understand it very clearly, I am married with a germany woman 2 years and 4 months now, we have no kids together, I want to know if I divorce her
    now with it effect my german resident permit? And I want you to be my lawyer send me your contact
    thanks best regards..

  108. Jerald says:

    Hello sir.
    I love in Germany for last 2 years.
    I came to Germany as an asylum seeker, and got my case accepted recently (3 months + as at today ). Have the Aufenthalalubnes with the blue passport.
    My wife and kid lives in Srilanka.
    Due to several issues, I need a divorce.
    I am living in Germany and my wife lived in Srilanka.
    What are the things I have to do. Also tell me how long procedure is that.

    • Jerald says:

      Hello sir.
      Sorry for the spelling mistakes above !!
      I live in Germany for last 2 years.
      I came to Germany as an asylum seeker, and got my case accepted recently (3 months + as at today ). Have the Aufenthalalubnes with the blue passport now.
      My wife and kid lives in Srilanka.
      Due to several issues, like…
      Even the Job center asked me to learn the language (B1 since I have already done my A2+ prior to passport arrival) she wants me me to stay home without going to school. Since her sister’s family have done the financial support to me to arrive in Germany, she wanted me to be a servant without salary to them. And from the morning to night she wants me to hang on the phone with her. As an employee, I have to report each and every movements to her. She treats me like a slave. Due to these situations I need a divorce.
      I am living in Germany and my wife lives in Srilanka.
      Recently I have sent the documents to her in order to submit them in the German Embassy in Srilanka for family reunion since I need my son to live in a peaceful country. But I cannot bear more.. Each and every day we wer fighting over the phone. Even though the sponsor process is getting much time due to the government regulations, she wants to go to the Auslandamt Büro every day and ask about the process.
      Sorry I am really fedupt of this life. Sorry I am taking much of your time.
      I really need a divorce and I would like to live my life in my own, not let some one els live my life!! So now I need a divorce.
      Please advice me on
      What are the things I have to do.
      Also tell me how long procedure is that.
      Since I am not yet working… how much will be the cost of applying and getting this divorce??
      Thanking you in advance.

  109. Kevin james says:

    Hello mr moser
    Please could you help, After finding out my wife is sleeping with my neighbour I have happily agreed to a divorce, at the moment things between us are steady communication wise and most issues already sorted however, we have decided between us that my wife will have the children the majority of the time for the first year and we would gradually in crease this over the year till we end on 50/50. Is there anyway way I could i could produce a document myself that would hold up in court should she later go back on her word

  110. haal says:

    Hello Mr. Moser

    I am a Pak citizen living in Germany for past 5 years. Since 2012 I have a blue card. In late 2013 I got married to a Pak citizen and our marriage was authorized by Deutsche Botschaft in Khi, Pak. With that my wife secured a family reunion visa and joined me in Germany in early 2014. Now I have decided to part with her because of personal reasons however she doesn’t approves the idea and wants to stay with me only. We are both in Pak now and as per law here if I sign the divorce documents that will make us legally separated (though she doesn’t wants). My question is how can I authorize my divorce in Germany? The divorce papers from my country translated in German and submitted in German city office will suffice? I plan to return to Germany soon however her visa is valid till Dec 2015 and I am of concern if she heads back alone to Germany will that get me in some trouble with authorities? Thanks a lot for your advice in the matter.

    • The divorce can only be recognized if it has been granted by a court or some state authority. If this is the case, you don’t need any formal recognition in Germany because you are both Pakistani citizens (sec. 107 I 2 FamFG).
      I should point out that your wife also cannot deny a divorce in Germany. Under German law, the judge orders the divorce, it’s not a contract where both parties need to agree.

      Your wife’s visa depends on yours, so if at all, she will have problems entering Germany without you. You would not face any problems or consequences.

    • haal says:

      Hello Mr. Moser,

      Thanks a lot for the prompt reply. I wish you a lot of success.

    • Thank you, you too! Enjoy your regained freedom. ;)

  111. haal says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,

    Thanks a lot for the prompt reply. I wish you a lot of success.

  112. Mona says:

    I would like to ask, during the mandatory ‘one year separation’ are both sides forced to live alone or they have the right to live with their partners ?
    e.g. if the man lives with his partner , can the woman claims that this ‘one year separation’ is not done yet ? (In the case that just one side wants divorce and the other side would like to postpone it )


  113. Wes says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Me and my exwife and I got married in Las Vegas USA.

    But have always lived together in the netherlands

    We got divorced in the Netherlands.

    How can I get divorced in the USA now?? does my dutch divorce papers take care of everything?

    Thanks for your help! I appreciate it

  114. Marla says:

    Mr. Moser,

    I am a US Citizen in the state of Florida. I married my husband in Germany in 2010 (long story). He is not allowed into the US (long story). We haven’t seen each other in 2 years but we keep communication. We both want a divorce. We have no kids together. He is not working and I am a single mother with limited income. Can I file a self help divorce here in Florida and email him documents and have him sign a waiver or do I need to have documents translated and go through the German court and a German lawyer for notarization etc.. We are looking for the easiest and least financial burden way to go about this. I have spoken to some US attorneys and I know I can do the proceedings in Florida but they want 3k and up and that is way out of my budget. Just some advice would be helpful. Thanks for your time.


    • It sounds like you or him filing in Germany would be much cheaper. If one of you doesn’t have much income or assets, you can even qualify for legal aid.

  115. Mary says:

    Dear Mr Moser,

    I am in the process of trying to get divorced from my husband but he has skipped the country and is now residing back in the UK.

    I’m a German national who met my husband here in Germany as he was stationed here with the UK military, we lived together for a few years then got married. In that time he didn’t want me to carry on with my studies and then also demanded I not work more than a handfull of hours a week. When we finally got married it wasn’t a full year when he decided he no longer wanted to be with me, moved out and approached the registration office to find out if he could get an immediate annulment whereby they informed him no. I then tried to work things out over the next year and decided I needed to be more financially independent so I moved 50km away to start studying. We soon fell out and he then cut me off totally, no communications what so ever so I approached my lawyer who then got in touch with him through the army. I tried to come to an amicable resolution with him but things went very slow with his lawyer. Soon afterward he packed up and moved back to the UK end of 2013.

    Since then he seems to be with another woman in the UK whom he met here in Germany, they seem to have had a child together too. I have tried to contact him but to no avail, he refuses to reply and the recorded address he has left my lawyer is not his residence. I have showed proof to the judge over here of how I have tried to get in contact with him but she wants more evidence.
    I am now at my witts end and very annoyed at him for dragging this out in such a manner and no longer feel I should try to be amicable and should push for full benefits under the German legal system. Hence why I have sought a Tracing and serving agency in the UK to track him down and serve him, I also stumbled upon your blog and would very much appreciate your recommendation on my options.

    Many thanks

  116. Yeye says:

    Hello Im Yeye I have fiancee living in Germany and we I’m here in Thailand, we have long distance relationship and we are planning to get married in Germany but right now he has no job and German government supporting him financially if I may ask if we get married in Germany is theres a possibility that the German government cut the financial suport? Thanks for the reply

    • Jane says:

      I have had 6 German guys wanting me to marry them.

      Why ?

      My advantage – I get an EU passport, so I get the right to work in the EU

      Their Advantage – they get someone to bring in an income, clean the house, give them children, pay the rent, pay their insurance and pay everything else. And it gets worse. To divorce, you have to financially support them in the seperation period, which is up to 3 years if they do not want a divorce. Half of the assets accured during the marriage go to your unemployed partner. And to top it all off, you have to pay for their lawyer and divorce fees – over six thousand euros !

      Think again before you marry an unemployed man. There are better ways to get an EU passport : learn the language, study a degree, integrate, get a job.

    • There are several misrepresentations of the law here.
      1) Getting married to a European does not give you EU citizenship in most countries. It may reduce the rssidence requirement, that’s all. See my FAQ on German citizenship for the details.
      2) Support can be limited after one year of separation.
      3) Divorces rarely cost 6000 € unless you have millions in assets and several children to argue about.

    • jane says:

      when i was researching the costs of divorce for a friend who wanted to separate, i read that the legal fees were 6,000€

      and while he was working, and his wife wasnt, then he would have to pay for her half of the legal fees. He wasnt a millionaire, but he had a house and normal income.

      and if the other party refuses to get a divorce, then they can make it drag out for 3 years

      is this not correct ?

    • No, not correct at all.

  117. Jane says:

    after 6 months of just “living” with a german unemployed bum, the Arbeitsamt started sending letters asking how much I earned, how much I had in the bank etc. And this unemployed guy had big big debts. He had failed to pay his bills for many years, and I started to receive his bills in my name (according to the authorities “because someone has to pay them”). I only found out about the bad unpaid debts later, so dont expect a guy to be debt free and then marry him, because you are effectively marrying his debts as well. These people hide their bad debts, alcohol and drug problems etc.

    It is nice to get an EU passport, but i wouldnt want anyone to be stuck with the long lasting bad effects of marrying an unemployed guy.

  118. Mrs.Kaslina says:

    Hi Mr. Moser,

    Reading through the FAQ there is a lot of valuable information regarding the German law as it applies to divorce proceeding. However the situation I am in or similar has not been posted on your site. If I may present the problem and the question.
    I am an Indonesian citizen and I met a man (German Citizen) while on a trip in Austria and falling quickly in love resulted in a pregnancy. Initially he was positive about the pregnancy and said he wanted the child and would marry me to ensure that the child was not born out of wedlock. Initially he wanted to get me to Germany to marry under the local laws, but as he was short on money it could not work out. My age at this time was 31 years old to his 42 years old. So he came to Indonesia, my family paid all of the wedding costs, his plane ticket cost between two cities in Indonesia, and most of his living expenses while he was here. Just for your information, prior to the marriage all of the required documents by the Indonesian authorities and German authorities were dully legalized and translated as required. The marriage took place in Indonesia and falls under Indonesia law. Our son was born in Bali, Indonesia and was registered under the name of his father.
    While in our family’s house, he snatched my hand phone and read through all of my applications, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Viper and BBM. There were some intimate conversations with a friend from Paris, France and my husband got angry and suggested that I had slept with this man while in Europe and that this baby was not his and that he never wanted to see me or the baby again. I suggested that he does a DNA test in Germany but he refused on the grounds that it was expensive. Consequently he left for Germany and was not heard from for more 6 months. Now he has contacted me to say that he is getting a lawyer to start the divorce proceedings. Before marrying him I was working but since he wanted me to move to Germany I quit my job. Later with the pregnancy and the child birth it has been difficult to get back in the job market. So I have no means of support for me or my son.
    Here are some questions that I would like some insight into :
    1. He has not provided any support during my pregnancy prior to marriage or any support after the marriage . Can I petition the German court for child support.
    2. I am not too keen on getting divorced and letting him run free and unencumbered . What are his obligations if any during the separation time of 1 year or more. We are technically separated now since we live in different countries.
    3.How long would a child support last and if he does not want to support his son, what are the consequences according to German law and how it can be enforced.
    4. If I get a divorce decree in Indonesia requiring him to provide child support, can it be enforced in Germany..
    5. I cannot afford a lawyer (German or Indonesian) since my income is nonexistent (my family is providing my means of support at the moment) so how would I go about applying for legal aid to initiate proceedings in Germany regarding support.

