Separation year: alimony, form, new partners – How does the separation year work?

Separation year – in every marriage there are crises. However, if these are insurmountable, it often comes to separation and the desire for divorce. However, before this can be made legally binding, the couple must go through a separation year. But why is this separation year needed at all and how does the divorce proceed after the year? Back to the guide: Divorce & Real Estate.

The separation year – necessity, benefits & reconciliations

The separation year is intended to give spouses one last chance for reconciliation and enough time to think about this life-changing decision. The law provides many guidelines here that couples must adhere to. Lukinski’s experts reveal exactly how the separation year works and how couples can make the divorce process the easiest. Common issues in divorce are mainly:

  • How soon can you file for divorce?
  • How soon can you get divorced again?
  • How much does the divorce cost?
  • What all do you need for the divorce?

You can find all the answers a little further down the article!

The basis – Why a year of separation at all?

Marriage and the family are regarded as one of the most important social institutions in the legal system. The separation year is therefore intended to act as a preventive measure against possibly wrong, purely emotional and only temporary decisions that could be regretted afterwards. Even though the separation year is seen by many married couples as harassment or a pure burden, the intention behind the regulation is clear, to review and possibly revise the decision in the given time. In addition, the time is useful to take care of some matters that are important for the divorce process going forward. Although there is a requirement to prove that the separation year has been completed, it is not possible to apply to the court for the start of the year or have it notarised. It therefore makes sense to record the beginning in writing.

A shortening or even a complete omission of the separation year can only be brought about by a hardship decision of the court according to § 1565 paragraph 2. An example of such a decision can be extreme domestic violence, which the court classifies as undue hardship.

  • The separation year should be considered as a reflection period for the couple
  • The shortening of the year of separation is only permitted in special cases.

Attempts at reconciliation – the guidelines in the law

Attempts at reconciliation during the separation year are certainly permitted. However, these are subject to certain guidelines. Attempts at reconciliation that do not last longer than three months do not lead to an interruption of the separation year. The time during which the separation was interrupted therefore counts towards the 12 months of the separation year. For any attempts beyond three months, the family court will assume that the couple have reconnected. The couple also has the option of withdrawing the divorce petition themselves within this year. If the divorce is still to be carried out after this period, a new petition for divorce must be filed and the separation year starts all over again.

  • Attempts at reconciliation are permitted, but are subject to certain guidelines
  • Reconciliations of less than three months do not interrupt the separation year

The benefit – this is what you should arrange in the year

The separation year should not only be used to review the right decision, but can also be used to arrange important things for the divorce. These things include, for example, insurance. In particular, health insurance should be rewritten and amended, since spouses are usually insured together in a family insurance. However, joint rental agreements for real estate must also be amended and rewritten at an early stage. In addition, the joint bank accounts, if any, should be separated and joint financial obligations, such as credits and loans, should be resolved.
Probably the most important, however, is the divorce settlement agreement. This can be determined by the spouses during the separation period in order to avoid costly negotiations before the family court. In this agreement, practical matters such as contact with the children, their maintenance and custody, as well as their own maintenance, the handling of property matters and the equitable division of household goods are regulated. If the spouses are in agreement, this document will help with a quick and inexpensive divorce. The document must be notarized by a notary and always be set down in writing.

  • The separation year can be used to clarify important things for the divorce
  • A divorce settlement agreement can be drawn up by the couple

Divorce – separation year, application & costs

Divorce – amicable or in dispute

Divorce can happen in two different ways. There are contested divorces and amicable divorces. The court decides how a divorce is to proceed. If the couple has already drawn up a divorce settlement agreement in the year of separation and clarified all relevant points in private, it is an amicable divorce, as the two parties are in agreement. In such a case, only one lawyer is needed and the costs for the court are much lower. Such a divorce is probably also the most pleasant for the spouses, as they do not part in a dispute. However, a contested divorce proceeds differently. If the spouses could not agree in advance on the issues to be discussed, they will be resolved in family court. In this case, both parties need a lawyer, which is a major cost factor. Points of dispute, such as custody of the joint children or the handling of property matters are discussed with the parties by the judge and then determined. A divorce in dispute is probably never a simple matter and can often drag on for years.

  • Amicable divorces are inexpensive and easy for the spouses
  • Contentious divorces can often be difficult and costly to resolve

The most important questions about divorce with separation year

Especially in the case of contentious divorces, the legal situation is not always clear and there are many unanswered questions for the spouses. So that you know exactly about the regulations around the separation year, the experts of Lukinski answer the most important questions.

Can you file for divorce before the separation year?

In principle, the divorce can only be filed after the separation year, because according to German law, the spouses must live at least one year apart before the divorce may be filed. Only in special exceptional cases, the divorce can be filed before.

