International Divorce Lawyer - Australian/German

37 posts in this topic

Dear All

 

I want to know if anyone can help.

 

I need to know if there is a way to obtain legal aid and also if there are recommendations for an International Family Lawyer who also understands Australia law.

 

I am Australian, my husband German, & we have 2 beautiful children (a baby and a 3 y'o). They are the joy of my life. My marriage to this person has been hard going for many many years but for the sake of the kids I have tried to hold things together - it is now totally toxic and on the rocks.

 

My 'husband' is verbally and psychologically vicious and abusive on a scale that makes my head spin and destroys my soul day after day - 6 years leaves you devastatingly bruised inside. He is never at home (mostly 3-5 days per week away) and, when he is home he gives almost no time, energy or interest to his children or myself; unless one in a blue moon taking our little girl to an outdoor cafe/bar so he can drink wine and play with his iphone constitutes top fatherly behavior. Full weekends of golf are more important, as is watching football with friends. He has no family here and mine are in Aust - I am desperate for them to understand the beauty and warmth of a supportive family environment. Here in Munich we are alone. His life and enjoyment are the only source of priority and we have to go along with his plans as a second priority. He has been unfaithful, has racked up 5 star drink bills in 5 star hotels with 5 star 'women', and has backed off from our original agreement to live in Germany for a 'couple of years' before moving to Australia. He holds the purse strings and knows that German law is on his side, not mine and has repeatedly threatened to take the children, ensure that they always live in Germany and take half my assets (that i bought before i even knew him).

 

As with a lot of women I had a very good international career spanning 15 years, was financially independent, etc bf moving to Germany. This then stopped. Put bluntly, 2.5 years were dedicated to having our children through assisted means as he couldn't have them naturally. The price you pay to be a woman. We were blessed and have 2 beautiful bubs and he stayed the 'bread winner' whilst i became the stay at home mother/wife, despite trying to find part time work in my field of expertise btw bubs to also financially contribute. I state this only to point out that as a result I have no independent income which I might use when seeking legal advice. He also has 'legal insurance' which he can use, and which I believe i cant. So, if a divorce were to happen his costs would be covered but i would have to pay with money that I don't have (!) for legal representation that I cant afford. So, a great situation.

 

More I cant write however I wish to know if anyone might firstly have some advice re Legal Aid - i would want to apply in confidentiality.

Also, whether there are any legal services especially for women.

And finally whether anyone can recommend some good International Family Lawyers who understand Aust law with whom I could speak.

 

I thank you in advance.

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PandaMunich

 

I wanted to thank you very much for your wonderful response, and for the time and consideration that you put into writing it. I hugely appreciated it. You have cleared up a lot of things for me and it has enabled me to stand back from the immediate problem and refocus on critical considerations moving forward. I had previously researched a lot of things online however it is often the case that the complexity and volume of the information one finds leaves one more entangled than when starting.

 

I have now been to see a lawyer. It was excellent to go in having read your post, the TT wiki on this theme (also exceedingly helpful) and additional support material that your post lead me to find when resuming my own research. The discussion as a result was clear cut and focused - down to business.

 

You were correct on all counts. For those reading this thread, Prozeßkostenhilfe (legal aid) is indeed something that i can obtain, although this is means tested. I understand with more clarity now that during the initial 'Separation Phase' (minimum 1 year), my husband must pay alimony for myself and my kids. Once divorced, my husband must continue to pay alimony to me and for my children up until they are 3 years old. At that time the courts suppose that kindergarten kicks in to take care of the kids during the day which enables me to have full capacity for a full time job. To that end, the alimony component supporting me discontinues, however it is maintained at the same level for my children, irrespective of the wage i then earn. The children receive continued financial support from him until such time as they graduate from school.

 

It is good to feel more on top of things and the process of 'flying a flag for help & advice', to which you so generously responded PandaMunich, has helped immeasurably.

 

Many many thanks again.

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Glad to have been of help :)

Thank you for the update.

 

It sounds like you are on track now with the lawyer you found, but please don't hesitate to ask here or in a PM if you have any further questions.

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I need help! I'm going through a divorce and I don't understand anything, I'm affrain I'll be left with nothing. :(

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Well, first read the information on this thread and if you have any more questions, just ask.

 

How long have you been married? Do you have children? Who earns more, you or your ex?

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@ Mark, there are plenty of of threads concerning divorce in Germany:

 

http://www.toytowngermany.com/search/?type=quick&sitesearch=toytowngermany.com&cx=partner-pub-5347464857872075%3A1908358281&ie=UTF-8&sa=Search&q=divorce+lawyer+&logic=and&l=

 

Take a look, and you might also find a recommendation for a good lawyer near you.