    I appreciate very much your insight into this matter if you would be willing to share your knowledge with me and others.. We have been only married for 8-9 months and I am concerned about the future and status of my baby son. Please let me know what are my options if any.

    From Kaslina

    • That’s a lot of questions. Too many for me to answer for free right now.
      I suggest you send me an e-mail to moser@moser-law.com if you want to receive a full, private consultation, for which I charge 200 EUR.

    • Mrs.Kaslina says:

      Since you actually have not read through my post, I have a problem I need to address.I would like to send you a private email, but payment of 200 Euros is not possible for me. Had you read my posting, you would have noticed that I am unemployed and try to initiate a legal aid request. Thanks anyhow.

    • I have read that part, but I cannot work for free.
      I will be happy to point you to legal aid in Germany, to send you the application form and everything, but I can’t set aside the time for that without payment.

  119. Mrs.Kaslina says:

    One other clarification. After the marriage all of the legal certificates (marriage, birth, etc.) have been duly legalized by the German Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. I have no means to find out if he has registered the marriage in his home town in Halle, which leads to another question. If the marriage is not registered in Germany, on what basis the German Court can grant a divorce ?

    • Marriages don’t need to be registered in Germany for German courts t have jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is based on residence and/or citizenship.

  120. Shan says:

    hi! I came from the Philippines and been married to a german guy since 2013. My problem is now he wants divorce and filed to Ausländerbehorde a getrennt leben notice just last week 10.07.15 I wonder what would happen for my stay when we are not yet 3 years together. I have my visa valid until 2017. Anyway, I still live in the same apartment but he makes sure we had our separate style like not sleeping in bed together. Please help!

    • Your residence permit might get revoked, unless you can base it on something else like, particularly a work or a student visa.

  121. Avtar Singh says:

    hi I got recently divorce from my German partner. I got myGerman citizenship. Now I am planing to marry with in my home country. When I got married in my home country I can sponsor my partner same time or there is any time frame I have to follow. I mean in some counties If a person get divorce from a citizen of that country and he got married in his own country he cannot sponser his partner for a spicfic time limit. Let me know Germany law has this type of condition.

    • There is no time limit, although your application may be regarded with suspicion, depending on whether you also sponsored your last spouse and how long you were married.

  122. KMR says:

    Hello. I am an Italian national employed and residing in Nigeria married to a Filipino national, we were married in the Philippines in 2005. In October 2012, my husband left Nigeria and abandoned me and our 2 children, and therefore have been separated for almost 3 years now, with little contact and no financial support from my estranged husband. As EU nationals, my children and I are planning to reside in Germany by next year. Will I be able to file for divorce once there?

    • It depends where your husband will live at the time. If you (and your children) will be the only EU resident, then the country of your residence (Germany) will have jurisdiction and you can file for divorce.

    • Zaikatz says:

      As far as I’m aware, he is still residing in the Philippines. Since we will be new residents in Germany, will I have to complete a full year of residence there before filing for divorce or can I do this immediately after we’ve registered as residents and settled in?

    • Art. 3 I (a) no. 5 of the Brussels IIa Regulation would require you to reside in Germany for one year.
      But Art. 7 I of said Regulation opens the possibility of using domestic German jurisdictional law in that case because your spouse is neither European, nor does he live in Europe.

      § 98 I no. 4 FamFG opens the possibility of immediate German jurisdiction if the Philippines and Italy will most likely recognize the divorce.

  123. Julian says:


    Does the German courts work according to the Islamic law in case of the partners are Muslim or it’s the same law applied regardless to religion?

    If it’s according to the Islamic law, would it be possible to know how does it work.

    Thank you

    • The applicable law in Germany is based on citizenship, residence and choice of law, not on religion. Also, there is no uniform “Islamic law”, not least because there is no one Islamic lawgiver (unlike in the Catholic Church which has a clear structure and thus has a code of laws). There are different laws in different countries, some of them partially influenced by different religions (and by many other considerations).

    • Julian says:

      Thank you.
      Would it be possible to send you an Email?
      Best regards,

    • Sure: moser@moser-law.com

      I charge 200 EUR for an in-depth consultation.

    • Julian says:

      200 is really much, I would meet a real lawyer her in Germany for maximum 50 Euro man.
      Thank you anyway

    • I am actually quite real.
      And prices sure have gone down since I left Germany in 2009. That must be the oversupply of lawyers.

  124. Mrs.Kaslina says:

    I am an Indonesian female married to a German citizen in Indonesia for about a year. I have a child with him. He resides in Germany and I in Indonesia. Now he has met someone else and is looking for divorce. However he refuses to address the subject of child support . I qualify for legal aid since my income is in Indonesia wages. I would like to petition the court for child support. Can I do that and how would I go about obtaining legal aid in order to petition the court. Thanks for your help.

  125. Will says:

    I am an American citizen who married a German citizen while I was in the military stationed in Germany. We have been separated for 8 years and I have been living in the U.S., and she has been living in Germany. We have children together, but they have always lived with their mother in Germany. We would like to file for divorce and are not contesting anything like child custody. We just want to put the paperwork through and get on with our lives. My question is regarding where I file for divorce. I was considering filing for divorce here in the state of Florida where I reside, then sending her the paperwork, which she has agreed to sign. I was wondering if we would need to file for divorce in Germany, because that is where we were married?

    • You can choose between Florida and Germany. Both states/countries have jurisdiction.

      It sounds like it’s a question of where it is simpler, quicker and cheaper. In my experience, Germany is usually cheaper, but maybe not quite as quick for a no-contest divorce. Of course if you can do it without an attorney in FL, then that would be the cheapest way.

  126. jane ch says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,
    I’m Indonesian and my husband is Dutch. We got married and live together in Germany for about 6-7 years. However we’ve been separated for quite some time (in the same house but separated). How do we go about getting the divorce mentioned above by using our own country’s law. Is that a must?(since i’m thinking it would costs more) And if so, how long would the process takes until it’s all final? And if you would, could you estimate how much money it would cost him and me?

    Truth to be told, I don’t want any money support from him cause I know he’s having money difficulties. There’s not enough money even for legal advice. If i have to stay here until everything is legalized, means i need to have healthinsurance (stopped since 8 september). But i haven’t found any job, i can’t afford insurance money, nothing. I’m still looking for a job though.

    i have in my possesion a daueraufenthaltskarte (familienangehoeriger EU), unbefristet. Is there any risk of me having to leave immediately because of the separation? And since we’ve both agreed to a divorce, there’d be no fighting for money and other possesions. Are there important things that i need to know, like what kind of questions will the lawyer asks us, and is there’s some place we might find ourselves in difficult situation through the divorce process?

    we really want a clean break. haven’t been fighting, and i don’t want any unneeded stress added to this already uncomfortable situation.

    thank you in advance

  127. Hkmat says:

    Dear Sir,
    Am married for a German citizen ( same sex) 2 year ago,
    but things not working well between us & we met just for 2 months during the 2 years, during my vacation.
    We decided to divorce, he called German lawyer to start of our divorce.
    He told me lawyer will send me letter, but he didn’t mention for the reason to contact me, he want me to pay 50% of the lawyer fee about Euro 1500.
    My questions:
    1- Must me pay the 50%?
    2- can he claim any compensation ? and we didn’t live together & all my visit for him, I paid cash for foods & fuels & all expenses?
    3- German laws follow how much I earn in my country & if I have real state?
    4- Am from Arab country & no gays laws, if he threat me can I judge him?
    Looking to hear from you

    • Hello Hkmat,
      1) No, you don’t need to pay 50% of his lawyer. The lawyer can only represent one party, not both, and only the client has an obligation to pay. – However, the court will split the court fees (which are lower than the lawyer fees) at the end of the proceeding and order you to pay 50% of the court fees. However, they will realistically not enforce it in another country.
      2) It sounds like you never had any economic partnership. If you didn’t support your partner during the marriage, he would have a hard time claiming support from you now.
      3) The German court will ask you to provide that information (in order to calculate the court fees), but of course they have no way of finding out if you have revealed everything.
      4) It’s impossible to prevent anyone from making threats or carrying out these threats anonymously, unfortunately. Let’s just hope it won’t get that far.

    • Hkmat says:

      Dear Mr. Andreas,
      Regarding my message for you at 30 September 2015 at 11:56, regarding divorce.
      His lawyer sent me this email.
      1- Can you advise me what to do, as we want to divorce?
      2- Can he Claim any compensation?
      3- Are there any other responsibility?

      His email is :

      ” we represent Mr X , your life partner. Since you also have not continued the civil union, our client wants the legal separation of the civil union. He has already informed you about this.
      We have been instructed to submit a necessary application to the District Court Family Court Heilbronn for the legal separation of the civil union. Because you are involved in the process, the document has to be served to you in your country. The experience has shown that the processing is delayed because of this.
      Please let us know if you agree in principal with the legal separation of the civil union and if you can maybe name someone in Germany, to whom the documents can be served. You could name a so-called authorized person, who then forwards the documents by e-mail so you are informed of the proceedings progress in regard to this case.
      Alternatively, you could name an attorney in Germany, to whom the documents are then served. This will of course cause costs to a greater extend. So the possibility of naming an authorized natural person would be the cheaper alternative.
      Please let us know if you agree in principal with the legal separation of the civil union and if you are willing to name someone in Germany for the service of process.
      We could then provide the appropriate form, which you can fill out, sign and return the original to us.
      We assume that you contact us within the next week. If we don´t hear anything from you, we assume that you agree to the legal separation of the civil partnership but do not want to name any authorized person or lawyer here in Germany.
      Best regards

    • I will be happy to answer, but for follow-up questions, I ask for a small donation. See the “make a donation” button on the top right.

  128. Hkmat says:

    Dear Mr. Andreas
    Thanks you very much for your replied.
    You are very helpful.
    Best Regards

  129. Jutta says:

    Dear Mr. Moser, I am a US Citizen, my husbanad is a german citizen. I live in Texas and he lives in germany. We got marriedin Germany. Do i have to go back to germany if he files for a divorce and what are the procedures.

    • No need to return to Germany. The German court will send the paperwork to you in the US and then you have a chance to respond or to ignore it (the divorce does not require your consent, although it would of course make it easier).

    • Jutta says:

      Hello Mr. Moser, thanks for the reply. What will happen if I dont consent?
      Can I also can file for the divorce In the US?

    • If you don’t consent, the divorce will be granted nonetheless, the court might just wait a bit longer. But if one spouse wants a divorce, the other spouse of course cannot prevent that by refusing consent.

      You can also file for divorce in the US. Unless you have or fear financial claims, it would however make sense to agree with your husband where to file, for otherwise you might both pay a lawyer, translation and court fees and in the end you might have two divorces which won’t be recognized in the respective other country.

  130. Erick Pennington says:

    Dear Sir

    My name is Erick Pennington and I was wondering if you got a divorce in Germany shouldn’t they have sent you a copy of the paper work? I never received anything from the court. I was working in Iraq when this happen I was a civilian contractor there. I was never sent anything on this matter. Everytime I try to contact my exwife about this she doesn’t answer me back.

    • Yes, one the divorce is granted, the court will/should send a copy of the divorce decree to the address that they have of you or to your lawyer or representative.

      But you can always ask for another copy. Do you remember which court it was? If not, it must have been the court in the county where your ex-wife was residing at the time she filed.
      If you have any paperwork from the divorce, it should include the court’s case number (something like 3 F 41/15 with the last number being the year of filing). If you don’t have the case number, just mention your name, your ex-wife’s name, her and your address, the date of your marriage and the approximate time of the divorce process, then the court will send you another copy.

