Alimony and child support in Germany

79 posts in this topic

Posted

I am a regular TTer, but am using a differing user name for anonymity...

My husband and I recently separated. We have a 5 year old son. I am American, my husband in German.

I read through the other posts I found about divorce, and it seems like a long road. My husband is not pushing for a divorce, he just doesn't want to be together anymore.

My questions are specifically about alimony and child support in Germany. I am just wondering if someone knows some basic facts about these areas, so I can contemplate if it is worth it to push for a divorce or not.

Our situation is that I quit my job about 6 months ago at my husband's request, so I could be there more for our son and volunteer for a humanitarian organization that my husband I are are both involved with.

My husband has stated that he will continue to support me and my son, even though we are separated. I think this is very good of him, but for various reasons, I also have trust issues with him, and want to know what I have to fall back on in case he doesn't keep his word.

So, what are the basics about alimony and child support in Germany? If we were to divorce, does my husband have any obligation to pay alimony? I know he must have to pay some child support, but how is the amount determined?

Anyone who has anything to offer, please do. I have searched on TT and also the web, but haven't found much. FYI, I don't speak much German. Thanks in advance!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Good luck, I mean seriously.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm afraid I have no information or practical advice to offer, just wanted to wish you good luck.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for your kind words. It is all incredibly difficult, I had no desire to end the relationship, but he isn't up for trying to work on it any longer... and all the more painful with a kid involved.

If anyone does come up with some ideas about the alimony-child support issues, I would be most grateful!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

There is a "Duessledorfer Tabelle" with the alimony and child support requirements based on his income. This is available from the Jugendamt. And as long as you are separated, he is most likely legally obligated to pay you support if you are not working. Now, if and when you were to get divorced - which would take about a year in your case - then he would no longer be required to support you, but the child will receive at least the minimum according to that formula.

Good luck.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Recently got divorced...I got spouse maintenance from the date that that I applied for divorce but not before. The jugendamt requested child maintenance from my husband as I was on sozialhilfe. The Dusseldorfertabelle is used only roughly as the lawyers seem to have their own computerised system which takes into account various other factors such as insurances and cars etc. I would say you should officially separate - he should deregister from your home address, and then you should visit the sozialamt and see what they will help you with moneywise. My divorce took six months but there were also issues regarding the apartment as well as custody that had to be sorted out.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

WonderingWhy--I would encourage you to meet with a lawyer. I think that going on his word alone that he will continue to be financially responsible is a risk. The lawyer would be able to quickly advise you about alimony (my understanding is that the laws in Germany are much more liberal with respect to spousal support, and that he would be required to support you at this time). Good luck with everything and I hope things look brighter for you soon.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes seeing a lawyer would be best - apply for prosesskostenhilfe and then see a proper family law attorney - Jutta Bartling was great and speaks English - we won in every respect when I got divorced two weeks ago - she will tell you what steps to take. Don't go on your husbands word as believe me things get crazy when you file for divorce - and promises from before fall away - you will see a side of your husband you never thought he had!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hello to all,

I'm new to this site, although I have now lived and worked in Germany for 22 years. It was a welcome surprise to come accross TT.

I have come accross a situation concerning alimony in which both the Germans and Americans seem stymied. I'll try to briefly outline my situation; perhaps someone has suggestions as to how I should persue further:

I am a U.S. citizen working under a U.S. contract here. In 1998 I married a German citizen and that same year she gave birth to our son. In 1999 we were legally seperated, and I was required by the courts to pay alimony and child support. The order was "Tituliert," and my pay began to be garnished accordingly. In 2000 we were divorced, and both of the support payments continued. In 2005 my ex-wife contacted my company's international lawyer and requested that further garnishment of my pay concerning alimony be stopped, and it was. In June 2007 I was hit with another garnishment order; apparently my ex-wife decided she wanted alimony after all. The order was back-dated to include payments from December 2006 onward. Using U.S. Civil Law 15 USC 1673, my employer began garnishing my wages by up to 50%, which continues to this day.

My current dilema is this: Although I am represented by a German attorney and have already had a court date concerning this situation, no one seems to know how to proceed. A follow-up court date has been set for April.

According to German law, an individual with a garnishment order against them needs to be left with roughly the euro

equivalent of $1,500.00 to live on per month before any garnishment is deducted. I currently receive $930.00. My company's lawyer has told me German law does not apply since my employment is "governed by U.S. law." If so,

in my eyes alimony should be governed by U.S. law as well. In my home of record, it would have been half the length of the marriage, which in my case would have been one year. On the other hand, seeing as the garnishment order came from the German courts, they should follow German law - which generally states alimony should be paid until any child of the couple enters school (5 years). I have currently been paying alimony now for NINE years with no end in sight. I appear to be in a "grey zone" between German and U.S. law.

I appeciate any suggestions or tips anyone who reads this may have!!

Topics merged by admin

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Get a better lawyer? Not trying to be smart-assed. Trust me I can empathize. But seriously think about getting a second legal opinion. It sounds like you're getting shafted.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A tentative opinion from my experience in collecting: The German title may have to be declared valid under U.S. law to render the garnishing legal if they are being so anal about U.S. law applying to your salary.

I say "may", ask your lawyer pdq.

Good luck!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

DanHessen...I am in agreement with you - my current lawyer seems nice enough (has even footed some of my bills concerning paperwork) however he has admitted that he knows next to nothing about the interaction between U.S./German law. Thanks for your reply!!

sarabyrd...I have been told by my company's lawyer and the German court that as a DoD civilian, garnishment orders are automatically accepted by the U.S. I believe orders from Germany are the only ones the U.S. will except.

Thanks for your reply!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Question please . Why would someone making 70,000 euro a year pay 550.00 euro a month child support? Thank You D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

They have two kids?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes 2 kids and pay a total of 550.00 euro a month making 70,000 euro a year.. Seems way low the payments that is .

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

A few key points - in order to calculate the child maintenance it depends on:

  • if the EUR 70,000 is Netto (after taxes) or Brutto (before taxes)
  • what age the children are

If you provide this information, you could get a rough estimate based on the Düsseldorfer Tabelle. (Google it, because I am a bit too drunk and tired to do so.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's brutto .70,000 before taxes and the kids are 6 and 10. The numbers come up more than 55.00 a month

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You may be missing that in Germany , is the decimal separator. At 70,000 you're paying around 500.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Sure. It's around 250 per child at that income bracket. It also depends a little on age.

That is the base though. The absolute minimum. The courts will normally award more.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The lady is a friend of meine frau , and i think he didnt meet a deadline to report his income and will be estimated. He said he was going to pay 550.00 on 2 kids ages 6 and 10 . Thanks D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Between myself, my girlfriend and other friends all separating I'd like to think I should have a rough idea how the finance works but since the new law there really seems no clear statement on payment.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

So assuming the guy makes €70,000 brutto, is in tax class III and doesn't pay Church tax, that leaves him with about €45,000 netto per year, or €3,750 netto per month.

If the kids are 6 and 11, for this level of income, he should be paying €438 PER CHILD or €876 total per month.

Of course, that is assuming a lot about his income, perhaps his netto is less for some reason. But according to the tax calculator and the Düsseldorfer Tabelle, that is what it should be.

We could also calculate it at tax class II (single with children) which would give him a yearly netto of €38,326 or €3,193 per month. At this level, according to the Düsseldorfer Tabelle, he should be paying €413 per child, or a total of €826 per month.

In any case, I think he is way underpaying.

Pas, I wonder where you got that 250 per child number from?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Leeza, do you have a link for calculating that? Might come in helpful for others.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now