Scheidung Berlin
Fachanwalt Familienrecht Berlin

Divorce in Berlin

Separation and divorce are traumatic events. The partnership is broken, but most couples are bound together through the children. How to deal with the situation, how to preserve one’s own interests, without risking a war of the roses?

I can help you with my experience and my knowledge as a divorce attorney and mediator.

Since 2002, I specialize in family law as well as dealing exclusively with divorces and other family law issues. I work in partnership with another  lawyer who are also working exclusively in family law, so you benefit from our professional exchange.

Procedure: Free initial assessment

You can contact me by phone or via the contact form through the page Divorce in Berlin on my website.

I will call you immediately or at your own convenience. You can describe the current situation, and I will give you an initial assessment, which is without charge. Then if you wish, we can arrange a personal meeting, you will then promptly receive an appointment, usually for the next working day.

Personal meeting

In this first meeting, we asses your very individual situation. I will guide you through the conversation and develop the connections on a flip chart. My goal is to make the legal situation clear to you, to enable you to recognize and evaluate your options for action. We will discuss thoroughly the external procedure, the time frame and the costs.

You can take a photo of the flip chart at the end of the consultation, as a reminder of our discussion. Please put aside up to two hours for the first meeting.

Next steps: Mediation?

I am not only a specialist lawyer for family law, but also a certified mediator. If you and your (spouse) partner agree on clear settlement of all separation and divorce sequences, I can act as mediator instead of as a lawyer. In this case you should point this out at the beginning of the contact.


International Divorce

Getting divorced internationally can have additional difficulties, but it can also be an advantage.

  • Do you or your spouse have a foreign nationality?
  • Were you married abroad?
  • Do you live abroad or have recently lived abroad?
  • Are you considering moving abroad or already in the process of making arrangements to do so?
  • Do you have assets abroad?

Even if only one of these options mentioned above apply to you, then you should be advised at an early stage.

There is a substantial difference if you choose to get divorced in Germany or abroad. In so far as considering how your assets will be divided and child maintenance contributions are decided.

Planning International Divorce

1. First points to consider are

  • In which country you were married in and
  • Under what law

In order not to be caught unprepared, it is important to inform yourself on which state of law would best serve your rights. Quite frequently experienced point is, that a spouse may put forward their choice of country without the other being aware of what this might mean for them in the long term divorce and accompanying procedures.

2. You must become aware of the alternatives in order to know where you stand. For this purpose, your assets as well as all your other living circumstances must be carefully examined. In order to clarify things like; what is the position of the property, who is the entitled person, how is the income situation, what are the earning possibilities of the individuals involved, who will the children live with, what are the custody considerations etcetera.

3. Considering all the above points, how would you like the divorce to proceed? do you feel that, there is a possibility of coming to an agreement of how things should be after the the divorce.

4. If everything is clear, then the strategy and the approach must be defined. For this purpose, it is necessary to understand and recognize which legal system is the most favourable for the respective legal area. From this point further procedure has to be derived. The implications of these decisions are manifold. From the early relocation to or from abroad to the mere waiting for an immediate filing of the divorce petition, many things are conceivable and possible. It depends on your incomparable individual case and on you.


Divorce costs

The divorce costs consists of two parts:

  • Lawyer fees and
  • the court costs

The lawyers compensation is governed by the law on the compensation of Consultants (RGV) act, and the court costs (are regulated by the Family law court costs (FamGKG). These costs are the same for every lawyer and every court.

In over 90% of all cases

– Court costs are between 216 €  and 812 €

– Lawyers fees between  621,78 € and 2.591,23 € .

How high the divorce costs will be is dependent on the spouses total net income, the number of dependent children and the number of entitlements in the Pension scheme. From these considerations the so-called “Process value” is calculated.

Process value (Legal value)

At the time of filing for divorce, the current monthly net income of the spouses are added together, from the total, 250 € are subtracted for each dependent child and the result is then multiplied by 3. This is the first calculation of the divorce proceedure.

In addition, there is the litigation value of the pension compensation (if this is carried out). For each individual pension provision one tenth of the procedural value of the divorce is taken as the basis and the sum is added to the method value of the divorce.

The court’s procedural value is determined considering initial court charges as well as the charges incurred by the end of the court case.

Divorce in Berlin is always considered based on this model. However, in courts outside of Berlin, sometimes there is the possibility of a reduction in the procedural value (and the lawyer’s as well as court fees), but the financial assets of the spouses are additionally taken into account with a fraction and the procedural value is added on top.

How the individual courts proceed ,and what can be done to save costs, are discussed in the initial consultation.