  131. Ben says:

    My Ex and I got married in the USA with a US marriage licence. Returning to Germany where we live, the relevant German paper work was completed with the local authority. Now our divorce is being finalized in Germany, where we both still live, do we need to also inform the US authorities ?

    • There is no need to inform the US authorities. The only exception might be the IRS if you are US citizens and still paying taxes in the US.

  132. Natasha says:

    Asking on behalf of my mother.
    ‘I got to know my now husband in 2006. I lived in Australia and he is German. At the end of 2006, we made the decision that we wanted to live together and since he has his own business in Germany, owns his home here, etc., it was simpler for me to leave Australia and move here. I had a son aged 21, who stayed in Australia and a daughter 15, who came with me. I left my work and security there and came here ‘on a promise’, so to speak. Anyway, in 2008 we married and although we had our ups and downs, we have stayed together. In 2010, my mother passed away and I received €50,000 from her which went into our account. Unfortunately my son also passed away in 2011 and I received €100,000 following his death. It was also put into our account. My husband has his own businesss (which is not going too well at the moment, but his parents were well off and although his mother still lives, he has power of attorney over her finances. My question is …. all I want is my €150,000 and to go back to Australia, but he has said that it’s not that simple and not to think that I can just demand that and that’s it. He can make life very difficult for me, as he has definitely more resources than me and I want to know, if a Court in Germany would uphold my right to my €150,000 or not. I am nearly 60 and would have to start all over again in Australia, finding work, etc. and I would definitely need these funds. If you coud please advise me over my rights in this situation I would be more than grateful. Thank you.

    • That is a rather complicated issue. I would need to look into all the transactions, any possible contracts and agreements and learn more about the business. We would need to schedule a telephonic appointment and then I’d have to go through the paperwork.
      I would charge 500 € for such a consultation.

  133. Dripsi says:

    Im married o a german wife and we are now in the separation period since 2 months.
    I have a perminant residency and we are married since 3 years and lived togethrr in germany for 2yrs and 5 months.
    I finished my german language courses and the orientierung course. I am working now as full time job.
    What will happen later to my residency. It will end in the next 5 months.
    Thank you

    • I will be happy to answer this question once I receive a donation (see “Make a Donation” button in the top right corner).

  134. Sabeen says:

    First I dont want divorce but my husband brought me at a stage where he keep calling me abnormal and such words are killing me, its been 4 and a half year. I was Pakistani but married with German and then I have got my nationality. It was purely a a trustful marriage for me . he is 16 years older than me. I respected the way he purposed. I was twice married before but both time I have betrayed thought it was very short time of marriages. I was not living with the person with my first husband and later with my 2nd husband i was with him four months after four he left me when I asked about his EX relation which I was broken , the society from where I belong was quite different , in the mean while relation finished then my third husband who got to know through his colleagues about my story and he purposed me and tried to bring me in life. I have lost trust but he kept trying and finally due to some reason of my family I married. We married. Left my country , my carrier took all my savings and invested there in home.without having any bad intentions. He started go abroad for his work, and I stay at home alone. My feelings, my desires, my wishes started dying. whenever I tried to come close he pushed me back and etc etc. well. I accepted. Then his behavior made me feel something is wrong I knew it was unethical to check handy but I did, and found he is missing some other woman and he called me abnormal. i just tried, and meanwhile he posted four or five places and wherever he went he got someone. and when I asked , we had fight . I tried t commit suicide but failed and stayed three week in hospital. I realized no matter what I am black feet. Noone was wit me.
    now am in Pakistan and found again another woman who is at his age, I tried hard to talk with hi, but he never let me do this. I dont belong to rich family but when I was working here I had a good life. He blame me for everything. I have all evidence but I know court doesnt need it when couple wants to be separated. No suggest me what to do. am empty handed. what are my rights , what I can claim, without money no bread. please guide me. He doesnt want me to come back. and I have no money to pay a lawyer. I have no home. Again I never wanted this but…..

  135. sam says:

    i am married with a german girl for about one year now. things started to change a lot and i dont see good future for both of us to stay together. i have got the permit to stay in germany for three years. if i divorce do i have to go back to my country ? i will be starting my university from march what about that ? do i have to leave my uni in between

    • You would need to change to a student visa as soon as you separate (not divorce), which means you will have to show that you have the required financial means.
      If you do this now, it won’t interrupt your studies.

  136. sam says:

    thankyou only few questions ..
    1. what if i dont study and work i have to leave germany after my visa is finished or is there any way to longer it …
    2 what type of visa i get if im still married till my visa period is over

    • I will be happy to answer these follow-up questions once I receive a donation. See the “Make a Donation” button on the top right of this page. Thank you!

  137. Ayesha Yasmeen says:

    Hello Andreas Moser,
    I am Ayesha Yasmeen the resident of Pakistan. 9 Months ago i married with my cousin in Pakistan who is also from Pakistan but he have German citizenship. Now he want divorce from me. i dont know what are the reasons behind this. i want to know, after divorce what happened with me? i don’t want to go back to my home country. is it possible after divorce my husband have any right to force me to go back my home country. should i secure a job for longer stay or another way to protect my stay. my marriage visa valid for 3 year, i want to know, my husband have any right to cancel my 3 year visa.
    Please suggest me the best possible option for my longer stay here in Germany.
    thanks you

    • I will be happy to answer this question after I receive a small donation through the Paypal button on the top right of this page. Thank you!

    • Ayesha Yasmeen says:

      I definitely contribute but i have no Paypal.

    • You can also use credit cards, I believe. Just click on the link and try.
      If that doesn’t work, you can mail me one of the books from my wishlist.

  138. Nadia says:

    Hi,If ur husband who is German National married with an Indian girl in India send a divorce paper signed after 6_7 month,how will u determine the legitimity of divorce paper.

  139. Vicky says:

    Hi,good evening,my name is Victoria iam a nigerian I lived in germany since 2years and 5 months with my husband and my two years old son, we both got married in nigeria since 2013 we are both asylum seekers, we are now having problems he normally beat me up,because of his attitude I have called a police for about 4 times, and we are living in the same but we don’t do things together since one year, so am now three months pregnant for my boyfriend ,so when he found out that am pregnant for another guy he left the house, he told me that he has already divorced me back in nigeria that I will soon receive the letter from nigeria, but I haven’t received any letter yet, I want the government to know my unborn baby as my my boyfriend child , now my questions is should I wait for the divorce from nigeria or I should fill for divorce here in germany, ok even if I got the divorce letter from nigeria will it be recognised in germany and how long will it takes .thank you so much

    • Getting the Nigerian divorce (if there even is one) recognized would be tricky if none of you lived there at the time of the divorce. Also, you obviously weren’t involved in the process.

      You can file for divorce in Germany instead.

      Your boyfriend can recognize your baby irrespective of the status of the divorce.

  140. Mary says:

    Hi Mr. Moser,

    My boyfriend has separated with his wife for one year, and both of them are German.

    The first time they separated was in May 2014 coz she had an affair with an American and they were back together from August to December 2014. However it didn’t work out coz she still had contact with that guy. The second separation started from January 2015. But the thing is my boyfriend had filed divorce by a lawyer after the first time they separated.

    Since their second separation, his wife has never replied and they have no contact at all. Recently we found that his wife had pregnant and may have gave birth to a baby in August 2015. But we don’t know who exactly is the father of the baby. The lawyer had written a letter to her but still no response. Actually we don’t know where she is.

    I’d like to know in this case if she doesn’t reply at all, will they still be possible to divorce? How long it may take and how about the baby things?

    Thank you very much.

    • Because your boyfriend has a lawyer already, I can’t see why I should answer your questions for free. Once you make use of the donation option on the top right of this page, I’ll be happy to help.

  141. Taimoor says:

    i need one true girl for marriage i am well qualified and i am in search of one british girl please any one help me and see my body and face this is my whatsapp number +923436511775 please if any girl want any true and hardworker boy so i am waiting se

  142. 'Crimson Himel says:

    Dear Mr. Moser,

    First I really appreciate what you are doing here!
    I was reading the FAQs and read almost all cases, but couldn’t find my situation common to anyone. Would you be kind enough to reply me?

    I live in Germany and have the permanent residence. Couple of years ago I got married in my home country India. After the marriage I was trying to bring her here and sent her all the documents she needed to apply for visa. Meanwhile she involved with a boy and continuing with him. I came to know that and decided to have a divorce.

    So in short my situation is :
    – We married in India.
    – She was never in Germany so our marriage is not registered here.
    – My passport has information about my spouse.

    I don’t want to file a divorce in Germany as it is complicated here, rather want my divorce process done in India and submit the documents to Rathaus or any other responsible office.

    Now the question is what are those documents (with what authentication proofs?) I need to submit eventually?
    Does this has anything to do with Indian embassy in Germany?

    Best regards,

    • Hello Himel,

      no, this does not involve the Indian embassy. You would need to file for recognition of your Indian divorce with the German courts. However, this is only an administrative proceeding and does not involve a trial, nor do you need a lawyer for it.

      I have long wanted to put up a list of FAQ about the recognition of foreign divorces in Germany and I will do so as soon as I receive a donation to my Paypal account or a book from my wishlist. Thank you!

  143. SANA RAZA KHAN says:


    • anna says:

      File for divorce in Pakistan. It is unfortunate that so many of these “men” are “escaping” to Germany. The German women also do not want them.

    • Well, if he was cheating with another woman, then at least one woman did want him.

    • Cheating is no reason for an annulment, so you would need to file for a normal divorce.

  144. Thomas Bühler says:

    Ok ..I was married in the states (texas) we separated in 2007 . I moved to Germany (2013) and I am german born. My ex hasn’t been very helpful in getting a divorce in Texas so I want to divorce here ,can my ex sign a waiver of service, like in Texas? Or will she have to be served papers?

    • The German court will serve your wife with the divorce paperwork. Without the respondent receiving your petition of divorce, the court cannot grant a divorce (due process). But if she refuses to cooperate, the court will still go ahead and grant your divorce, because your wife’s stubbornness/laziness/complacency cannot keep you married forever, of course.

  145. Barbara says:

    My husband and I built a house here in Germany. But due to something that happened on Christmas, I’ve made the decision to leave and go back home to America. He made a comment, that if I leave, he’ll sue me for half of the house (roughly 125.000€). Can he do that? I see it as a scare tactic to keep me here in Germany, but my sons safety comes first. Or is this a question better answered by a lawyer?

    • Well, I AM a lawyer.

      First of all, because you mention your son: If he is your joint son, you cannot remove him from Germany without your husband’s permission or a German court order. Doing so would constitute an international child abduction.

      Regarding the comment about the house, I don’t really understand your husband’s comment. Why would he sue for the value of half the house if you leave and he has it to himself? Or do you still have an open mortgage? Well, then this will be sorted out together with all other financial matters. Everything depends on the ownership, the mortgage, any other contractual relationship between you, who will use the house, can it be sold, and so on. I would need to look at all the details to give good advice.

      I offer a telephonic consultation for 200 EUR and of course it would cover everything else, including child custody, child support, divorce and so on.

    • annaweiss905@gmail.com says:

      What happened that has caused you to fear for the safety of yourself and your son ?

      Were you married in America or Germany ? I am gathering America.

      I gather that you are American. Is your husband German ?

