How to Divorce a German (and where)

Reliable Expert Information on British-German Family Law from International Divorce Lawyers

When a British-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.).

The links and downloads listed below provide more detailed information on certain aspects of German family law. Even if some of the reports are a little old, the basic principles are being very well explained in these documents which is the reason why we still list them:

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.

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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) at +49 941 463 7070. 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.