Divorce filing: The three best tips

When is the best time to file for divorce, which of the two partners should do it and how can the process be speeded up? Here you will find the three most important tips and tricks for filing for divorce.

1) Good preparation for the divorce application

In order to keep the divorce proceedings as short as possible, it is advisable to prepare well before filing the application. If the spouses are largely in agreement before the divorce application is made as to how ancillary matters such as maintenance , equalization of gains or custody are to be regulated, the execution of the divorce by the family court can be significantly accelerated.

All documents required for the divorce application should also be ready before the appointment with the lawyer in order to avoid delays in the processing of the divorce. You can find out which documents are required for the divorce application and the form in which they must be submitted in our article “Filing for divorce: everything you need to know” .

2) The “right” applicant

In principle, it is not important which of the two spouses files the divorce application. The divorce process is always the same regardless of who files for divorce. For cost reasons, however, it can make sense for the spouses to agree on an amicable divorce.

On the one hand, the spouses can agree that only one lawyer will be hired. This is definitely necessary, because in Germany there is an obligation to have a lawyer in divorce proceedings, which means that the divorce application can only be submitted to the family court by a lawyer. However, if no further facts are clarified in court beyond the actual divorce and the other partner accepts the application without further ado, he can do without his own lawyer in order to save costs. Usually, the spouses then agree that the fee for the applicant’s lawyer will be shared.

Even lower costs arise if one of the partners is entitled to legal aid . In this case, his legal fees and court fees will be paid by the state, either in part or in full, depending on the economic situation of the beneficiary. In combination with the rule of hiring only one lawyer for the divorce, the spouses only incur minimal costs. Note: If both partners are entitled to legal aid, two lawyers can also be engaged without financial disadvantages arising. In the case of non-consensual divorces, this is definitely recommended.

3) Good timing for filing for divorce

The partner who wants to file for divorce should find out what the right time is. Because the date of delivery of the divorce application to the partner is decisive for determining the key dates for the equalization of accrued gains and pensions . Depending on your personal situation, it can therefore be financially advantageous to file the divorce application as early as possible or, vice versa, to delay it a little.

However, a little caution is required, especially if the application is made early. In principle, a marriage can only be divorced when the year of separation has expired. In practice, however, divorce lawyers often submit the application a few weeks or months earlier. In this way, waiting periods for the applicant, which usually arise because the data for the pension rights adjustment have to be obtained, are to be reduced to a minimum. Since this can take a few months, the lawyers assume that no divorce date will be given before the end of the year of separation anyway.

From a purely legal point of view, however, such a premature application is not conclusive, since a basic requirement for divorce, namely the expired year of separation, is not met. The family court can therefore reject the application in such a case, which would necessitate an appeal procedure and generate additional costs. If you apply too early, it is also possible that legal aid will not be approved, even if you are actually entitled to it.

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