      And how old is your son ?

      Maybe if your husband is American then you can take your son back to America ?

      (Mr Moser ?)

    • No, Anna, you are dead wrong about this. Citizenship plays no role in international child abduction cases. If the habitual residence is in Germany, then removing the child from German jurisdiction without the other parent’s consent or a court order is a child abduction and a crime.

    • interesting, Andreas Moser definately knows what he is talking about !

      and is excellent value !

  146. Thomas says:

    I was married in Texas in 1984. My wife and I separated in 2007. We have one child over the age of 18. I moved to Germany in 2013, german born and also a german citizen. I want to divorce her. Can I do that here and how expensive is it? I don’t think she will contest it. How long does it usually take? She has property in her name that we purchased while we were married. I am not looking to take anything from her, unless she gives me trouble with the divorce.

    • annaweiss905@gmail.com says:

      In Germany is an obligatory separation year. You have to have been living seperate lives for at least a year, that means not sleeping together or eating together, not attending functions together etc (not even once or the clock starts back again). I guess that if you have been living in different countries then that counts !

    • Anna, that’s not true.
      – Just because a divorce trial is held in Germany does not mean the German court will apply German divorce law. Foreign divorce law may be applied.
      – Courts have even ruled (in a case that I won for a client of mine) that occasional sex does not interrupt the year of separation. Going out together and stuff of course does not interrupt the separation year (how else would parents be able to attend school meetings and such events?).
      – In reality, if both spouses say that they have been separated for one year, nobody checks. It’s very easy to get the divorce before an actual separation of one year. But I already explained that in no. 4 of the FAQ above.

    • interesting !

      shows that it is worth contacting you as you obviously do a good job (you know what you are talking about and you dont mess around).

      If someone wanted to have you as their lawyer, would you need to personally attend the court with the client ? Or can everything be done without this requirement. I ask this because Germany is large and it wouldnt be possible for you to attend court cases in every location, but you would be the best lawyer to have, and your prices are not even high!

    • I don’t represent anyone in court in Germany for the time being because I live in South America.

    • Yes, you can file for divorce in Germany because you are resident there. (The place of marriage has no relevance on this.)

      It will usually take around 6 months, and if your wife cooperates by appointing someone who accepts service of the paperwork for her in Germany, she can speed up the process.

      The lawyer and the court will calculate the fees based on both your incomes. If you have no or little income, you may qualify for legal aid.

  147. John says:

    Hello and thank you ahead for your time.
    I am an American man who is divorcing his German wife. We have agreed on a severance pay settlement however there is a clause in the papers wanting me to waive the right that she can come to America and sue me if she decides she wants to at a later date. Is this even possible?

    Thank you

    • – You cannot exclude anyone from coming to America because you are not the immigration authorities.
      – You cannot exclude anyone from suing anyone for anything. Anyone can go any court and file a lawsuit, as frivolous as it may be.
      – But, if the clause will be worded correctly and if the whole contract is fair, it will ensure that such a lawsuit against you won’t be successful. If the court will see that the contract was negotiated fairly and its contents are fair and adequate, it will usually refuse to re-open the case.

    • John says:

      I appreciate your speedy reply; makes sense…..clause or no clause, she can sue me again. Have a good weekend.

  148. salim says:

    i am in Germany at the Moment and we are a gay. we would like to get married and i went to the Immigration department and was told to Exit first the Country then apply for marriage visa. my question is i come from kenya a Country where same sex is illegal. my question is will the embassy accept my applicatin for marriage visa?

    • annaweiss905@gmail.com says:

      same sex marriage is also legal in (i think most parts) of france. So it might be an easier option to apply to get married in France. Visa requirements are most likely the same there, but you are already outside of France :). PS Congratulations!

    • Anna,
      it would be nice if non-lawyers were to refrain from giving false advice on legal matters. The internet is full of such useless crap. My blog is the exception to the rest of the internet and I want to keep it that way.

    • Of course. The German embassy is not bound by Kenyan laws.

      But you don’t necessarily need to leave Germany. If you have enough time, you can register for a marriage or you can of course get married in any other EU member state. If you have a Schengen visa, you can go to any Schengen country without applying for another visa, of course.

      All the best!

  149. salim says:

    thank you for yor reply. i was given a visiting visa for 60 days. my visa expires on february 20th. if i get married in sweden incase… or denmark will i have rights to extend my visa? or what happens.. do i have enough time i only have 20 days. Feeling confused.

    • It’s worth a try. It depends on the schedule of the municipality how soon you can get married.

      Once you’ll be married, we’ll worry about your residence permit. But let’s not talk about hypotheticals now. (Because I am a lunch and don’t have much time. :-)

  150. Peter says:


    I am Chilean citizen by birth and currently reside in my home country Chile. I married a German citizen 6 years ago in Denmark. Furthermore we legaialized it to a German marraige. We lived together in Germany for 3 years after our marraige. I got a tempoary resident permit which is now long expired. We have been seperted now for 3 years with no cantact. I am wanting to get a divorce and am unsure my first and next steps to this. I am wanting to do this independantly as i no longer have any contact with my ‘wife’. I am not planning on returning to Germany and have been out of the country since our seperation.

    Please advise me,
    Regards P.

    • Hello Peter,,
      you have two options:
      1) File for divorce in Chile, have your wife served with the paperwork so that she can respond. If necessary, you can then get this divorce recognized in Germany, but if you are not planning to live there, that wouldn’t really be important.
      2) Hire a lawyer in Germany who will file the divorce in Germany on your behalf. This will probably be quicker because you avoid the issue of international service, which tends to take up a few months. You don’t need to come to Germany in person for the divorce hearing.

  151. Kelly says:

    hi, i am married to a german 10 years ago. We have been seperate for the past 5 years. I want to go to newzealand with my new girlfriend on a -relationship visa-. I was wondering if my marraige will influence the decision of the visa. I am a south american citizen and the marraige is not recognised in my country. Will the german marraige be able to be traced in any way with the visa apllication…. hope you can help.

  152. Charlotte says:

    I am a US citizen with a German resident permit who has live in Germany for 30 year and I married a German citizen in the US 15 years ago while visiting the United States. I want a divorce. We are currently living in Germany. What procedures must I follow in order to obtain at divorce. I left Germany 8 months ago and I am now living in the United States.

    • You can choose to file in Germany or the US. My recommendation on that issue would depend on the expected arguments, disagreements and complexity of the divorce and location of assets that you would argue about.
      If it’s a simple, no-contest divorce, you may simply want to choose the cheaper option.
      If you want to file in Germany, you simply hire a lawyer and they will file for you. It’s faster this way because you don’t need any international service of paperwork.

  153. C.Schmidt says:

    I need some advise. I am married to a German man, I am foreign(Eu national).

    We have a three and a half year old son together.

    we are only married for 1.5 years but I want a divorce from him (evt.) due to many issues within our relationship.(some particularly bad for me).

    During the first two years of my sons life I did not work and therefore earned no money. I stayed and home plus I was studying (Masters). We were not married at this time (living together/relationship together) but always had separate accounts. Since he was earning the money everything went in to his bank account.

    Then I got a job. Since then we have got married. I have paid for all the expensive things (wedding, holidays ect) which in turn left me with 10% of our “savings” left in my account until now. He wanted it like that since he was paying the “bills”.

    In his account he has now 90% of the money.

    Life at home is unbearable so I have decided to move out but he is not agreeing to split our money.

    What do I do? Am I not entitled to any of this?

    I need help because he is keeping all the money for himself and leaving me with barely nothing.

    • I would be happy to help, but unfortunately I charge 200 EUR for a personal consultation. And I would need to get a detailed overview of both your finances.

  154. Prt says:

    Hello Dear Moser,
    I am a Russian citizan and my husband from Iraq. But we have residence permit in Germany. I have 2 babies, Girl 4 years and son 1.5 years. But last 2 year he is intolerable. Now i want divorce from him. I dont have any job now. But my question is Can i keep my children with me after divorce???

  155. jk says:

    Hello Mr. Moser,

    I am an Indian national who moved to Germany with my husband (Indian national), who is working with a blue card in Germany. I have been staying here for around 18 months; not working as I am taking care of our two little children. Our marriage has gone worse, and my husband keeps on threatening me to divorce me and force me to return to India. Marriage happened in 2009 in India. Here are my questions:

    1. Do I need to immediately leave the country after he files for divorce or intimate immigration that he wishes to separate?
    2. Is it possible to get some time to find a job here as kids are in school here and I would like to stay here and work if I get divorce. I used to be Engineering professional back in India.
    3. What are my rights for alimony and visa status?
    4. Can he unilaterally kick us out of Germany just by 1. filing for divorce 2. initimating immiration about his intent for separation.
    5. As of now, I dont have any income; will I get access to free legal aid??

    Your guidance on this will be really helpful

    • I will gladly answer all of these questions as soon as I receive a donation of at least 50$ to my Paypal account (see button on top right of this page). Thank you very much!

    • I received your text messages on my phone, but won’t reply there (I find it tedious to type on a phone).
      – No, I won’t speak on the phone before receiving the payment.
      – And a telephonic consultation costs 300 EUR. The 50 EUR are for answering the question on my blog.

    • jk says:

      ok. Got it. Thanks

    • jk says:

      Hey Andreas, I paid to your paypal account and sent you an email for the same. Can you please reply to that. …..Thanks

    • Sure. As soon as I find the time. No stress please!

  156. Theresa says:

    Hi I just want to ask if there is a particular article under Germany law, stated that when you are already divorced you can already Married again to another man / woman?

    • That’s not too hard of a question, so a donation of around 20 $ will be enough to get this question answered. Thank you very much in advance!

  157. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, I just registered marriage with my bf in Germany last week.
    I have one question, after marriage registration within how many days or period could cancel the registration without get divorce record ?

  158. J. says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I’m planning to marry my German boyfriend and he would like me to sign a prenup that waive the pension equalization, spouse maintenance and (time) added value for properties in case of divorce. He has a child from a previous marriage forwhich he pays child support. We are planning to have kids as well. Our income is almost similar although he has more expenses and we live in his house for which I contribute (house expenses, food etc). My contribution to pension in Germany is very small as I’m living here only for few years. What frustrates me is that in case of divorce we need to equalize the accrued gains while he invests in his kid education and his family properties. Do you have any advice, please?

    Thank you.

    • 1) Regarding the pension, only the contributions made during the marriage would be subject to a court order in case of a divorce. So it’s irrelevant how long you have worked in Germany until now.
      2) You can of course rule out the equalization of accrued gains, so that each of you will keep what is theirs in case of a divorce. I usually think this is a good idea because otherwise the spouse who will save more will be penalized.

  159. J. says:

    Thank you very much Andreas for your prompt answer.

    This is very helpful. I would reconsider then signing the contract. I’m scared that if I lose my job I won’t have any support and that’s tough as this is not my country and I’ve chosen to stay here because of him. Moreover it will be difficult to find a job that offers me similar benefits so I may need to leave the country.

    Thank you.

    • In order to address your and your partner’s concerns you could for example time-limit the support that he would need to provide in case of your job loss. Of course you should also consider the situation of him losing his job.

      The other issue to consider is whether your country will recognize the prenuptial agreement or if Germany would recognize that country’s jurisdiction if you were to return there in case of a separation.

