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How to file for divorce?

If a marriage is broken, there is sometimes no alternative for the partner than to file for divorce. A marriage can only be divorced in a family court. A lawyer is required here. The experience of a good lawyer can make all the difference: If he succeeds in bringing both partners around the table and reaching an amicable divorce, it saves money, time, and nerves.

At a glance

  • A marriage will be divorced before the family court. Lawyers are required.
  • Spouses must have at least one year of separation before they can file for divorce.
  • A divorce is amicable if the spouses have already agreed on the consequences of the divorce before the court hearing.
  • The consequences of divorce are z. B. the division of joint property, custody, and maintenance regulations.
  • In a contentious divorce, the separation period can be extended to up to three years.
  • Lengthy legal proceedings often accompany a contentious divorce.
  • A good lawyer can succeed in negotiating a mutually satisfactory solution and thereby an amicable divorce.

1. Requirements: When can I file for divorce?

The law prescribes only one condition for divorce: The marriage must be irretrievably broken.

To prove it, the couple must have lived apart for at least a year before filing for divorce. The so-called year of separation is intended to prevent a couple from hastily making the far-reaching decision to divorce.

Do I have to move out of the shared apartment?

From a legal point of view, the domestic community is dissolved at the beginning of the year of separation: the couple lives “separated from table and bed.” The easiest way to do this is when one of the partners moves out of the shared apartment.

Spatial separation is not necessary. Anyone who continues to live together under one roof during the year of separation should still make the break transparent and verifiable.

The spouse can pay for it

  • each move into a separate area of ​​the house or apartment.
  • Operate separately from each other (income and expenses).
  • Do not take care of the other person (e.g., no longer shopping for each other or washing clothes).

When does the separation year begin, and how can I prove it?

The separation year starts as soon as one of the partners clarifies to the other that they want to file for divorce.

Before the divorce is enforced, the family court does not check whether the year of separation has been observed. If both partners want a divorce, their statements are sufficient as evidence.

However, if either partner does not want a divorce, it may be advisable to have evidence of the year of separation ready.

Receipts can be, for example:

  • The verifiable excerpt from the shared apartment
  • A solicitor’s letter officially confirming the start of the year of separation
  • A dated separation letter with a signed acknowledgment of receipt in which one spouse officially separates

If one of the spouses disputes the year of separation in court and there is no evidence, the separation period can be extended to up to three years. After three years of separation at the latest, the court will enforce the divorce, even if someone does not want it.

Can I file for divorce without a year of separation?

Even if both spouses want to file for divorce, you must respect the year of separation. Premature divorce is only possible in exceptional cases of hardship.

It is always an individual decision of the responsible family court, to which there is no legal entitlement. The application for a hardship decision can be granted if a partner

  • is extremely violent towards the other or the children.
  • Cheated and a pregnancy resulted from it.
  • Has repeatedly consumed drugs or alcohol in the presence of the children.
  • Started prostituting himself after marriage.
  • Has concealed a severe mental illness from the other.

Reconciliation in the year of separation

The year of separation allows spouses to reconsider whether they want to file for divorce. Reconciliation is possible at this time. For the judgment, “reconciliation” means the restoration of the domestic community.

A couple must get together again for at least three months and live in a marital union. If the relationship then fails after more than three months, the year of separation also begins again. If the attempt at reconciliation lasts less than three months, it has no legal consequences.

2. Do I need a lawyer?

Yes, anyone who files for divorce always needs a lawyer. The family court is always responsible. A lawyer is required here. The reason: The dissolution of a marriage is often highly emotional and may involve the division of not inconsiderable assets. A lawyer can ensure objectivity and ensure an orderly process.

For a divorce by mutual consent, a lawyer is sufficient. However, the lawyer only represents the interests of the client who hired him. One of the two spouses, therefore, has no legal representation. This is not a problem as long as both want the divorce and all the consequences have been resolved by mutual agreement.

However, in the event of a contentious divorce, it may be advisable for both partners to have their lawyers. Otherwise, the person who goes out of the proceedings might be at a disadvantage without legal support.

Because divorce is always the dissolution of an economic community, assets that have grown and grown together over the years must be unbundled and divided up again – potential for a distribution battle.

There are also other sensitive issues to be dealt with, such as profit compensation, separation maintenance, post-marital maintenance, and possibly custody and access rights for the children together.

3. Process & formalities of a divorce

Even if every divorce is individual, it follows a fixed process: As a rule, there are these six steps between the separation and the final divorce of a couple :

1. Separation

The couple officially separates and no longer live in a marital union.

2. Year of separation

The partners live “separated from bed and table” for at least one year.

3. Lawyer files for divorce

The lawyer formulates the divorce petition and submits it to the court.

4. Summons to oral proceedings

The court sets a date for the oral hearing and summons both partners and the lawyer (s) in writing.

5. Appointment for divorce in court

In the oral hearing, the court checks whether the requirements for divorce met and carries out the pension adjustment. The divorce decree issued.

6. Divorce becomes final

After the court has notified the divorce, both partners have four weeks to appeal. Otherwise, the divorce is final.

What documents are required for a divorce?

If the lawyer has the client’s signed power of attorney, he can formulate the divorce petition for the court.

The divorce petition contains the following information:

  • Personal details of the spouses
  • Place and date of marriage
  • Marriage certificate number
  • Who Filed For Divorce?
  • Information on the completed year of separation
  • All information about common children
  • Consent of the other spouse to divorce
  • Current net earnings of both spouses
  • Collection of debts
  • Spouses’ assets at the time of marriage

A copy of the marriage certificate and, if applicable, the birth certificates of the children together must attach to the application for divorce. These documents can found in the family register.

An agreement on the consequences of divorce not mandatory, but it can recommend. The agreement regulates, for example, how the joint assets divided and who has custody of the joint children. If it contains maintenance regulations, the agreement is also a maintenance title.

This means that the still spouses can settle the financial and legal effects of their divorce out of court. A friendly divorce is faster and cheaper.

Which family court is responsible?

Which family court is responsible for the divorce depends on whether the partners still live under the same roof and whether there are children together:

  • If the partners still live under one roof, the local family court is responsible.
  • Now, if both partners live in separate apartments and have no children, the family court in the district of the partner filing the divorce has jurisdiction.
  • If the partners live in separate apartments and have children together, the family court in the partner’s district where the children live is responsible.

4. How long does a divorce last?

How long a divorce lasts can not say in general terms. In the best-case scenario, the spouses don’t just agree that they want to file for divorce. You have also drawn up an agreement on the consequences of divorce, in which the financial and legal consequences (a division of assets, possibly custody and access rights for the common children) regulated.

In this case, one speaks of an amicable divorce. One partner files the divorce petition through his lawyer, the other agrees to it without any objections.

A consensual divorce takes around 16 months: 12 months accounted for by the mandatory year of separation, and around another 4 months for the legal processing time and the procedure.

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