German Family Law
In cases, where people of different citizenships decide to live together, a lot of legal questions may come up, so that international family law needs to be considered, when deciding to get married or even to get divorced. In most cases one of the spouses went back to his or her home country, it gets even more difficult when you have children together or the returning spouse left the country with your children without consent. We provide legal help to US citizens married to a German and the other way around.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between the future spouses containing the monetary consequences of a divorce and outlines the division of the spouses’ assets and the spousal support after the divorce. For creating and drafting the prenuptial agreement, first it needs to be considered under what kind of family law (German or US) it needs to be done and how it should have set up for being legally binding. We will assist you in setting up a correct agreement that reflects all your specific circumstances and future plans in case of divorce.
The goal of a prenuptial agreement is to make the process of the separation easier for both sides, as well as to protect the personal assets and interests of each party in case of a divorce. This also makes sense if both spouses are not even, but simply want to obtain what they have earned with hard work during their marriage.
There are several good reasons for signing a prenuptial agreement, like ownership of a home, stocks or retirement funds, one of the spouses owns business, receiving an inheritance, children from a previous marriage, one spouse is wealthier than the other, protecting one party from the other’s debt, and many more. However, the wide range of these reasons show that prenuptial agreements make sense for hardly every couple.
It’s also possible to include the consequences regarding what will happen if one of the spouses (or also both of them) dies into a prenuptial agreement, comparable to a will or contract of inheritance.
Before hiring an attorney for setting up the agreement, it is very important that both future spouses are aware of the importance of the prenuptial agreement and that they both want to sign one. Hiring an attorney is very important to prepare the paperwork, because prenuptial agreements in most cases cause serious legal questions. So, it is also necessary to inform the attorney about all assets so that the agreement will withstand in the event of divorce. Failure to disclosure can make, that the agreement cannot be enforced because it has not been set up valid.
Additionally, there are some formal requirements that need to be obtained. The prenuptial agreement must be put in writing, it cannot be a unconscionable contract and must be executed by both parties before a notary in Germany.
When a couple decides to get divorced, every spouse needs to get used to the new life situation. Therefore, we will provide you legal advice by giving you professional, but personal support for the divorce proceeding in front of the German family court. Although, German family law does not require to be represented by an attorney regarding the divorce itself, an attorney is required for legal questions following the divorce like alimony, pension rights, child care and support, child custody as well as visitation rights. Another important topic is to clear the residency of common children. This shows, that family law matters are mostly very sensitive, so that it can be easier for every participant to try to find a solution outside of a court proceeding by mediation.
We find economical solutions for all financial legal consequences of a divorce as well as for pension rights adjustments. In addition, for legal problem solving, we work with experts, in particular in Germany and the US, who can evaluate real estate, businesses and retirement funds, who guarantee an optimal solution under economic aspects. If a prenuptial agreement is to be entered into, we can advise you on this and draft the desired documents in cooperation with you.