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Okay, I was living in Germany for over 15 years, in that time I was a housewife. My husband as been working as a mechanic. Now that we're divorcing it's so hard to find a job because my German isn't perfect. The kids stay with my husband, my youngest is 17. My husband and I get along great, I don't ask for anything because he takes care of the kids. He has a lawyer, we were thinking just to get it over as fast as possible. My family say it's stupid that I didn't get a lawyer, now maybe I won't be insured once the divorce is final. I just recieved a letter today, one from insurance and the other from his lawyer cancelling some sort of insurance, so I don't know what's going on, If I'm not entitled to anything than fine, but if I am, then I would like to know what. Thanks!

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hi

 

by any chance can you tell me how things got resolved...i\m in the current situation with 1 year old. I have worked for the government in the US...and left my career for my German husband. 2 years in marriage i have decided to file for divorce since i camt take physical and emotional abuse. i have been home as well, and what works against me is that my husband makes half a million euro a year...he owns companies and has a high reputation so he will do anything at this point to take away child and destroy me to protect his reputation.

 

being a foreign mother with a husband that is powerful and yet mentally unstable around me and child...now is turning around to do anything to take away one thing i have left is my baby and little dignity i have left. I was kept captive in germany as i was threatened about taking my child away and before the baby was born that the baby wont make it through pregnancy if i ever visit the US in my case. I have been isolate from family and friends and yet safe house is my home unfortunately.

 

german law is terrifyin and i was also pressured insto signing a prenup in german, so he planned to find a woman to take care and make her a baby and then get rid of her. he even said he never wanted a wife just a child. a child that will take upon his legacy.

 

not to mention my husband has a diagnosis with phycoterapist i wont even get into...i was told as probbaly there was threat to my well being...the day came when he became so agressive he was about to kill me and i was locked in a room with a babby and he disconnected phone and internet so i could not call police...i have been trying to slowly make my move to find a job and divorce him but he has followed me somehow and found out i have been seein a lawyer....

 

i found a way to contact a friend before he disconnected and they called a police, only friend i was able to make as he kept me away from everybody.

 

so i was taken to safe house but even with cases of such mentally ustable men in germany they have ways to convice court in their favor...so all i cna fight for is the situations that took place and that im mother of a young child that needs to be protected.

 

so this is how a man of my dreams turned out to be a nitemare...right now i need to recover from all of this but it wouold be helpful to hear how the case turned out for you and did you get to keep the chidlren and return to australia or you had to stay in germany.

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Hi, I'm an Australian man. It seems likely that I will be getting divorced. My wife is German and our ten month old daughter was born in Germany. I intend to remain here to be a positive influence in my child's life if we go ahead with the separation. I'd like some advice regarding my rights as a father. My wife has taken my daughter from me to her parents house. Our relationship has been stressful. I believe my wife suffers from some kind of psychological problem, although I'm not qualified to diagnose. Over the past year her fits of rage have resulted in violence, she thinks its is ok to attack me with her fists over and over, even while I'm holding our daughter or when she is holding our daughter. On the day she took my daughter and scurried off to her parents house she physically attacked me three times with a flurry of blows. On the second occasion I was tending to my daughter because she was crying, I was struck on the head repeatedly by my wife with our daughter's milk bottle, it made my head bleed and I have lumps under my hair from it. I'm saddened that our relationship has resulted in violence, although I saw her tendencies to lose control when angry very early on in the piece, I should have heeded the warnings. To be honest, I've sustained worse injuries from falling off my bicycle. I'm just very concerned about the welfare of my daughter, my wife's parents are good folks but they have done well to validate their daughters claims about how life is always unfair and that the world is out to get her. They do this so they don't have to put up with her crap, I understand it totally. My other concern is that they will be whispering into my wife's ear, I'm sure my wife is convinced that her violent behaviour is justified, her parent's idleness in this desperate situation makes me think they are playing it down. I just want to be the major guiding influence in my daughter's life, I cant trust anyone else here to do the job. My neighbours advised me against calling the police, but they did take photos of the scratches and wound on my head and shoulder. Ideally I'd like my wife to seek help, I'm upset that our family is broken. But I'll do whatever it takes to protect my daughter and stop her from being influenced by twisted truths and half truths.

 

thanks, I'm waiting to hear your thoughts.

Chad.

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@Chad

Have a good read of this...  https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/176973-coping-with-mind-games/

 

Then decide which way to go..     As for Divorce, Sadly I can not advise.

 

"Fighting for your Daughter"  I can possibly help..   