How long does it take from divorce petition to divorce?

The length of the divorce usually depends on whether it is amicable or contested. Amicable divorces can take between one and six months, while contested divorces can take more than a year.

Can the divorce be denied?

Divorce can be refused by the spouse in principle. However, this is not possible on a permanent basis, as a compulsory divorce can be decided by the court after three years at the latest.

How to shorten the separation year?

The separation year cannot generally be shortened. Shortening or omitting the separation year is generally only possible if there is evidence of hardship.

How much does a simple divorce cost?

The costs of a divorce are determined by the court and are based on the value of the proceedings. To calculate this value, the income and assets of the spouses are included.

Who pays the costs in a divorce?

The court determines the costs of the proceedings, including the lawyer’s fees. These are divided so that each party pays its own legal fees and half of the court costs.

What all do you need for the divorce?

The following documents are always required for a divorce: Marriage certificate or family record book in the original or certified copy, the birth certificates of the minor children and possible marriage contracts and/or divorce settlement agreements.

Real estate agent & consultant: divorce and talks

Many of our clients discuss the sale of their property with us in advance of the divorce. Why? The sale of a house or a condominium takes a lot of time. All formalities should be known in advance, so that afterwards, after the separation, no unpleasant surprises arise. As a real estate agent in Frankfurt, Berlin or Cologne, you are often confronted not only with questions about the process of selling a house, but also with general questions that arise in the run-up to a divorce.

Divorces happen for a variety of reasons and at all stages of a relationship. No matter if it is the first month after a hasty wedding, the famous darn seventh year or the divorce after decades, in the second half of life.

Top 5 reasons for divorce

  1. Married too fast – pressure
  2. Lack of communication
  3. A new partner
  4. Mistake of the other
  5. Disinterest in one’s partner

Married too fast – pressure

As just mentioned, the couple did not marry 100% for love, but because it was rushed or because their own environment around family and friends built up pressure. Some also got married because they built up pressure on themselves, just before 30 or even much earlier, for example with the first boyfriend or girlfriend. When one’s own will was not fully there, many couples separate.

Lack of communication

Lack of communication in married couples is a very common reason, especially in relationships that have existed for a long time. When “man” is again only with the friends on the road and no longer find time for tenderness or when the “woman” prefers to be at home, cuddling and watching series on Netflix. Theoretically, this is all no problem, as long as the spouses still talk and communicate with each other beyond the kitchen table.

A new partner

The “new partner” who will make everything better. Those who have settled down want to experience something “new”. Many look for hobbies or go on vacation. But some are on the lookout for a new partner who will make everything better. Here, the communication may be there, but the inner desire becomes too great. Not only with private persons, also with big stars one experiences these outbreaks from relationships.

Mistake of the other

Who always only looks for faults in the other, will not be happy. Who is pessimistic and only looks for the hair in the soup, will not become happy. Nobody is perfect, nobody. Accordingly, small flaws and mistakes belong to us. Much more: they make us who we are. They make us unique and special. But not everyone sees it that way. If you assume that everything that can go wrong will go wrong, you risk losing your partner.

Destinterese at the Parnter

This results in another common reason, disinterest in the partner. Who no longer shows interest in the spouse, which has either already given up or he or she takes the partner for granted. It is so important to constantly show the other again, that he or she is something special for you.

You see, whether escape from the marriage at the smallest problems or the lack of interest and the laziness to woo the other after marriage, the reasons for divorce are many. Who is in such a life situation, which needs allies on the side to reorganize and restructure their own life.

Even in such situations we are at your side with advice and action.

Statistics: Separation and divorce

You can find more statistics here: Real Estate Statistics.

Number of divorces in Germany

Number of divorces in Germany from 1990 to 2017

Statistik: Anzahl der Ehescheidungen in Deutschland von 1990 bis 2017 | Statista

You can find more statistics at Statista

Number of divorced marriages by duration of marriage

Number of divorced marriages by duration of marriage in 2018

Statistik: Anzahl der geschiedenen Ehen nach Ehedauer im Jahr 2018 | Statista

Average number of marriages to one divorce

Average number of marriages to one divorce in Germany from 1951 to 2017

Statistik: Durchschnittliche Anzahl von Eheschließungen auf eine Ehescheidung in Deutschland von 1951 bis 2017 | Statista

You can find more statistics at Statista

Average age of divorcees at the time of divorce

Average age of divorcees at the time of divorce in Germany from 2000 to 2018

Statistik: Durchschnittliches Alter Geschiedener zum Zeitpunkt der Scheidung in Deutschland von 2000 bis 2018 | Statista

You can find more statistics at Statista

You can find more statistics here: Real Estate Statistics.

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.