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Posts posted by Holzhaus

  1. Back in September, I posted about my (ex)husband leaving me for our neighbor/my (ex)best friend. Due to my emotional devastation, I returned home to America mid-October. Before leaving, I insisted we meet with a lawyer to ensure I wasn't making an irrevocable mistake. During said meeting, my (ex)husband and I agreed to look into re-financing our house, using the equity to pay off our large outstanding American debt. If the debt was transferred, I agreed to have my name removed from the deed -- his assuming the debt = having the asset.


    I made clear to all and sundry that I would only be gone through the holidays, returning January/February. Before I left, I told my (ex)husband that as I would be coming back, it was NOT okay for his new love to move in. Offended, he assured me that would NEVER happen. Practically before I'd landed, she'd moved in (not hard as it was only across the street. Her husband and their daughter have stayed in their house).


    My (ex)husband neglected to change the password/access to his work e-mail account on our iPad. Through this oversight, I was privy to his correspondence with a mortgage broker about refinancing our house. There's a €65,000 prepayment penalty on our current mortgage and he's paying off his car loan -- no mention of the US debt. It's irrelevant what he does financially once we're divorced, but the terms of the refinancing make no fiscal sense. I don't believe that he knows I have had access to his e-mail so, in his mind, has proceeded without my knowledge.


    Question 1) When I return to Germany, I understand that he and I each have the right to live in the house as an "in-house" separation. Am I within my rights to demand his new love move out, if he goes with her, so much the better? (and what kind of woman assumes her ex-best friend's life including marital bed?!?!)


    Question 2) Can he actually refinance the house and remove me from the Grundbuch/deed without my being present or having signed anything? I don't put it past him (or her) to forge my signature, but that's obviously a different can of worms. Right now, I'm assuming he/they wouldn't go that far. Alternatively, I could send an e-mail to the mortgage broker, but realize there are some pretty severe ramifications and would prefer not to go that route. It's been over six weeks since I've heard from him; I sent him an e-mail over a week ago specifically asking about the financial situation.


    I'm anxious to return to Germany but, having fled here to be with my mother, found her husband is gravely ill. This after her mother passing away at the beginning of October, just a year after losing my brother to cancer. As much as I feel my absence at home is making things worse, I can't leave my mother yet. Her loss definitely puts mine into perspective. In any event, I'm still within the timeframe I'd given that I'd be gone.


  2. Thank you, all, for your advice / input.


    Actually, I haven't worked since I've been here, his is our only income. I did initially ask him to leave, but rethought it when I realized I can't stay. We're in a very small village that I've never been happy with. Before his current job, our house payments became about 60% of his pay -- totally unsustainable. He was unwilling to sell either for my mental health or our financial health. Really, had he sat down and talked it through when he was unhappy, before the affair, we probably would have agreed to part due to "irreconcilable differences".


    And, Ayn, you're completely right. I wouldn't choose him today nor would counseling make a difference at this point.


    I'm going to try to get in to see a lawyer tomorrow or Tuesday to make sure it's okay that I leave and then be back in the US by next weekend.


  3. I've looked at lots of the other threads, but many are old and I understand the rules have recently changed.


    My husband told me tonight that he is divorcing me for the neighbor across the street. Both of us are US citizens, though have been in Germany for 8 years now. There are no children.


    In 2011, I had a brother in the US who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During his illness and subsequent death, I moved into the guest room as there were frequent calls during the night and sleepless nights. There have not been "conjugal" visits during/since this time.


    As I've finally come out of the haze of grief and talked about returning to our bedroom, my husband opted to speak up.


    My question is, since we haven't been sharing a bed, but in every other way were a married couple (meals, shopping, laundry, etc...), when does the one-year separation begin? I'm planning to contest the divorce and to try to seek counseling. Last month, we did spend 3-weeks in the US, sharing a bed but no sex, if that matters.


  4. I've done it several times, for about 3 weeks at a time. It works great! Either I provide a box (we get a lot of mail) or, the most recent time, they gave it to me in a container that I returned the next day.


    The only problem we've had is that we get some magazines / catalogs that aren't delivered via Deutsche Post. Those end up jammed in our full mailbox by the time we get back.



    I think there is a slight complication to this however. Some books are not licensed for sale in certain countries, so in this case, they will check where your IP address resolves to, and block the sale if so - this happened to me last week when I was trying to buy from amazon.com. I received an error message saying that it appeared that the book was going to be downloaded to Germany, and this was not allowed.Also, MwSt gets added, which is a slight pain in the arse, although at least this is consistent with their sister company audible.com..


    I don't think it's the IP address, but rather your bank account. I have a US credit card and, when my Kindle is set to "US" for both my country and credit card, I can buy whatever books I'd like. Same with Audible.com.


    Alternatively, you can buy a gift card on Amazon.com with a German card and apply it to your US Amazon account. Buy books for yourself using the balance and that way you take advantage of the Euro while avoiding the foreign currency fee from your bank (other than the one for the gift card). I've been doing this for years now.


  6. We have a Slingbox and a Slingcatcher. Originally, we were paying a service from the US for US programming, but decided we didn't watch it that much and canceled the service.


    We now have our German Sky box and an English Sky box connected to the Slingbox and one TV.


    In a different room, we have a Slingcatcher, which enables us to access both the German and English boxes. When we had the US service, it was also available using the Slingcatcher.


    Before getting the Slingcatcher, we were only able to watch via our PC, not another TV.


    I believe that you could have as many Slingcatchers as TVs, though we only have one.


  7. I use a site out of England that has an enormous selection for all types of handwork. They have kits, patterns, fabric, threads and just about anything you could ask for. The shipping is reasonable and very quick. I've ordered from them many, many times.




