Custody may need to be reorganized as part of the divorce. This can be done by mutual agreement by the spouses or by consulting the court. more .
Submitting the divorce petition is the beginning of the divorce proceedings. This can only be done by a lawyer, otherwise the application is ineffective. more .
Court on costs
After the divorce application has been received by the court, the court requests that the expected court costs be paid or advanced. more .
Abolition of civil partnership
The registered civil partnership is now largely legally equivalent to marriage. Therefore, the divorce rules are also comparable. more .
Divorce is usually a lengthy and nerve-wracking process. In addition to the new circumstances, the spouses concerned must also adjust to the costs associated with the divorce. In addition to the divorce cost calculator, some important questions on this topic should be answered below.
1. How is the cost of a divorce calculated??
The cost of a divorce, i.e. the procedure necessary for the effective termination of a marriage, is primarily composed of the costs for the court and the divorce lawyers who have taken action:
1.1 Court costs
The so-called procedural value is decisive for the amount of the court costs (in family matters one does not speak of the value in dispute). The following factors are decisive for its calculation:
- Monthly net income of spouses
- Number of dependent children
- Property of spouse
If, in addition to the divorce, other questions are to be decided by the court – one speaks of so-called “follow-up matters” – the procedural value also increases. The follow-up matters typical in divorce proceedings include:
- Maternity matters (e.g. custody, handling, right of residence)
- Maintenance claims
- Decision on marriage home and household items
- gain compensation
The preparation of expert reports can also influence the costs of a procedure. For example, if the value of a property has to be determined, the court will instruct an expert to do so.
If the procedural value was determined as described, the court fees can be found in a table (in accordance with Appendix 2 in the Law on Court Costs in Family Matters).
Here is an excerpt:
|Process value up to … EUR||Fee… EUR|
You can easily have the costs calculated by our court cost calculator!
1.2 Attorney fees
Lawyers’ fees are calculated in a similar way to court fees. Here, too, one is guided by the procedural value (one speaks however of the so-called object value), which in turn is assigned a corresponding fee in a table (only for lawyers) (Annex 2 to the law on the remuneration of lawyers).
Here is an excerpt:
|Item value up to … EUR||Fee… EUR|
For expenses (telephone, communication, etc.), a flat rate of 20 euros is regularly applied.
You can easily have the costs calculated by our lawyer cost calculator!
1.3 Divorce costs table
The cost of a procedure in which only one lawyer works:
|Process or item value
|Fees for the court and one Total attorney
|Fees for the court and two Total lawyers
|500||70.00 + 173.74 = 243.74||70.00 + 173.74 + 173.74 = 417.48|
|1000||106.00 + 290.36 = 396.36||106.00 + 290.36 + 290.36 = 686.72|
|1500||142.00 + 406.98 = 548.98||142.00 + 406.98 + 406.98 = 955.88|
|2000||178.00 + 523.60 = 701.60||178.00 + 523.60 + 523.6 = 1,225.20|
|3000||216.00 + 693.53 = 909.53||216.00 + 693.53 + 693.53 = 1,603.06|
|4000||254.00 + 863.46 = 1,117.46||254.00 + 863.46 + 863.46 = 1,980.92|
|5000||292.00 + 1,033.40 = 1,325.40||292.00 + 1,033.40 + 1,033.40 = 2,358.80|
|6000||330.00 + 1,203.33 = 1,533.33||330.00 + 1,203.33 + 1,203.33 = 2,736.66|
|7000||368.00 + 1,373.26 = 1,741.26||368.00 + 1,373.26 + 1,373.26 = 3,114.52|
|8000||406.00 + 1,543.19 = 1,949.19||406.00 + 1,543.19 + 1,543.19 = 3,492.38|
|9000||444.00 + 1,713.12 = 2,157.12||444.00 + 1,713.12 + 1,713.12 = 3,870.24|
|10,000||482.00 + 1883.06 = 2,365.06||482.00 + 1,883.06 + 1,883.06 = 4,248.12|
|13,000||534.00 + 2,036.33 = 2,570.33||534.00 + 2,036.33 + 2,036.33 = 4,606.66|
|16,000||586.00 + 2,189.60 = 2,775.60||586.00 + 2,189.60 + 2,189.60 = 4,965.20|
|19,000||638.00 + 2,342.87 = 2,980.87||638.00 + 2,342.87 + 2,342.87 = 5,323.74|
|22,000||690.00 + 2,496.14 = 3,186.14||690.00 + 2,496.14 + 2,496.14 = 5,682.28|
|25,000||742.00 + 2,649.42 = 3,391.42||742.00 + 2,649.42 + 2,649.42 = 6,040.84|
|30,000||812.00 + 2,899.32 = 3,711.32||812.00 + 2,899.32 + 2,899.32 = 6,610.64|
|35,000||882.00 + 3,149.22 = 4,031.22||882.00 + 3,149.22 + 3,149.22 = 7,180.44|
|40,000||952.00 + 3,399.12 = 4,351.12||952.00 + 3,399.12 + 3,399.12 = 7,750.24|
|45,000||1022.00 + 3,649.02 = 4,671.02||1022.00 + 3,649.02 + 3,649.02 = 8,320.04|
1.4 Extrajudicial costs
In addition to the fees in judicial proceedings, extrajudicial costs can also arise. If, for example, you commission a lawyer with advice or representation before the procedure, the costs incurred depend on the type and scope of the specific activity.
