Reliable Expert Information on British-German Family Law from International Divorce Lawyers
When a British-German or a US-German marriage starts to go south, the smart thing for each spouse to do is to get professional advice early on regarding what the differences would be if the divorce proceedings were carried out in England as compared to the divorce taking place in Germany. Which country’s courts have jurisdiction over an international divorce is rather complicated and sometimes it comes down to who files first for divorce in their “home” country. Ideally, of course, the spouses would agree on this issue and settle amicably. However, even if they do, each spouse should be aware of his/her rights under English or German law. For an overview of German divorce and child custody rules see the English language version of the relevant family law statutes of the German Civil Code (Book 4 of German BGB, i.e. section 1297 et seq.).
I do explain the basics of a German divorce (contested and uncontested) in this post: How to File Divorce in Germany
The additional links and downloads listed below provide further information on certain aspects of German family law. Even if some of the reports are a little older, the basic principles are being very well explained in these documents which is the reason why we still list them:
- EU Commission – European Judicial Network – Divorce Germany
- Grounds for Divorce in Germany and Maintenance between former Spouses (Download: Germany-Divorce)
- Parental Responsibilities under German Law (Download: Germany-Parental-Responsibility_National_Report)
- Matrimonial Property Regime and Property of Unmarried Couples Germany (Download: germany_national_report_family_law_en)
- New Family Law Procedure Rules in Germany – From Legal Dispute to Round Table Talk Approach – Uncontested and Amicable Divorce (Download: Recent Developments in German Family Law Procedures)
Some of the above is a tough read, even for lawyers. However, in our experience it increases the chances of achieving a collaborative, maybe even amicable divorce (although the Huffington Post says there is no such thing) when each spouse knows about his or her rights (in both jurisdictions) and does not have to fear being taken advantage of.
For more on German and international family law, in particular on marriage, divorce and child custody rules please also see the posts below or simply click on the “Family Law” button in the right side column of this blog:
- Challenging Paternity in Germany and the UK: Very Different Procedures
- Alimony in Germany: Child maintenance and financial support for single mothers
- Broken Engagement in Germany: Engagement Ring must be returned
Or simply click on the “Family Law” section in the right column of this blog.
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The law firm Graf & Partners and its German-English forensic services and litigation department GP Chambers was established in 2003 and has many years of experience with British-German and US-German family law and probate matters, including the representation of clients in German litigation and arbitration proceedings. If you wish us to advise or represent you in a German or cross border legal matter please send an email or call us on +49 941 463 7070. The British-German legal team of Lyndales Solicitors (London) and Graf & Partners LLP (Munich) specialise in international legal matters including English-German divorces and other family law cases. The law office Graf & Partners was established in 2003 and focuses on British-German business and private law. If you need advice please contact German solicitor Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester). If you need to see an English lawyer in Germany, you can arrange for a personal appointment with English solicitor Elissa Jelowicki in Munich or we can arrange for a video or telephone conference if you are located elsewhere.