      You are relatively free in what to include in a prenup and it’s better to work based on both your ideas and concerns instead of using the standard forms on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

  160. May says:

    Subject: Divorce, Pension Equalization
    Hi Andreas, I worked years for my husband but he did not want to pay the contribution for me because my salary was very little. Does it mean I get no pension equalization?

    • That’s exactly the reason for the pension equalization, to protect the spouse with the lower or with no pension. You will receive part of your husband’s pension for the years of the marriage.

    • May says:

      Thanks for your quick reply. Is it important for me to keep my permanent residence permit in order to get the pension equalization?

    • Follow-up questions are a good point in time to make a donation. There is a PayPal button on the top right of this page. I will gladly answer your question after receiving a donation. Thank you!

  161. Dana says:

    Hi Andreas,
    Me and my husband are both from India. We are living in Germany from past 12 years, and now me and my both the kids have a German Citizenship. My husband has a permanent residency visa. We both work, but my salary is comparitively very less compared to his. We also have a house which is on both our names, but he pays the loan.
    We are not living seperately, but the marriage is not going well. I want to get a divorce, he doesnt know about it yet, and I am not sure if he co-operates.
    I am not sure how it works in this situation. I want to get the child custody too(kids aged 2 and 7).
    Any advise would be very helpful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Andreas,
      Can you please answer my question too.

  162. Lynne wicks says:

    I was married in England but live in germany my husband admitted an affair and he walked out to be with her I’ve been told that if he gets in a lot of debt while the divorce is going through I am liable for it is This true ?

    • No, you will never be liable for your husband’s debt.

      But if you will divorce under the statutory German property regime of “Zugewinngemeinschaft”, then his debts will reduce the net value of his assets, meaning that you might receive less than you otherwise would have. But I would need to know more details about both your financial situation to answer that.

  163. Torrey says:

    Hi! I am an American married to a German. My husband would like to get our children German passports. I am afraid that it would hinder me if we were to get a divorce. We currently live in Russia but he would like to go back to Germany. Is the German law 50/50 o divorce? I’m thinking of filing in The state I was married. If not he will make it hard in Germany for me. I don’t know about international laws and would appreciate the help.

    • 1) Your children are already German because they were born to a German parent. This is an automatic consequence and does not depend on the parents’ will.
      2) Passport are merely documents that reflect that reality.
      3) I don’t see any connection between a passport and a divorce. The jurisdiction for a divorce depends on where you live and on both your (not your children’s) citizenship. The state of marriage usually does not hold jurisdiction unless you have other ties to that state.
      4) One cannot say anything general about divorce laws between the US and Germany, except that they are pretty similar. I would need to know far more details about your financial situation, your future plans, where you both are likely going to live, where the children want to live and so on, but it seems like jurisdiction would be the first big hurdle. The easiest would be to get a divorce in Russia while you both live there.

  164. Margaret says:

    Hi, I have unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis. Must I leave Germany if I divorce?

    • It depends on your citizenship, your financial situation, how long you have been living in Germany, how long you have been married.

  165. D.A. says:

    Been married to a German woman for 20 years, have a 18 year old son with a dual citizenship and she wants a divorce and she will file it. I have done nothing wrong, she is going through a mid-life crisis or grass is greener on the other side phase. What are the possibilities that can happen to me? I am a U.S. Government employee working in Germany and Air Force Retiree. I do not have much of a portfolio What should or can I do?

    • First of all, German law (whether that applies depends on where you live) mandates a one-year separation period before a divorce can be filed or at least granted. So your wife cannot do so right away. Having said that, ultimately there is of course nothing to prevent a divorce if one spouse wants one.

      Because of the duration of your marriage, there might be issues concerning maintenance (if your incomes vary greatly; although this is the only aspect where fault-based factors could play a role), of property distribution and of retirement benefits. A German court could however not directly appropriate your US government retirement benefits, so your wife would need to go to a US court for that. In my experience, if the divorce is initially filed in Germany, that almost never happens because it’s a complicated and costly procedure.

      Because your son is 18, there is no legal issue with custody and visitation law. He is an adult and he can (legally) make the decision with whom to stay. However, depending on whether your son is still in school or already working, he may have a claim to child support against the parent with whom he doesn’t live.

      For proper tactical advice, I would need to know more details about all your personal and financial circumstances, your plans for the future, your respective relationships with your son, and so on. Please feel free to e-mail me at moser@moser-law.com for a private consultation. I do charge 400 EUR for that, but it will include a Skype consultation for normally several hours.

  166. T.K says:

    Hello Dear Moser,
    I need a help regarding the divorce procedure in Germany. I live in Germany with my wife since last one year and our marriage happened in 2014. We don’t have any kid as of now.She is on dependent visa and doesn’t hold any job here. Since last few months our relationship is not going well and I want to move ahead with divorce. Can you please let me know how much time the process would take and if I have to provide spousal support after the divorce?

    • The question regarding the time and the separation requirement are answered in the FAQ above.

      The spousal support depends on both your incomes, your financial situation, your ability to find work and so on. You can contact me at moser@moser-law.com with the details. I charge 150 EUR for an e-mail consultation.

  167. Bruno says:

    How many month I need to get divorced in Germany if that is possible to answer

  168. David says:

    Hello Andreas,
    I married October 2013 to a German national and got a 3 year Aufenthaltserlaubnis.
    We separated October 2015 and he now wants to get a divorce. This October will mark the end of my 3 year Aufenthaltserlaubnis AND a one year of separation period between us.
    I would like to know if I will be issues another Aufenthaltserlaubnis for the period of our divorce?
    I am self-employed and earning from funds that are coming from outside Germany, I am not paying taxes in Germany and as of yet do not speak fluent Deutsch. I have invested in making a life here and would like to continue living here, do I have a chance? Would really appreciate some guidance Andreas.

    • Your current Aufenthaltserlaubnis became invalid with the separation.
      Unless you can keep the separation secret from the Ausländeramt, it will not be renewed. But of course you can apply for a different type of residence permit (work, business, student).

    • David says:

      Thank you Andreas, I appreciate your comment and guidance and would be happy to have a paid consultation with you should my future predicament require such. Kind regards and best wishes.

    • Thanks a lot!
      Of course everything would depend on your personal circumstances, but usually it’s easiest to get a student visa. As German universities don’t charge tuition fees, that is also often the cheapest possibility.

  169. David says:

    Great tip Andreas. Will consider it as a good option. And thank you again for putting this site together with all your info and insights. It can be very challenging to get the straight facts!

  170. E.kisitu says:

    Thank you. Am a Ugandan, 3 weeks back i came to Germany to join my wife who is a Croat. We got married in Uganda 2012. I haven’t applied for my residence card and not working yet but my wife is not cooperating and really treating me badly. Can i divorce her, where and how?

  171. E.k says:

    Am a Ugandan and still on a 3 months D-visa in Germany and haven’t applied for a residence card but my wife is not willing to show me the immigration office where i can go to apply for a residence card due to some misunderstandings and instead she is telling me to go back to Uganda but i don’t have money because am not working here and i would like to stay in Germany on my own. What can i do?

    • Your options for an independent visa depend on your qualifications and the level of your German. Please feel free to e-mail me with your detailed information. I charge 150 EUR for an e-mail consultation.

  172. Anonymous says:

    I’m usa citizen marring a german citizen
    How long I have to be marry in order to get his social security bebefits?

    • How old are you both? What will you be working during the marriage? Will you be paying into the German Rentenversicherung or into Social Security? How long do you plan to stay married?

      With that information I could answer your question once I receive a donation of at least 50 EUR.

  173. Anonymous says:

    Hi Moser,is a non-EU national be able to separate from her wife and live on a different address in Germany while still waiting for his residence card?

    • It depends on how long you have been married, what your citizenship is, what type of residence permit you applied, what both your financial and professional situation is.
      With that information and after receiving a donation of at least 50 EUR, I can answer your question.

  174. Anonymous says:

    Mr.Moser,wish i can even pay u more than 50€ but i haven’t got a visa card here. I applied for a long term residence card,been in marriage for more that 4yrs, she has been in Germany for a year, am have been in Germany for 2 months and am a Ugandan. Job-seeker

  175. Shaida says:

    Hello, I came to Germany with a spouse visa and currently I am studying. Is it possible to stay in Germany until my study is completed if I get divorced?

    • It depends on how long you already held the spouse visa and if you would meet the requirements for a student visa (there is a requirement for a financial deposit).

    • Shaida says:

      I am in Germany from September 2014 and I have a residence permit until February 2017.my study will be completed in September 2017. At present I have full work permit as a spouse. but I do not have enough money in bank. Is it not possible to work and study for this short time?

    • Shaida says:

      Please kindly answer.

    • Please kindly make donation of at least 50 EUR before I answer. Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:


  176. Frances von bonin says:

    Is it difficult in a divorce context for the wife to get full custody of the two small children. The father , although he is usually employed, suffers from violent outbursts of temper, and has a tendency to endanger the children…when they observe their father rampaging, and when he contributes to their eg. Falling from a swing, falling from a sliding board, falling into a small pond (at child age of 2 years), and the most recent thing, the one-and-three- quarter-year-old child falls off the fathers shoulders onto his back–an almost 2 Meter fall due to the height of the father.

    • Custody is the right to make legal decisions for the children. I wouldn’t see a connection between falling children and the ability to decide which school the children go to or where they live.
      Custody has nothing to do with visitation and contact.

  177. Lena says:

    Am a maltese I married an nigerian man and I have a child with him.I have the custody of our child.Since August 2015 am separated from him and within that time I have a child from another man and we want to get married. My question is will i win the divorce case if man husband dont want to divorce.

  178. Krystal says:

    I am a US citizen that was previously stationed in Germany. I married a German citizen and we returned to the US. Long story short things didn’t work out due to infedelity on her part and she returned to Germany in 2013. We were together a year and a half prior to separation. How would I go about getting a divorce? Which one of us should file for a faster proceeding?

    • You can choose between filing in the US and in Germany, as could your wife.
      It’s usually faster if A files in the country of B because then you don’t need any international service.
      I don’t know if you or she can file without a lawyer in your state. In Germany only the filing party needs a lawyer, but German lawyers are usually more affordable than American lawyers.

  179. Married but Single says:

    Hello, I am Filipino, married in Philippines. Philippines has no Divorce Law. We are already separated for 2 years before I work in Germany. I am still married on my Familienstand and I want to get a divorce here in Germany. Is it possible to file a divorce without my ex-Spouse? We do not contacted each other for more than 2 years.

    • A divorce in Germany works like a lawsuit. You can file without your spouse, but he/she needs to be notified and will be treated like the defendant in a lawsuit. You cannot obtain a divorce judgment without his/her knowledge, but you don’t need his/her consent.

  180. Jonah says:

    My question is this, I married my wife, since last year June in Poland.After my residence card, we both travels to Germany, where we are living and working. Before I had a woman whom I was dating, when I concluded to marry my present wife, I boot out the other a year before I married. Just recently,my wife hacked on my laptop and got messages I had sent to the woman,and the woman in return, supporting my wife to file for divorce, so I could be deported to my country.I begged her, tell her these was before, since I married you, I have not slept with any other woman, all fell on another ears, she wants me deported,is that possible, after all, iam working. Tell me what I should do in this case, if my wife goes ahead to terminate our marriage, will I loose my residence, which was just issued to be less than a month now.Or should I consult a lawyer? ,Please I need your help and advice.

