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Divorce proceeding in Germany

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Hello, 

 

I have finally received a scheduled date for the meeting before the judge to grant the divorce. My STBX and I are going with just one lawyer, which he is paying - let's just say he did some bad stuff and he is the one who caused the divorce, so he agreed to pay for the costs. I am still hurt and dreading seeing him, that's already enough, but because of COVID I'm not even sure I'll be able to take some support with me, and I'm pretty terrified by the whole thing.

 

Could someone who's been through this maybe describe exactly how it goes? I'd feel a bit better prepared.

 

Thank you in advance for your time.

 

In case it matters - we have no assets to split and are not bringing any child issues before the judge, as we have it already figured out. The only thing not clarified yet is the  Versorgungsausgleich - I just got the numbers and my points are slightly higher than his, but I'm hoping he will not have the courage to ask for anything after all he's done. We've had a very amiable relationship so far, it's been 2 years and a half since separation and no issues.

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13 hours ago, Dusseldork said:

My STBX and I are going with just one lawyer, ... he did some bad stuff and he is the one who caused the divorce ...  I am still hurt and dreading seeing him, ... because of COVID I'm not even sure I'll be able to take some support with me,

 

What the dork? ! 

You know who you can definitely take with you for support?  YOUR lawyer.

I don't care how amicable a divorce it might be, and in this case it seems you are "hurt" and "dreading seeing him" so I question how amicable it might be. 

 

Get a lawyer.  Right now.  This morning. 

Even if you think things are cut and dried and that somehow "one lawyer" is going to handle everything nicely, it's worth the money in a major life-changing process like this to have your own representative. 

The next thing you should do is not respond to this post.  The next thing to do is to find a lawyer.

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2 hours ago, DoubleDTown said:

What the dork?

Another one got taken for a ride, doubtless.

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Thank you for your concern. As you probably know, in Germany it is quite normal to use one lawyer when there are no assets to divide or custody issues and both agree to the divorce. My stress with seeing him has to do with emotional issues, not legal ones. The way the process is set up, it's not like he can bamboozle me - I would be notified if he applied for anything like sole custody, which he has not. I totally understand your point though, which is why I did have consultations with a few lawyers before deciding having one file is enough in our case.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Dusseldork said:

Hello, 

 

I have finally received a scheduled date for the meeting before the judge to grant the divorce. My STBX and I are going with just one lawyer, which he is paying - let's just say he did some bad stuff and he is the one who caused the divorce, so he agreed to pay for the costs. I am still hurt and dreading seeing him, that's already enough, but because of COVID I'm not even sure I'll be able to take some support with me, and I'm pretty terrified by the whole thing.

 

Could someone who's been through this maybe describe exactly how it goes? I'd feel a bit better prepared.

 

Thank you in advance for your time.

 

In case it matters - we have no assets to split and are not bringing any child issues before the judge, as we have it already figured out. The only thing not clarified yet is the  Versorgungsausgleich - I just got the numbers and my points are slightly higher than his, but I'm hoping he will not have the courage to ask for anything after all he's done. We've had a very amiable relationship so far, it's been 2 years and a half since separation and no issues.

 

 

Yeah, I can tell you what happens.

 

First of all, you and your ex are NOT going with one lawyer.  He has a lawyer, and you don’t.   I advised you in a PM in December 2019 not to take this approach.

 

You will meet in the courtroom with the judge.  Your ex and his lawyer will sit on one side of the room, and you will sit (alone) on the other side of the room.  You will not be allowed to bring a friend or “emotional support” person with you.

 

Since you are not German, you will be asked if you understand German well enough to proceed.  If you answer no, you will be given the opportunity to postpone the hearing for long enough to find a translator.

 

The facts of the case will be discussed.  You will be asked to confirm that you agree with all of them.  If you disagree with anything, the case will be declared to be disuputed, and you will be told you must get a lawyer. 

