Will dating affect divorce

The year of separation

Updated on by Stefan Banse

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The divorce cost calculator calculates both the legal and court costs that make up the divorce cost. First of all, the process value is determined, which serves as the basis for calculating the costs to be calculated. The basis for calculating the costs is the Lawyers' Remuneration Act (RVG) and the Court Fees Act (GKG).

A prerequisite for divorce is a year of separation. During this time, both partners should check whether the marriage has actually failed. The court assumes a separation period of 12 months, not a calendar year.

The meaning of the year of separation

The decision to view the marriage as broken and to seek a divorce is difficult for many spouses. At some point, everyday life returned to the relationship, often there was an argument or the couple grew apart. A year of separation allows separation "on trial" - now both should try to live alone again. These months should also be used to clarify all disputes in advance. At the end of the year of separation, it should be clear who will stay in the shared apartment, which contracts must be terminated and which assets belong to whom.

The rules

In the case of an amicable separation, the court usually assumes that the year of separation has already been completed and this can be confirmed by both partners. If the spouses do not agree, the person who requests the divorce and wants to file it later should announce the beginning of the year of separation. This is best done in writing so that evidence can be presented in the event of a dispute. It is not absolutely necessary for a partner to immediately look out of the shared apartment or house.

In order to still implement the required separation of bed and table, these rules must be observed:

  • The spouses should live in separate rooms. Using the shared bathroom doesn't do any harm, but there should no longer be a living room in the usual sense.
  • The household must be run separately. In the year of separation, for example, housework is not only done by a spouse alone.
  • The spouses should separate finances immediately. This includes your own account and your own debit card for everyone. A partner who has no income is entitled to separation maintenance.
  • If children live together in the household, they are usually looked after by the person who will later take on custody. Agreements are made with the other partner on the right of access and visiting appointments.

This separation maintenance is due

Both spouses should be financially fair during the separation. Therefore, the higher earner has to pay maintenance to the other partner. This entitlement is calculated as follows:

Net income from self-employed or employed work
Less flat rate for work-related expenses - 5 percent
+ other income
- shared debt expense
= adjusted net income

As an employed person, the higher earner has to pay 3/7 of the difference between the two incomes to the recipient of the low income as maintenance.

Here is an example:

The adjusted net income of Mr. Lehmann, who works as an employee, is 2,500 euros. His wife works part-time and has a net income (adjusted) of 1,800 euros. The difference between the two earnings is 700 euros, 3/7 of which are 300 euros. The partner can demand this amount as separation maintenance. Our separation maintenance calculator helps with the calculation of separation maintenance. If the spouse does not pay voluntarily, the help of an experienced specialist lawyer should be sought.

How long is the year of separation?

If the spouses agree to the divorce, 12 months are sufficient, in which they live separately. However, if one of the two does not consent to the divorce, no court date can be set. Then it may take more than three years, only then can the divorce be pronounced without the consent of the other.

Exceptions: cases of hardship that arise

Courts do not insist on observing the year of separation if the continuation of the marriage is no longer reasonable. Such hardship cases are abuse of a partner, violence in the marriage or against the children. Open drug or alcohol addiction, serious crimes or threats of them are also unreasonable.

Does an attempt at reconciliation affect the separation?

During the separation period, married couples should check whether the marriage can still continue. In this respect, an attempt at reconciliation does no harm during this time either. However, if the partnership lasts longer than three months, one could assume that the partners are still interested in the continuation of the marriage. However, it always depends on the individual case.

Divorce without a year of separation

The dissolution of the marriage without the prescribed year of separation should really only be undertaken in cases of hardship. Shortening this time through tricks or lies can have consequences that the partner can hardly keep track of at the beginning. Back-dating the start of the separation, for example, is fraudulent proceedings that can be punished under criminal law. If the court rejects the application for divorce as unfounded because the year of separation was not completed, the applicant bears the entire costs alone. Any procedural cost aid granted will be reclaimed. There may also be disadvantages for the asset equalization in the gain and in the pension entitlements. Even tax back payments threaten, because after the divorce both partners are assessed separately. If the separation is backdated, the separate assessment will also take effect earlier.

The year of separation - more than a chore

Married couples intending to divorce should take the year of separation seriously. It enables them to try whether they can (again) live alone and gives time for all matters to be sorted out. Financially, the partner who does not earn so well is also covered by the separation maintenance. If both agree to the divorce, the divorce petition can be submitted to the court at the end of the 12 months.

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Last update on April 11th, 2021

The pages of the topic "Divorce Costs" were last editorially checked on April 11th, 2021 by Stefan Banse. They are all up to date.

Previous changes on December 19, 2020

  • December 19, 2020: Adjustments to the divorce cost calculator and the calculation examples to the increased legal and court costs approved by the Federal Council in 2021.
  • October 28, 2020: Comprehensive guide on the subject of advance maintenance payments.
  • June 21, 2020: Consideration of the reduction in VAT from 19 to 16 percent on the lawyer's fees to be calculated for the 2nd half of 2020 in the divorce cost calculator.
  • Editorial revision of all texts in this subject area