    • Well, you ARE consulting a lawyer. But like all other lawyers, I would appreciate some payment before I answer your questions.
      And then I would need to know your citizenship, the citizenship of your wife, what kind of visa you had before your financial situation, your qualifications, everything else. It’s probably easiest to contact me at moser@moser-law.com with all the details. I charge 200 EUR for a consultation by e-mail or 400 EUR for one by phone/Skype.

    • Xy says:

      My husband and me both are Indian. I am living separately for more than one year now. I have one son . He is with me since I left my husband.I am not getting any financial help from him. Though I don’t want any help from him. I want my son’s custody and divorce peacefully. He is not one of those who will give divorce easily. He always trouble me. I changed the city now. . Please let me know how can I get divorce in Germany without letting him know about my place of residence.

    • Use a friend’s address. Or your lawyer’s.

  181. Florence says:

    Hallo,am getting married to a Germany national but am an African from Africa.He had his divorce in 2010.Early this year we planned on getting married and here in my country my documents necessary for marriage were verified and successful.In his country he was asked to present his documents too ti the Registry office in his town,when he presented his divorce papers,he was asked for a divorce decree.His ex wife was from Russia,he was not aware about a divorce decree.He called his lawyer and they ordered for the divorce decree from the Russian cour, that was early March but up to now he has not gotten any response from the Russian court.Am worried,how long does this take,and is it possible the Germany court can instead issue him the divorce decree?

    • He can only file for divorce in Germany if he hasn’t been divorced yet.
      It sounds to me like your boyfriend isn’t sure if he actually got a divorce, which I find surprising. I mean, how many divorces does one go through in life?

  182. leamia says:

    I really want some advice, I am a filipina who was married in germany to a german guy and after 10 years our relationship getting worst . So i filed a divorce in germany and it was granted.
    Now his in philippines, and im in germany starting a new life. Can he marry in philippines?

  183. Anonymous says:

    Respectful Mr. Moser,

    My friend and her husband are non-EU citizens, and he works in Germany (legally). They have a child and she was granted alimony by the local court. However, given that he workout outside of the country, they cannot force him to pay the alimony. She is struggling and that money would go a long way. Is there any way she can force him to pay under German law? (of course depending if he has residence in Germany) Could you advise whom she can contact in terms of German institutions and can she do it as an individual, without having to go through relevant institutions here. Country in question is Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Grateful in advance,

  184. Anon i says:

    Dear Mr Moser,
    Could you give some guidance about alimony & child support? How do I get it and what would I be entitled to if anything?
    My husband is German and I am English. We’ve been married for 20 years. We have one 13 year old daughter who lives with me in England. My husband lived with us too up until about 6 weeks ago. He’s been offered a very good job in Germany. After accepting the job he told me he wants to separate, He’s not mentioned making any sort of financial contribution for either me or our daughter. Only that he wants his freedom.
    When in England we were working together as self employed trying to start a business. Now that he has left I have been so badly affected by the breakup that I’ve been unable to work. The breakup came as rather a shock. We had been having problems but I didn’t realise he wanted to leave. I actually believe he has only left the marriage because he’s landed such a very good job. ( in case you are wondering, he went for the interview to see what was offered and then never came back.)
    Since 2003 when our daughter was born, I have not worked.
    I don’t want to be labelled a “money grabber” but is it right that I get nothing? Does the father not normally have to contribute towards the running costs of the home for the child?
    Should I approach the English courts or the German for help? Which would be best under my circumstances? I have read that in Germany I could qualify for legal aid to help with costs. My finances are very limited and st 52 my prospects for re-entering the job market don’t look very good either.
    I would be interested in a private consultation, if you could give me an idea of what this would cost.
    Thank you for your very informative website.

  185. Jamie says:

    Hi, I am British and my wife is German. We married in Germany, is it possible to file for divorce in the UK? As German laws are strict in favour of the Mother. She has expressed how much she cant live with me etc, so now i am worried about the forth coming rape by the German courts. :(

    • Where you can file for divorce depends on where all of you live and how long you have been living there. The place of marriage is irrelevant.
      And relax. Don’t believe all the stuff you hear from non-lawyers.

  186. Miya says:

    Hello Andreas Moser,

    I came Germany with family re-union visa, after coming here my husband never accepted me. Now I have “fiktionsbescheinigung 81 abs 4” .

    I have got admission acceptance letter from a German University. Auslaenderbehorde have said that I can get a residence permit here according to #16(1)

    My lawyer said that I have to go back to my country and apply for student visa. but why I should go back?

    My Question is, can I change my visa to student visa staying here in Germany, as I have got the admission letter from University?

    • Because you already have a lawyer and ask for a second opinion, I would appreciate a donation before I delve into your case.

    • Miya says:

      Hello Andreas Moser,

      Sorry, I did not see your reply because I had not got any email notification. I have come here now and saw your replied. You are an expert and very famous lawyer, I think you could show me a good way, But I do not have enough money now to donate here. Could you please show me a good way?Promise I will donate here after some time. Another simple question with it, If my husband give divorce, can I marry to another man here and get a residence permit without going back to my country?

      Would be so grateful if you answer me!

    • I would prefer to wait with my advice until I get paid.

  187. Dan says:

    Hello Andreas,

    Found your blog, I hope you’re safe wherever you are at now.

    Just a quick question, I’d appreciate your thoughts.
    What legal action could be advised if spouse’s adultery is a ground for divorce? It’s committed with her coworker, superior manager of the sponsoring company for her residence and work permits – the same year we were married. Our marriage certificate is from Denmark, and we are both no-EU citizens. I wonder which country family law would apply here? German as we have residence here, Denmark (still recognizing adultery, as a quick exit 6 months separation – which is my goal here, as fast as possible to finish this trauma) or our home (passport) country law? Is there any possibility for marriage annulment due to to adultery timing circumstances? I’m also considering contacting her company HR on the company’s handbook on internal relationship codex, as she denies everything and I have proofs, and I wouldn’t exclude the sexual harassment at this point. My (soon to be ex-) wife and her office-lover are both married. Also considering option to let his partner know about the affair and to consider the legal consequences for both of them to be sued on many grounds. We’re all 40 and above, some responsibility in mature people must exist you’d agree. To be honest, I have enough funds and I want quick and swift justice here but I’m not sure where to start and how far I may go. Spent 15 years of my life building an entire family environment, no kids luckily (with this person) but I’m not ready just to run away and leave all the hard earned trophies to the cheater. I invested a good portion of my life and my career in this relationship and it turns to be very abusive toward me. So, on committed wife’s adultery in a working place of sponsoring company in Germany, with Denmark’s certificate how far I can go?
    I’d be happy with quick divorce and her ass out of that company, off the fatty paycheck I invested my life for her to get it, she actually hijacked a good portion of my career used my contacts, my expertise to get and hold a position then I’ve learned she’s doing the same with just any other person that is on her way to steep success and she started with literally nothing when we met, literally. Sounds like a personality disorder, but I feel robbed – emotionally, in trust, in business, in false hopes. She wasn’t a career type, never invested in her education widely or in a business portfolio – she just follows the cash opportunities and firmly stick to it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t seek revenge – I’m clear that with no trust no marriage could work and that’s the case here for the clean divorce, but I do seek annulment of marriage, of her as a reliable business and family partner and of the financial security I was building for MY family not her lover, her mother, mother’s dogs and nouveau riche lifestyle they so quickly adopted with all perks including a big professional No-No, a work affair. And anyways, what kind of person does choose bigamy over honey-moon, if you know what I mean… And with married superior manager for the pure material interest.
    Dear Andreas, depends on you insights here and suggested options I am prepared to offer you more than the regular asked fee. Thanks for reading,
    Kind regards, D.

    • That’s a long question, so I will wait for a donation before I even read it, let alone answer it.

    • Dan says:

      Totally unprofessional response, won’t waste my time here.
      Make up your mind ffs, either it’s a donation upfront or service fee and for what precisely, answering or just reading…

    • You gotta love people who want professional advice but go around insulting the people who could give it. :-)

  188. CHIH says:

    Dear Mr. Moser,

    First of all thank you for the time to read this message (question). I’ll make it short and simple.
    I have been separated living in different country for over 4 years now, even submit the form of not living in Germany.

    We have no kids no shared property together, both finanacially indpendent. only problem is that I don’t read/write German. AND he has got a serious temper issue and abusive personality, and not seem to welling to make the divorce happen.

    I don’t want anything from him but a quick divorce and end all communications with him.

    It is possible that I hire German attorney to get the divorce happen. (i am no german citizen, and its a same-sex marriage)

    Would you be interested to take on the case?


    • Of course you can hire a German attorney anytime to file for the divorce. It sounds like it should be a simple and straight-forward proceeding.
      I personally cannot represent you because I am not working as an attorney in Germany at the moment.

    • Tara says:

      Iam 29 years old woman from iraq but i live in germany now i have asylum for 3 years i have a son now i have afamily issue and i want to getting divorce in germany so how much time it will take to divorce and where should i go for asking to divorce
      Even my husbund hit me so many time when we were in iraq and in germany too
      And i talk about this to police
      But now i don’t know where to go for asking for divorce ?and i don’t know how much time it will take ?

    • I think that should be answered in the FAQ above.

  189. Victor Sanchez says:

    Dear Mr. Moser,

    My brother from Ecuador married an Ecuadorian in Ecuador an then moved to Germany since he is in a DAAD scholarship. She have a son herself and they share a child. Now she wants to split and stay in Germany. The problem is: she have a family reunion visa. How could the split but maintain residency? Can either of them rent a diferent apartment using their own name?

    • If she rents an apartment under her name, the landlord will want to see her registration at the new address. This information does not initially go to the immigration office, but sooner or later they may find out.
      The better way is for her to apply to university and get her own student visa. This is usually the easiest visa to get, and universities in Germany charge no tuition fees.

  190. Monnette says:

    Hi Andreas,
    I have signed a prenup with my husband before marriage. During our marriage, I was the sole breadwinner whether he works or not. He gave many reasons not to pay for the family despite he gets triple of my income and spends his money to build new apartment for rental investments. Unfortunately, after 9 years he decided to divorce. My question is:
    1) can I make him pay what he did not contribute to build the family in the last 9 years?
    2) who owns the apartment? will this new asset be shared after divorce? can the prenup limit this?
    Appreciate your comment.
    Thank you.

    • I will need to read the prenup and look at the property contracts to evaluate that.
      You can e-mail them to me at moser@moser-law.com. I charge 400 EUR for such a consultation.

    • Monnette says:

      Hi Andreas,

      Thank you for your comment.
      For my Q1, it is not covered under prenup, but is it possible to get such claim?
      For Q2, I have not the property contract and I am not included in the contract. However, does the law allow a couple to own their property independent from each other after marriage?

    • I would still like to read the prenup before making comments. And I would also still like to receive payment before I spend my Sunday morning on sorting out your financial and economic situation.

  191. michael smith says:

    Hi Mr. Moser,
    My wife german citizen and myself American are planning on gettind a divorce. We live in germany. My question is my wife has contact to her ex boyfriend from 20 years ago and plans on trying to get married to him. New/Old friend is american and living in the states (Alabama).
    She wants to try to apply for a Fiancee Visa. We are still married but living apart. And they committed adultery. Does that have affect on anything?
    P.S. Don’t worry some people know when to let go and I will not take her back even if you paid me!!
    Great Page!!!

    • Thank you, Sir!