 

The Versorgungsausgleich is a mandatory process.  Your ex doesn’t have to ask for anything.  Unless there is something that stands in the way (like overseas retirement funds or US Social Security), your Pensions will be equalized.

 

 

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On the pension thing: yes, we got the ausgleich and my points are a bit higher than his. To me, it's more of a principle thing that I don't give him anything. Since I last wrote, he agreed to make a belated marriage contract now where he renounces it.

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3 hours ago, Dusseldork said:

Thank you for your concern. As you probably know, in Germany it is quite normal to use one lawyer when there are no assets to divide or custody issues and both agree to the divorce. My stress with seeing him has to do with emotional issues, not legal ones. The way the process is set up, it's not like he can bamboozle me - I would be notified if he applied for anything like sole custody, which he has not. I totally understand your point though, which is why I did have consultations with a few lawyers before deciding having one file is enough in our case.

 

 

 

No, it is not normal to use one lawyer. The lawyer cannot represent you both equally. The lawyer will represent you, but since he’s paying, the lawyer will put his best interests first. 

 

Get a lawyer. Yesterday. 

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I've heard of divorces/separations that only had one lawyer (as in that was the idea, not just when one didn't bother) but I can only ever see that working when both involved parties go to the lawyer, behave like adults and actually work together with said lawyer in a fair way that works for the two of them. All the details were agreed before any court date and it was just 'this is what we worked out and we both signed it'.

Could be a fairy story though and  I've never met anyone that has done this as I expect divorce is not often a case of two people being able to act as adults while going through it (which is reasonable to be honest).

 

If it doubt, get a lawyer.

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1 hour ago, cb6dba said:

... I've never met anyone that has done this...

I have - but he was a lawyer himself... just went to get a stamp and a signature having done all the legwork himself.

I heard lawyers create problems where there were none in order to increase their workload and bill accordingly. Presumably the single lawyer could not do that.

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An uncontested divorce is just that.  While the lawyer can only represent one of you, if the terms you and your spouse agree with are clear and understood, the lawyer is merely facilitating the dissolution of the marriage and will present the agreement to the judge who will ask both of you if you understand the agreement.  If so, the divorce is granted.  The only caution is, for both parties, that the divorce is final.  If you have second thoughts or agreed under duress (and this can occur whether there is one, two or no lawyers) you really have no grounds to contest, so my advice is to make an agreement and then give it some time to settle in.  You mentioned a child.  If you are not already living a separated life, give it a try and see how it works before signing.

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"I can only ever see that working when both involved parties go to the lawyer, behave like adults and actually work together with said lawyer in a fair way that works for the two of them. All the details were agreed before any court date and it was just 'this is what we worked out and we both signed it'."

We haven't met have we? :-) That's what we did. I asked a lawyer friend about it beforehand and apart from a vanishingly small potential portion of pension, his opinion was that I wouldn't get much out of contesting anything, especially after paying a lawyer etc, so I didn't bother. We had been officially separated for a while at that point and weren't particularly bothered by the divorce one way or the other (it was actually at the behest of his then girlfriend) plus I was earning more than he was at the time.

So it is possible to divorce without contesting anything but it's probably best to get some sort of expert opinion on it before you sign anything.

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2 hours ago, cvm said:

"I can only ever see that working when both involved parties go to the lawyer, behave like adults and actually work together with said lawyer in a fair way that works for the two of them. All the details were agreed before any court date and it was just 'this is what we worked out and we both signed it'."

We haven't met have we? :-) That's what we did. I asked a lawyer friend about it beforehand and apart from a vanishingly small potential portion of pension, his opinion was that I wouldn't get much out of contesting anything, especially after paying a lawyer etc, so I didn't bother. We had been officially separated for a while at that point and weren't particularly bothered by the divorce one way or the other (it was actually at the behest of his then girlfriend) plus I was earning more than he was at the time.

So it is possible to divorce without contesting anything but it's probably best to get some sort of expert opinion on it before you sign anything.

Maybe we have CVM, I lived in Berlin from 03 until 07... :lol:

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