Divorce value in dispute: this is how it is determined

Knowing the value of the divorce is important in figuring out how much the attorney and court fees will be for the process. In this article you will find out how exactly the value in dispute of the divorce is calculated and what is relevant for the calculation apart from the income.

What is the value in dispute?

The value in dispute, now officially referred to as the procedural value, is, so to speak, the abstract monetary value of the divorce proceedings . With its help, the cost of divorce is calculated. To determine the value in dispute, the income and assets of the two spouses are primarily used, the distribution of which is (indirectly) negotiated in the divorce.

How exactly is the value of the divorce calculated?

The most important factor when calculating the value in dispute of the divorce is the monthly net income of the two spouses, whereby the total income is meant here, i.e. income from employment and income from renting and leasing, interest income and other ancillary income. Spouses’ incomes are added together and then multiplied by three. This means that if the husband has a net income of EUR 4,000 and the wife an income of EUR 2,500, the initial value in dispute is EUR 19,500. From this, maintenance obligations, for example towards children, and installment payments for joint debts are deducted.
Please note: The initial dispute value is always set by the court at at least 2,000 euros, even if the income of the two spouses would actually result in a lower sum. In addition, the value in dispute can be increased if one or both spouses have assets.

State benefits excluded from the calculation

State benefits, such as Hartz IV or social assistance, are not taken into account when calculating the value in dispute of the divorce. If one of the partners has no income other than such benefits, his income is calculated at 0 euros.

Another important factor in calculating the value of the divorce is the pension equalization . Except in certain exceptional cases, this is carried out automatically during the divorce proceedings. The respective pension entitlements of the partners are balanced against each other so that an equal pension is created for both. For each right to be settled, the total amount in dispute increases by 10 percent of the initial amount in dispute, but at least by 1000 euros.

If other ancillary matters such as alimony , visitation or custody rights , equalization of gains or other financial equalization claims, division of household goods, etc. are settled during the divorce proceedings, the value in dispute continues to increase.

What role do children play?

In some cases, allowances for children may be deducted when calculating the amount in dispute. The value in dispute of the divorce is then reduced by around 250 euros for each child. However, this regulation is not binding and is therefore handled differently from district court to district court.

Is the value in dispute the same as the cost of the divorce?

The calculated amount in dispute is not equivalent to the amount that has to be paid for the divorce. The amount in dispute is used to determine how high the legal and court costs will be. There are fixed values ​​for this, which are determined by the Lawyers’ Fees Act (RVG) and the Court Costs Act (GKG).

Overview of attorney and court costs (in euros)

amount in disputeLawyer’s fee according to RVGCourt fee according to GKG
up to 5004535

Note: This overview is for guidance only. Of course, higher fees are also possible if, for example, the amount in dispute exceeds the highest value specified here or a higher fee rate applies. However, depending on the course of the divorce proceedings, the fees may also be reduced. Therefore, always discuss the exact calculation with your divorce attorney .

Due to these possible deviations, a lawyer at the beginning of a separation or the initiation of divorce proceedings is usually not able to estimate exactly how expensive the proceedings will be at the end. This requires precise knowledge of exactly what the spouses would like to agree on or will argue about and how many pension entitlements the partners each have.

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