  8. Technically, no, my husband is American and holds an American passport. I consider him more German than American as he moved here from Belgium when he was 7 and went through school here. At any rate, the German won't be a problem for him.


    Yep, I know there will be activities above and beyond the Tues nights & weekend trainings. But, for our village, there were only 17 call-outs during 2007. It's something that he's ALWAYS wanted to do. In fact, he tried to volunteer in NYC (pre-9/11) and was basically laughed out of the station -- though they did let him sit in the truck first.


  9. Congratulations! It really is a relief to walk out with the permit in your passport. We had the same problem with my DH being granted the permit per the regulation, but them not being willing to upgrade mine -- per same regulation. For us, it was most important that he get his so we could buy our house and it wasn't worth arguing over mine.




  10. ...you spend a day with a space heater on a wall trying to unfreeze a pipe. Not having any success, decide to open wall to expose pipe. Find pipe behind two layers of sheet rock and a layer of insulation, but nothing between pipe and North facing wall, thus ensuring maximum exposure to cold while insulating pipe FROM heat from house.


  11. My husband just joined and has only had one meeting thus far. He is really excited about it, as they are about him. Apparently, they only have a roster of 16 volunteers (my husband being #17) and didn't have anyone sign-up last year. My DH is the only one to sign-up this year.


    He'll have meetings every other Tuesday plus some weekend trainings. He has no experience, which they were okay with, but forewarned him he won't be done with his training until August, partially to ensure his commitment.


  12. Our accountant said the Finanzamt isn't keen on installment payments / payment plans. Our payment was due on Dec 10 and we had to wait until my husband's bonus was paid out, which ended up being the end of Jan.


    They sent us updated statements which included interest charged for the late payments, something like 3%. We made our payment and about a week later received notice to pay or else, which had obviously been issued prior to our payment being credited. So, in our case, we had almost two months before they got antsy which was enough time for us to pay.


  13. My husband was the only employee establishing an office for an American company, so was basically self-employed for tax purposes for the first year (2005). After filing our taxes, the Finanzamt sent us a statement for quarterly taxes for 2006 based on his 2005 income. As we filed mid-year, we were expected to make two payments immediately and the next two quarterly.


    His company established an office and in Jan 2007, taxes began to be deducted directly from his pay. We still received a letter from the Finanzamt for quarterly payments for 2007 based on 2006 and had to provide proof that taxes were being deducted. Fair enough, I guess, since there had been a change and it seems unreasonable to expect the information to show in their system (?!?!).


    When we received a statement for quarterly payments for this year based on last year, we had yet again to submit proof that we are having taxes deducted.


    So yes, in summary, our experience was that payments are based on the previous year ad infinitum and if not current, they'll ask that you pay up. If current, one must prove it.


  14. Long story as short as possible -- my husband has an American passport, was raised/lived in Germany until he was 28 at which time we met, married and moved to NYC. We were there for four years, thereby voiding his unrestricted work/residence permits. He was offered a big promotion if we moved back to the Germany and back we came. We went through the whole procedure of the work/residence permits again and were granted the standard ones (I as an accompanying spouse).


    Another transfer to a partner company, another raise and we were ready to buy a house. To obtain the mortgage, he needed an unlimited residence/work permit. Having read here about the "highly qualified" express route to freedom, I was aware it existed. Though his salary wasn't high enough when we first arrived, a year later it was.


    As it was vital that we not mess around, we went to an attorney who pointed out that the intent of the permit was not for those who had BEEN living in Germany, however did not exclude it and was willing to give it a go. My husband was approved and off we went to get our new visas -- part of the law being that I would be granted an unlimited residence/unrestricted work permit, too, as the qualifying spouse.


    Though both permits had been previously approved (due to the work with the lawyer), the beamter helping us had a general issue with granting ANYONE a permit as a "highly qualified" person, arguing that nothing would prevent said person from receiving the permit, then quitting their job and becoming a burden to society. My husband basically had to assure her that it was his intention to keep his job to pay for the house that we were trying to buy once she issued the permits.


    In the end, he was granted both; I was granted an unlimited residence permit, but she opted to give me an unrestricted work permit only until the expiration date of my passport.


    We had to prove his income, had a glowing letter from his employer stating that my husband was a most excellent employee, had an attorney smooth the way for us and facilitate the approval.


    Keep in mind, my husband was raised in Germany so, other than the American passport (dad's American, mother's German), he's basically "one of them", so the beamters typically love him -- no broken German, requests to speak English, translators, not to mention they already have records on him going back to his childhood. Even with all of that, once we were in her office, it still wasn't a slam dunk; though for us the process wasn't either too painful or difficult.


  15. If your box includes letters, wouldn't they be addressed to you and help establish your credibility?


    I had the same kind of thing happen in the past. Now my mother includes a handwritten note with my name and "Love, Mom", as well as putting post-its on stuff like a magazine cover saying "thought you'd remember this".


    As for getting my box out of hock, I took what I could think of to prove it was from my mother, including having her write an e-mail "confirming" that she'd looked in my stuff and found everything that I'd asked for.


    Armed and ready for battle, we were given the box minus the Benadryl without having to show any documentation or family trees.


    Good Luck!


  16. I've actually quit lurking just to answer this post! Konigstein has an excellent farmer's market every Friday morning. In addition to the fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods and cheese, there is a bio stall that sells bread, vegetables and various other items.


    We've recently moved from Konigstein, so the Hanau farmer's market (the largest in Hessen) is closer, but I miss the one in Konigstein. It had everything we needed without being too big.


    Additionally, there is a Reformhaus across the street from Tengelman.


    Hope this helps,