Divorce costs

Before the start of the procedure, I will calculate the divorce costs, then go in advance to submit the request to court.

Payment is required in 3 installments:

  • after filing for divorce, the initial court  charges must be paid directly to the court
  • after the filing of the divorce application, the first half of the legal costs have to be paid
  • after the divorce, the second half of the legal costs are required

We can arrange a different payment procedure, acording to individual requirements.


The court costs can be reimbursed (on request) by the other spouse. Each spouse is responsible for their own legal expenses. Only if the applicants spouse is represented by a lawyer, can there be an Agreement of cost division, it can not be enforced.

Advance payment of procedural costs and legal aid

In some circumstances there is the possibility that the spouse or the state fund will assume the costs of court and lawyer fees.

First of all the cost of the procedure will be taken into consideration. The prerequisite for this is that the person entitled to divorce has little income and no assets. If, on the other hand, the other spouse has a good income, he can be asked to pay the divorce costs – in advance.

Whenever a procedural cost allowance is possible, there is no entitlement to the granting of legal aid. If, however, the other spouse has only a low income and no assets, then a claim for legal aid can be made. However, the bureaucratic effort is not to be underestimated. We can discuss other possibilities.


Consequences of divorce

Divorce agreement

These are the main topics of a divorce settlement agreement:

  • Asset allocation
  • Gain compensation
  • Spousal support
  • Pension equalization (pension entitlements)
  • Loans, debts
  • Property
  • Decisions on rights of access

The aim of my consultation for these matters, is to always find a solution out of court.

Therfore I initially negotiate with the other spouse or with the other appointed lawyer.

As a result of the negotiations with each other, the spouses ideally come to the conclusion that a contract should be created in which all the issues in question are regulated. This contract is then referred to as divorce settlement agreement, sometimes as a marriage contract.

In order to become effective, the agreement must then be certified by a notary or recorded in court.

If it is not possible to come to such an agreement, or if only partial areas can be regulated, then a court procedure is often carried out at the request of the spouse who demands something from the other party.

Negotiate or sue?

If the matter is not clear or the interests differ considerably, the issues always come to the surface during the entire negotiation process, which brings us tot he question:

Which contractual arrangements are favorable for one’s own client, but at least acceptable in relation to a court decision? Is it worth it to pursue the court decision or to risk the action of the other side?

To do this, the lawyer must be able to estimate from experience what a court decision would look like and within what time frame it can be expected. He must be able to calculate whether the participants can muster the financial and psychological power over the duration of the procedure and which circumstances that are significant for a court decision will vary with what probability during the procedure.

I compare it to a game of chess. I only get involved, if some characters are missing and there always are more than 2 players behind the board (and this sometimes can change even during the game). That makes it more interesting. I see every case in its uniqueness and act accordingly. I listen to you, in all fairness and let you decide the pace, but I will not hesitate to inform you if you are wrong about the rules of the game or the other side involved.


Divorce proceedings

Divorce, how long does it take?

The process that leads to a divorce can take a long time. You can form these into three main groups.

  • Express divorce (2 – 4 months)
  • Normal divorce (about 1 year)
  • Disputed divorce (3 years and more)

Express divorce

This is the instance in which, the spouses have excluded the pension compensation before submitting the divorce petition through a divorce settlement agreement or marriage contract. Whereby the court admits the divorce petition of one spouse to the other by mail, and then during the next 3 weeks, the court will determine a date for divorce proceedings, this process time is usually 3 – 4 weeks. The divorce will take place at this date, that’s it.

Normal divorce

This is the instance in which the spouses did not exclude the pension equalization. Then, after the divorce application has been served, both spouses will be sent a questionnaire by the court. This information is about all pension rights which is mandatory. Based on the information given, the pension insurance is then obliged to determine the entitlements in amount.

The whole process takes at best six months, but usually longer, because pension periods are unanswered or questions from the pension insurers are answered hesitantly or incorrectly by the divorce parties or the pension providers are working slowly, for example, the public service in Berlin is known for taking their time.

However, it is possible to reduce this duration: If both spouses participate without delay and three months have passed, the divorce can be brought forward based on joint request.

Disputed divorce

The most common disputes are not the divorce as such. The spouses argue about the divorce consequences such as the gain compensation and the post-marital maintenance. These procedures – referred to as follow-up cases – are connected with the divorce court. The marriage contract will only be ended, when the subsequent matters can be decided. And then there can still be a complaint against these decisions – and against the divorce itself. It then continues in the 2nd Instance.

In these instances divorce proceedures might continue for at least 3 years, but they can also take much longer.

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