      At least in Germany, adultery is not a crime. But if she were to move together with her boyfriend, that would damage her claims to alimony in case she wants to file for alimony at all. If not, it doesn’t really have any effect on the divorce.

      As to the fiancee visa, I don’t know because I am not a US immigration attorney, but I always have a logical problem when people who are still married to X call themselves engaged to Y. I don’t think they could get a marriage licence yet, so they can’t really make formal plans for getting married.

  192. Jamie Dudding says:

    Mr Moser.

    Is it possible to have a post-nup binding in Germany. For example: both parties agree that in the event of a divorce, the spouse will not claim maintanance benefit from the other party (as an example) If the contract was signed would this hold its value in the German court during divorce? Do you provide this service and at what cost?

    Kindest regards

    • It is possible, but with limitations, exceptions and conditions.
      Such a contract needs to be notarized (section 1585c sentence 2 BGB), so I caanot finalize it. I charge 400 EUR for a consultation, which will also cover potential other aspects that you want to include in the post-nup.

  193. very worried person says:

    Hello Mr. Moser.

    I want to ask you about few things about divorce in Germany. This is so important and we know nothing :(
    Im writing behalf of my cousin.She is married with a german citizen.They were happyly married, i guess, 3 years ago and she is a Turkish citizen. She stayed a little bit while in turkey and when german government allows her she moved to Germany.
    She got pregnant (they wanted to have a baby) and the baby is now 6 months old. But before her pregnancy her husband started to act weird. She is a professional photographer and she is around 35 years old.She has a very long job experience and academic history masters PhD.
    Her husband working part-time ish. at his mothers pet-shop ( he is highschool grad.)

    Here is the deal. He treats her poorly, talks really offensive and hurting her feelings for a very long time.They are having so many verbal fights, he drinks A LOT. and gets drunk disturbs her and maybe the baby.
    After my cousin said ‘i want to have divorce and raise my kid with my mother and father in peace ( they took care the baby a lot they bought everything the baby owns and hospital bills, after birth cures etc) He freaked out and said ‘i didn’t wanted to be married with you but you got pregnant, i’m not giving my kid to you but can turn back your mother, ill take care of him’
    he threatens her . but she is not good at speaking german and she is not working right now, so i’m not sure how they are going to handle the case and money stuff.
    I suggested them marriage counselling.but she doesn’t know any place in Germany .Also they dont want to be married any longer. but he cant take care of the baby he is irresponsible and ignorant uneducated person about baby care. And german gov. is surely gonna take his side :(

    How should she start to proceed to divorce but she’d die if she loses her kid.
    Could you PLEASE suggest something, thanks so much ( i am so sorry about my english and non-formal mail)

  194. Tina says:

    I attended my divorce hearing on November 29, 2016 and received an email from my attorney that he had received the note of legal effect on January 13, 2017 from the court after the appeals period had expired. He has emailed me copies of these but has not sent me the originals, which I am certain I am entitled to in spite of my repeated requests. How can I obtain these from him?

  195. Andrea says:

    Austrian citizen, married to German citizen. Lived in Germany first few years. Last joint residency in Florida. Germany citizen spouse moved back to Germany permanently. Austrian citizen staying in Florida. Where does Austrian citizen file for divorce? No children from this marriage. Marriage lasted about 6 years. Germany citizen had affair for last 2 + years and borrowed 62,000 euros from lover. Affair just found out.

    Thank you.

    • The Austrian citizen can choose to file for divorce in Florida or in Germany. Mainly a question of costs and of practicability. It’s easier to file in Germany because then you don’t need any international service, circumventing the 1965 Hague Service Convention.

    • Andrea says:

      Andreas, thank you very much for your quick reply. I am extremely impressed with your quick response!!!

    • Thank you!
      It’s easier to reply quickly to short and easy questions. :-) Viel Glück und alles Gute!

    • Andrea says:

      Danke!!! I asked for my brother. I have lived in the States for over 30 years. Btw, I am VERY impressed by your English, especially because you are using legal terms. Again – Danke sehr!!!

    • Danke! Ich habe einen Teil meiner juristischen Ausbildung in den USA absolviert und arbeite jetzt als juristischer Übersetzer für Englisch und Deutsch.
      Eine größere Herausforderung war es, auf Englisch Philosophie zu studieren. ;)

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  198. Sal says:

    Urgent help please ….. I’m Egyptian married with German lady not for the purpose of visa…. been in deutschland since 8 month meanwhile my residence card will be expired in October 2017…. she kicked me out of her house as she used me to work and takes my money for 8 month ….. I’m not looking forward for any illegal action to take but I just can’t sleep thinking cuz the law in germany usually stands beside only the GERMANS …. all I would like to do is to get extending time on my residence card in order to wait for divorce certificate because I’m looking forward to marry a lady in Netherlands. …. is there any possibility? Please urgent useful answer …… best regards

    • The more urgent the question is, the higher the donation should be. Alternatively, if you can wait a few days, you can mail me a few of the books from my wishlist.

  199. Sal says:

    Excuse me I didn’t get the point …. would you please give me an advice or some steps to make ? It’s really serious and I don’t know what should I do at the moment (LOST)

  200. Ray says:

    Hallo Andreas. I am an American that is marrid to a German woman. We have been married for 12 years and have officially married both in the USA and in Germany. We have lived in the USA for 4 years, in another country for 3 years and for the last 5 years in Germany. I am a permanent resident and my wife is a German citizen. I have just learned that my wife has been having an affair and I want to move forward with divorce proceedings. During the divorce, can I move back to the USA? We also have 2 children and they are dual citizens. can I take them with me to the USA or can I move to the USA if they remain in Germany with their mother? Thanks for your feedback.

    • Hello Ray,
      sorry to hear about this situation.
      You are absolutely free to move whenever you want. The divorce proceeding can be filed from abroad and you will have an attorney representing you.
      You can however not take your children without the mother’s consent or a German court order. Doing so would constitute an international child abduction.

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  202. Marcus says:

    Hello Andreas, I’m American and married to a Eritrean-German citizen. My wife left me and took our daughter with her because I refused to sign sponsorship papers for her mother (which was required to live in the states). I did not sign because my mother-in-law has already two children living in the US. I felt it was there responsibility to sign for there own mother and not mine. I thought it very wierd that they insisted I do this. We have been separated for two years now and my wife still rejects the divorce proceedings (although she left me). In the last two years I have been to court 3 times all because of child support and alimony (I am paying both) and have done everything my lawyer and the courts have asked me to do. I have plans to return to the states in the Fall 2017 and was hoping to have the divorce behind me by then. Do I have to stay here in Germany and wait 3 years before I can get the divorce? Or can I go home as planned and just have it done through my lawyer here in Germany? Thanks in advance for your time.

    • The open divorce proceeding does not prevent you from traveling or moving in any way. Your lawyer will simply continue to represent you and if your participation is required, you will do so by mail.

  203. Anusha says:

    My brother is an Indian married to Finnish citizen.marriage was registered in Finland and they were living in uae for 6years after marriage.recently 6 months back they moved to Germany. My brother would like to file a divorce in Germany. They are seperated now.What would be the choice of law ?German law or home country law or country of last residence (uae ) law ?
    If they choose uae law how would the case proceedings go and how long ?

  204. Steven J. Insalaco says:

    Iam an American Man, moved to Germany, Married a German woman. I was n still am disabled.She paid for my things to be sent to Germany including my car! As soon as my things were on their way things changed for the worse. Things were so bad that I came back to America as soon as I was healthy enough ( I had a heart attack and suffered severe depression as a result of her treatment) even though I have no permanant place to live no medical insurance etc. I need to know the process for A divorce and what my righte are.

    • Because a lot depends on the circumstances and both your financial situation, it would probably be best to schedule a consultation. I charge 400 EUR for that.

  205. Francis says:

    We got married in Denmark so can the divorce take place here in Germany or we have to back to where we got married

  206. Francis says:

    Good morning,Am Francis and am married to German for 2 years now and the moment things are not working for us because she fight me all the time and am thinking of separating but my question is am I going to lose my papers if I do so though I have been working for almost 2 years now.please help me

  207. Guri says:

    Hello Mr. Moser
    I am indien and living in Germany from 4 years. I and my wife have filed amutually divorced case in indien. Its pending yet. But my wife came here in Germany with a tourist visa and now trying to got admission to my 3years old daughter in kindergarten or school. We are not in touch. Is it possible if my daughter got admission without my reference. Your answer will be very apprecciable. Thank you

    • The kindergarten should ask for the signature of both parents, but in reality they often don’t (particularly if the mother lies and says that the father is dead or she doesn’t know where he lives).

  208. Reena says:

    Dear Herr Moser,
    I’m currently going through a lengthy divorce with my German husband in South Africa. The high court has judged that the marriage is in community of property under South African law. In the meantime the immoveable assets in Germany which should now be under the communal property have been alienated by him and transferred without my consent. I now need to fight in Germany to reverse this fraudulent transaction prior to proceeding for final divorce. Will the German court accept the valid ruling from the South African courts ( the high court ruling was appealed but dismissed against him with costs) ? Can the German court or my husbands lawyer claim that the ruling is not recognised ? Thus resulting in the possibility of being married under German and South African law, which should realistically not be possible as one should only be ruled under one juristiction.
    Appreciate your advice.

    • Hello Reena,
      Competing and conflicting jurisdiction is unfortunately quite common in international law.
      To assess your specific case, I would need to look at the judgment(s) from South Africa, the laws in both countries, any potential agreements between South Africa and Germany and the facts of the case.
      I would need to charge my full consultation fee of 400 EUR for this.

  209. Rose Munchen says:

    Dear Andreas Moses,
    I am American, I have been married to a German man for 4 years. When we got married, he took my lastname. We are now filing for divorce and I want him to be stripped of my name.
    Is there any way to legally force him to give up my name?
    Thank you

  210. Anonymous says:

    Hello Mr Moser,
    Divorce must attend court.
    His papers to lawyer are questionable. He could not provide supporting documents.
    Husband does not want to pay maintenance and everything.
    His thai woman is in Germany.
    I left the country.
    Can you advise me?

    • Not without understanding who you are in this story and what your goals are.

    • Anonymous says:

      His wife.
      Is it mandatory to attend court?
      I have very important matters here.
      I no longer wish to waste my time.
      Divorce is automatic after long wait?

    • Then you don’t need to show up. The divorce will be granted anyway.

    • Anonymous says:

      No show.
      1000 Euros penalty.
      He is not paying me airticket to fly to Germany.

    • He doesn’t need to pay for you, you are the opposing party in a civil litigation.
      Ain’t nobody enforce no penalty when you are on another continent. Also, you could be polite and inform the court in advance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you from my heart.

  211. Viji Shan says:

    Hello Andreas,
    My cousin got married to a German born man from a Sri Lankan family in Sri Lanka. Then she migrated to Germany. She lived with him for about 2 years then she had to live separately due to in-law abuse. Now she has been living on her own for about a year. Her husband wants to file for the divorce. Does she have to leave the country after she gets the divorce or she can still reside in Germany? Please advise. Thanks

    • She can get an independent residence permit after living married and together for 3 years. Because they already separated after 2 years, actually her current resident permit is no longer valid (but of course it does happen that nobody notices this).
      In any case, even after 3 years, the independent residence permit is only extended by 1 year (§ 31 I 1 AufenthG), so this does not grant a long-term right.
      If she wants to stay in Germany, it would be best to switch to a different residence permit. A student residence permit is usually the easiest one to obtain.

