Divorce procedure – application, pension rights adjustment and dates… The process of a divorce depends largely on whether it is contested or amicable. Amicable divorces can be final in minutes at the family court, while contested divorces often drag on for months. Find out what things to consider and how to make the divorce go as smoothly as possible here. Back to the guide: Divorce & Real Estate.
The divorce proceedings – step by step to divorce
A divorce consists of many important steps. From the separation year to the divorce petition and the pension equalization to the eventual divorce date. In all these steps, there are important things to consider, such as the right legal counsel, the correct form of applications and forms, in order to facilitate a smooth and quick divorce.
- Tip. Our guide for your separation: Selling your house and apartment in the event of divorce
Amicable or contentious – the initial question about divorce
The family court generally decides whether a divorce is amicable or contested. If a divorce is amicable between the two spouses, the divorce proceedings are very simple. If the separation year is completed, only the divorce and the pension equalization, which is usually carried out ex officio, must be decided. In such a case, one lawyer is sufficient for both spouses, which saves enormous divorce costs. Often even an online divorce for the spouses offers itself, whereby the time expenditure is enormously minimized and the costs are kept low. An amicable divorce can be greatly favoured by a divorce settlement agreement, which is already drawn up by the spouses during the separation year.
If there is a contested divorce, both spouses are required to be represented by their own attorneys. This increases the divorce costs for both parties enormously. The proceedings in contested divorces usually take longer than in amicable divorces and involve higher costs.
- Amicable divorces last shorter and cost less
- Contentious divorces often drag on for long periods of time and can be very nerve-wracking
Divorce petition – submit to the office and give your opinion
Regardless of whether a divorce is amicable or contested, the petitioner, i.e. the spouse seeking a divorce or his or her law firm, files the petition for divorce with the competent family court after the end of the separation year. This petition shows whether the divorce is contentious or amicable. If it is disputed due to consequential matters (with the exception of pension equalisation), further applications concerning, for example, maintenance, are also submitted with the divorce petition.
In the next step, the court formally serves the other spouse, i.e. the respondent, with the divorce petition and, if applicable, the petitions on the subsequent matters. In the case of amicable divorces, it is now up to the respondent to inform the court that the information in the petition is correct and to declare that he or she will consent to the separation. In contested divorces, it is usually the respondent’s solicitor who takes a position on the divorce petition and the consequential matters.
- The petition for divorce is filed by the petitioner, i.e. the spouse who wishes to divorce.
- In the case of contested divorces, further petitions on subsequent matters are also filed with the divorce petition
The pension rights adjustment – the court decides
In most divorces, the equalisation of pensions must be carried out by the family courts. This regulates the entitlements and prospects of a pension due to old age or reduced earning capacity that the spouses have acquired during the marriage. Marriages of up to three years must apply for pension equalisation, all others can exclude it before the notary or structure it more closely. If such equalisation is carried out, the spouses must fill in the forms required by the court, sign them and send them to the family court within a time limit. The court then sends these forms to the pension providers in order to clarify the claims to a pension that arose during the marriage.
In the case of amicable divorces, the divorce date is agreed after the forms have been received. Disputed divorces must clarify the subsequent matters in advance, otherwise the divorce date may be postponed further and further.
- The pension rights adjustment regulates the pension that has accrued during the marriage.
- With the help of a notary, the pension equalization can be excluded or more closely structured.
The divorce hearing – this is how the divorce proceeds
If the divorce date is set by family law, the spouses must appear in court with their legal representatives in the case of contested divorces or with joint counsel in the case of amicable divorces.
The divorce hearing begins with the so-called call to the matter, where the parties and the lawyers are asked into the courtroom and the public is excluded from the proceedings. First, the personal details are checked and a look is taken at the marriage certificate. The court then clarifies the expiry of the separation year and asks whether both spouses consider the civil partnership and conjugal life to have broken down. If either party is not convinced that the marriage has ended, the court will ask why and consider the merits of the case. However, if no successful attempts at reconciliation or inconsistent behaviour by the petitioner can be shown, the divorce may become final. Finally, the equalization of pensions and the subsequent matters in contested divorces are discussed. Once all relevant points have been clarified, the divorce decree is issued.
For this purpose, the public is restored and the court announces the decision on both the divorce and possible subsequent matters. With this step, the divorce is final.
- The divorce hearing will be held in camera.
- The court discusses the pension rights adjustment and the consequential matters and pronounces the divorce decree.
Divorce procedure – explanation from the lawyer
The most important questions about the divorce process
There are many important things to consider when it comes to the divorce process. To ensure that no unanswered questions remain for you, the experts at Lukinski answer all the important questions on the subject of the divorce process.
What does legally divorced mean?
When two people are legally divorced, the marriage is dissolved and the divorce is recognized by law. The marriage between these two people is therefore no longer legally valid, that is, no longer exists.
How much does an amicable divorce cost?
The costs for a divorce always depend on the procedural value, which is determined by the court. This is calculated, among other things, from the income and assets of the spouses. A blanket statement about the costs can therefore not be made.
How long does it take to process the pension rights adjustment?
A divorce in which the pension equalization is omitted usually takes no longer than four months. Divorces where the pension equalisation is observed take between five and nine months.
How long does an amicable divorce take in Germany?
Divorces by mutual consent usually last between four and six months with pension rights adjustment. However, the duration varies from case to case.
What is pension equalization in a divorce?
The pension rights adjustment regulates the entitlements and prospects to a pension due to old age or reduced earning capacity that the spouses have acquired during the marriage. In short, the pension.
Divorce: guide, help and tips
Divorce is complex, it’s true. But you are not alone! Many let themselves separate and in fact, a large part always finds a good solution. Only a small part ends in a quarrel. So that you can prepare well, you will find here our small guides and tips on divorce, family, money and real estate.