 

My advice is, no matter how hard it is without your Daughter in your arms every day..NEVER GIVE UP !!!!

 

Start with the Jugendamt... then stay with the Jugendamt and battle forward with them on your side.. Be the reasonable one and not the angry "EX" in all of it..

Your EX will not really want the JA involved that much as they keep permanent records and are accessible to all other "public offices" if needs be...

 

Secondly... Keep your nose clean and dont bring yourself to her level.

 

Thirdly, Try not to say too much negative about your ex or you will be labeled a "Woman hater" by the TT FrauenClique*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unfortunately I've put off applying for my daughter's Australian citizenship and Passport. I didn't see this coming. I've invested so much. Sold property in Australia to pay outright for the house my wife wanted here. I dare say I'd drop it all and run with my kid if I wasn't seen as committing a child abduction. I just want my wife to get help. I hope we can get through this, step by little step.

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Thanks SpiderPig, I'll opt to be as model and collected as I can. I have no idea what is coming next, I'm just psyching myself up for whatever might come my way. All I will do now is twiddle my thumbs in this big old empty house. Maybe go for a bicycle ride to de-stress. Then I best get familiar with all the long funny words that come with dealing with legal bureaucracy and administration...Cheers! And congrats on the Little one!

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8 minutes ago, Chadd said:

Unfortunately I've put off applying for my daughter's Australian citizenship and Passport. I didn't see this coming. I've invested so much. Sold property in Australia to pay outright for the house my wife wanted here. I dare say I'd drop it all and run with my kid if I wasn't seen as committing a child abduction. I just want my wife to get help. I hope we can get through this, step by little step.

 

I would not recommend trying a child abduction.  1) if you get caught, you have really soured the relationship with the mother as well as with the authorities here for trying.  2) if you succeed, since Australia is a party to the Hague convention, all the mother has to do is complain to authorities here and they will send authorities in Australia after you and they will give you the option of returning to Germany with your child or your child returning to Germany without you and then you'd have 1) as well.

 

Try to fight through the system as Spiderpig recommended.  Go to jugendamt.  Always be the calm and reasonable parent.  Don't expect them to believe your stories of your wife's violent behavior at once and give you custody.  They don't know if you are telling the truth.  Keep in mind that they should only see your best sides.  As for your wife, if she is as volatile as you say, they will see her bad sides at some point and make up their own mind.

 

 

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I suggest that you do go and see a lawyer about "What to do about the property"...

 

She could very well have a claim to the property even though you paid for it....  If you do see a lawyer, leave your emotions in the waiting room... If they see you are weak... they will feed off you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A lawyer should take into account what each of you had when you got married and what you built during your marriage.  The general rule in Germany is that you split what you gained during the marriage.  However, if the house was bought with the money from your house that you had before you got married and your wife did not contribute, you might keep the house.

 

You will likely have to pay her alimony as well as you pay child support but a certain portion of your income can not be taken away because you have to support yourself as well.  Google Düsseldorfer Tabelle 2017 to find out how much you might have to pay according to your income.

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Is there anyway I can get government assistance or welfare despite owning a property here? I want to be here for my daughter. My work situation is strange. I work at sea as an ROV pilot. The pay is handsome and I can usually afford to take bulk time off. If I'm to be here as a dad, an influential dad, then I pretty much need to significantly reduce the amount of time I spend at sea, thus reducing my income. I can't risk my daughter becoming as toxic as her mother. My wife is thirty two, never had a job, an only child spoiled brat, has an insatiable appetite for spending everything I can muster from my time at sea away from my daughter. She has said that she hates me and wishes that I would die. Of course you are only hearing my side of the story, my wife has hers. We argue and we both get snappy, nasty words are exchanged from both parties, I never resort to violence...And I never wish hatred or death upon anybody.

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34 minutes ago, Chadd said:

Is there anyway I can get government assistance or welfare despite owning a property here? (...) The pay is handsome and I can usually afford to take bulk time off. 

 

So you have a decent job and property and hope to get government assistance or even welfare?

 

I think you know the answer. 

 

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9 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

So you have a decent job and property and hope to get government assistance or even welfare?

 

I think you know the answer. 

 

What if I get custody of my daughter considering that my wife has violent tendencies and a history of physical abuse? I can't be running off to sea all the time. Technically when I'm not on a ship I'm unemployed anyway. Until they call me for the next job. So no, I still don't know what I can be entitled to if anything.  It would be right up my wife's alley if she were the one to get government assistance, another selfish run at stumbling through life at someone else's expense. Well I hope at least one of us get's some assistace for our daughter's sake, even if it is my wife. What a Role Model...

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