  212. Lisa says:

    Dear Andreas,

    I’ve seen your blog and the way you are helping people a lot through legal questions. As I didn’t find the answer in the FAQs or previous questions I would be grateful if you could help me.

    I am a German citizen and I’m living together with my fiancé in Abu Dhabi (UAE). As we are planning to get married in August in Germany we have some questions before that.
    Do we have to get devorced in Germany because we got married there? Or can we get divorced e.g. in Abu Dhabi or the country we will be living by that time?

    Thank you very much in advance!

    • Lisa says:

      My fiancé is American / Egyptian national

    • It depends on the law of the specific country where you file for divorce, but you can usually get divorced wherever you live at the time of the divorce. You do not need to return to the country of marriage for that.

  213. Rechille says:

    Hi Mr Moser,
    short question about the divorce in germany, do i need a residence in germany to that?
    or i can do it somewhere in europe? if i need a residence in germany should i live there for a year or is not imporant?

    • It depends on your citizenship, the residence and citizenship of the other partner and a whole lot of other factors.
      I would need to know more details. Please feel free to e-mail me at moser@moser-law.com. I will charge 50 EUR for this consultation.

  214. haffa says:

    hello, my friend was a refuge from Algeria in Germany for 3 years, after all this time hi married with a polish lady and both now living in Germany , they granted him the residency of join to remain, since 1 and half year ago, his working and supporting his wife and her kid from a different man , his looking after her kid like a father and the kid loves him .
    she becomes very bad with him and she is harassing him and threatening him and asked him to leave the flat that they share and keep paying the rent and other pills or she will divorce him, she starts gambling and going clubbing and not taking care of her kid at all and sleeping with other men

    what his solution and if she divorces will hi still get his indifferent visa to stay in germany

    big thanks for the advice.

    • I will be happy to answer these questions once I receive a donation for the blog or a few books from my wishlist. Thank you!

  215. Ahmad says:

    My question is that
    Without my wife I applied for divorce already and I am waiting for divorce but I do not know
    Exactly where is my wife and I need divorce . I do not have children and no financial claim or property and after my wedding we were together for 3 months then we separated and it happened in 2013 and I filed my divorce in 2017 . It passed 6 months already but I did not get my decision

    • You probably have a lawyer who filed for divorce for you, so it’s best to ask him/her.
      Or you can send me a donation to keep this blog going and I will look into the specifics of your case and either help you find your wife or tell you how to get divorced without finding her. Thank you very much in advance!

  216. Aye Dee says:

    Proceedings have concluded in court and we are waiting for the court to mail the final paperwork (I assume decrees). Is there anyway to obtain proof that the divorce is final instead of waiting for the post? Thanks!

  217. Jutta Allen says:

    Hi Mr. Moser, I am a US Citizen, my husband is a german Citizen, we seperated 3 yrs ago, he went back to germany and I stayed in the US, we got married in germany. I am flying to germany to file for divorce. My question is do I have to have an attorney or can I just go to the court in germany and file for it? I only going to be in germany for 3 weeks.

  218. Nelly Chewe says:

    I came in germany as a married person can my husband cancel my visa without my conside.i have a two years visa and i l want to go and vist my family in my country am scared if I go maybe he can cancel it.

  219. Aliya says:

    Helo sir .we live in germany for 3 months .we come from england i have two children .my husband has job.i am british my husband has dutsch passport.i want divorce my question is it possible and how long take time? .after divorce i can live germany bcs i want to live here.
    what i have to do for quick divorce.what requirements .please answer me .
    Many thanks

  220. Marcus says:

    Hi Andreas,
    Is there anything my wife can do to stop our divorce after being separated for three years?
    I just petitioned the court for a divorce last month and I waited for three years to do so because she didnt want it after a year. I don’t even live in Germany anymore and she’s still trying to block it.
    Thanks Marcus

    • She can not really prevent the divorce.
      She can only try to drag it out by being obstructionist or by filing financial counterclaims, but in the end, you will get the divorce.

  221. Che says:

    Dear Mr. Moser
    I had a surgery and for that reason I am not able to work for few months. The Insurance company will pay me for a month. Is the claim from the Insurance company considered a welfare which could affect my visa for staying here?

  222. Tanja says:

    I’m a dual citizen to Germany and the US. I was born in Germany but married an American. I divorced my husband and stayed in the states. Eventually, I got remarried in 2010 and had a daughter (7 y.o.) and a son (2 y.o.). I went to the German embassy which my new husband twice and they knew I was remarried, I even got passports for both of my children.
    When my daughter was 2, I applied for her German birth certificate and followed the instructions that the embassy provided. After waiting for 5 years, I received a letter a few months ago stating that they need more paperwork about my divorce. I sent a copy of my divorce judgement but they also want a “certificate of no appeal”. I went to the courthouse here and no one has an idea what I’m talking about.
    How can I obtain such a document? When I talked to the people at the courthouse, they stated that in the US you only get granted an Absolute Divorce which can’t be appealed.

    • German bureaucracy! Always asking for more papers.

      You could either get a letter from the Family Court that your divorce is final and was not appealed, or, if the court won’t do it, a letter from the attorney who represented you in the divorce.

  223. Anaya says:

    Hi…i am pakistani..i want to get divorce but my husband has german passport…i have only 3 years visa…not forever visa..my husband has already girlfriend …he cheated me …i dont want to live him.and my parents said,we cannot support you..thts our culture..i want to live in germany..what can i do??

  224. Mark says:

    I am a citizen of a country where gay marriage doesn’t exist. I am getting married to a German citizen(gay marriage).
    1) Will he be able to get any of my assets in my home country in case of a divorce?
    2) Am I legally obliged to obey him or anything?

    • I’ll take the second question first, because it’s easier.

      2) No, of course not. You will still be a free person.

      1) That depends on your home country, the laws in place at the time of the divorce and the type of judgment your then ex-husband will have obtained.
      Whether he will be able to obtain such a judgment at all will depend on both your financial situation, your joint country of residence and any agreements between you.
      I would need to know many more details to answer that.

  225. Malik says:

    I’m dual citizen Australian and Algerian, leaving in Germany for 11 years / since 2006 – after the first year in Germany, in 2007 I got married in Algeria, she is Algerian Citizen, then joined me on the same year to live together in Germany – since we had 3 kids carrying my Australian Citizenship, me working full time and she was a house wife. and bought a house in 2011 and mainly financed by my savings i had prior to our marriage. Were we lived together since until we got separated in July/2018 without any warnings, – She applied for the separation through the court on the basis that we had disputes on front of our kids, and I was not given her personal money. I learned from my lawyer and my Notare that in case of divorce the matrimonial law that will be applied in German court is the Algerian one as we were married in Algeria and both Algerian citizens (EGBGB -15-1 and 14-1). which is by default is a separation of property (goods) – I have two questions:
    1- Is there a risk of the court not applying this law?
    -building arguments that the house was bought after we got married with mix assets prior to marriage and after.
    – or on the basis that after the marriage we didn’t have a permanent residence in Algeria
    – or trying to annulment on the basis that the husband lied on his previous relationships or the duration of the ex-relationship. so that German matrimonial law will be applied to get half of the value of the house

    2- While in separation ( living in out of the house) – we had many sessions with a marriage canceller, where canceller asked to come back together under one roof after we agree to sort few relationship issues but she still did not agree and she is asking to give her half of the house and my savings to be put in shared bank account. (away of securing herself she says) and she is using emotional pressure, manipulation and telling wrong stories to neighbors and common friends to justify her acts.

    Therefore, I feel that I’m blackmailed and a type of extortion to regain my family life, my kids and my house. and I feel that i fall in trap of been separated with my kids to get half of the house and saved money.

    Can i file against her for extortion using the separation to claim property so that we get back together, or/and for defamation for harming my reputation?

    Thank you in advance for your advice!

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  227. Theresa Faye Mangay-ayam says:

    Please i would to ask about my case. I am married in the philippines but we are separated already for 4 years. I have syrian boyfriend living in germany. We want to marry. Can i file a divorce for my previous marriage or can i marry him in germany without getting annulled in the philippines?

  228. Linda Fink says:

    Hello Im married to my german husband in 2005 we are separated in 2012 and he went back to Germany with our older son and the younger son is living with me in Thailand with the supporting from him monthly for the first 3 years, and now i want to get divorce, we have been trying but not possible because i can’t accept his offered to me that i sing the paper for him that writing i and my younger son will not get any thing from him, i have been blocked from him to contact my older son for more than 3 years.
    I would like to know how to do and get divorce and i can keep contact with my older son?

    • Hello Linda,
      you would need to find a lawyer in Germany (I am no longer practising myself) to represent you, and then he/she can file for divorce for you. You don’t need to come to Germany yourself.

      And of course you also have the right to have continued contact with your elder son. This could be filed for in conjunction with the divorce or as a separate issue.

      Please be aware that, depending on your financial circumstances, you may qualify for legal aid, even not being a resident in Germany. In that case, the German government would pay the court and the lawyer fees for you. When you try to look for a lawyer in Germany, don’t forget to mention that.

  229. josa says:

    i am from Philippines and i be herw 4years already in germany. now my husband want a divorce with me . i don’t have yet a pernanent residence. after out divorce i must return to my land or i have right to stay here. i have already work here to.

  230. SidraSohail says:

    If you can help me.. I am married to a pakistani man who have been living in germany for 14 years and is having visa independent work permit status.. So after merriage i stayed in pakistan for about 1.5 years and then i got my dependent spouse visa which initially is for 3 years and is suppose to be extended after.. After i came here my husband behaved really bad and mentally gave me tensions and turned out he had been having affairs with multiple girls and is sleeping with them.. I found out about it after having a baby(who is having german nationality) and living in germany for about 2 years.. Now i came back to Pakistan with my baby and deciding my future.. I really need your advice what can i do if i decide to go back to germany?? If i file for divorce, will the office there will deport me immediately or i can stay there due to baby?? I still have one more year visa.. Can that be extended furthur if I decide to leave my husband.. I have done A1 but can speak moderate german.. Also i am highly qualified but have not done any job there because my husband did not want that.. I have m.phill degree in banking.. Please do reply.. Waiting…

  231. Felix says:

    I am from Nigeria Please i need help I get married to a German wife I get my resident permit though the marriage and our marriage is 2year and 6 month and my wife want to a divorce. Am working since 2 and half years now and I have been paying for the house hold hope this divorce is not going to affect my residents permit ?

  232. Selma Espinosa says:

    After the birth of our last daughter 2 years ago, I noticed something about my husband that was completely different. He comes home late every night, sleeps on the couch never in the bedroom with me and doesn’t give attention to me or the kids. I remember the night he came home drunk and told me he was no longer attracted to me after I had kids.
    I cried myself to sleep that night, I could not believe that the man I have loved all my life will someday stopped loving me. Just few days to our wedding anniversary, he stopped coming home and would not take my calls. I had to talk to a friend and she suggested I contact a spell caster who could help me bring back his love and attention. It was the first time I heard such stuff existed, I give it a try with high expectations. After my contact with the Priest spellcaster, he helped me cast a spell that made my husband return home to me and our kids. I know a lot of people need this to help them stay happy in their marriages. You can contact Priest Obongibok let him help you; write him on email obongibok@priest.com or WhatsApp +13612367973.

    S. Espinosa

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