For a first consultation by a lawyer, costs of up to 190 euros (plus VAT) can be charged according to the law. For a (more extensive) consultation or a written report, this limit is 250 euros (plus VAT).
With our free divorce cost calculator you have the possibility to calculate the costs for a divorce proceedings.
2. Example of the calculation of divorce costs in the process
In order to make the composition of the costs for a divorce procedure easier to understand, the following examples should serve:
- Wife’s net income: € 2,000.00
- Net income of the husband: € 2,000.00
- Property of the spouses: a common house worth € 120,000
- 2 minor children
- Number of benefits: 4 (one statutory pension and one private pension per spouse)
2.1 Calculation of the process value
Spouse’s income x 3: € 12,000.00
Less maintenance costs for children (à 250.00) – € 500.00
5% of the assets (less the allowance of € 60,000.00) + € 3,000.00
10% of the triple net income per supply (4 rights of 10% each) + € 4,800.00
Total = € 19,300.00
2.2 Calculation of court fees
The court costs can be found in the Law on Court Costs in Family Matters (FamGKG). For the present example, the following results in the first instance procedure:
Court fee € 345.00 x 2.0 = € 690.00
2.3 Calculation of attorney fees (per attorney)
The (legal) costs for the activities of a lawyer in divorce proceedings result from the law on the remuneration of lawyers (RVG).
The following values result for the present example:
Procedural fee € 742.00 x 1.6 = € 1,187.20
Appointment fee € 742.00 x 1.2 = € 890.40
Flat-rate expenses = € 20.00
VAT (19%) = € 398.54
Sum = 2,496.14
The total costs are € 3,186.14. If another lawyer acts on the part of the respondent, the total amount increases by € 2,496.14 to € 5,682.28.
3. Who pays the divorce costs?
legal expenses: If you hire a divorce lawyer out of court, you will be charged the full amount. Nothing else applies in judicial proceedings. Here too, each partner has to pay the lawyer working for him. If only one lawyer acts on the applicant side in the case of a mutually acceptable divorce, then only this lawyer is his client. Accordingly, only this (applicant) spouse has to cover the costs.
It is different with the court costs. These are usually shared. The court demands the full amount of the court costs when making the application (advance payment of court costs). Therefore, the spouse filing the divorce must pay all of the court costs at that time. In the later divorce decree, it is usually decided that each spouse must pay half of the court costs. This allows the applicant spouse to claim back half of the court costs.
4. What costs does legal protection insurance cover??
The costs of a legal expenses insurer are mostly regulated in model clauses, the general conditions for legal expenses insurance (ARB). According to this, divorces and other family law disputes (pension equalization, childhood matters, maintenance claims, etc.) are generally not covered by the insurance cover. Legal protection insurers only cover the costs of legal advice or information. Since the model clauses are not binding for all legal expenses insurance, divorce costs can also be reimbursed in exceptional cases. You can only find out whether this is the case in your case by consulting your legal expenses insurance or by looking again at your contract documents.
5. Who bears the costs if a spouse cannot afford the divorce?
If a spouse is unable to meet the costs of the divorce, this does not fundamentally change the fact that he or she has to pay the legal or court costs. In these cases, however, it is possible to apply for legal aid.
6. When is legal aid granted??
Legal aid (in matters outside of family law matters is usually referred to as "legal aid") is a state support that is intended to provide low-income people with access to justice. Legal aid is granted if, based on his personal and economic circumstances, the applicant is unable to cover the costs of the proceedings, or only in part. An application to the court is mandatory for the granting of the help, whereby an appropriate application form is to be used (available nationwide here).
The license is excluded if the legal fees and court costs are covered by legal expenses insurance.
7. What is pension equalization??
In the course of the pension equalization, the spouse’s pension rights arising during the marriage are divided. This includes all private or statutory benefits in Germany and abroad that serve to provide security in old age or disability (e.g. reduced employment, incapacity for work or incapacity to work) and are aimed at a pension, e.g .:
- Statutory pension insurance
- Civil Service Pensions
- Company pension schemes, including supplementary public service schemes, professional pension schemes (e.g. medical, pharmacist, architect, lawyer)
- Private life insurance (only insofar as it is aimed at a pension!)
Private occupational disability and occupational disability supplement insurance (BUZ) only counts as a pension if the insured event occurred during your marriage and you are already receiving current pension or if the conditions are in place. A survivor’s pension is only eligible for compensation if it is combined with a retirement or disability pension in the above. Meaning is connected. Normal life insurance policies that are based on a lump sum payment do not count towards the benefits. The following are not included in the pension equalization:
- Free supplies
- Pensions with compensation character (e.g. accident pensions from the statutory pension insurance, benefits for war victims, according to the Federal Compensation Act, the Victim Injury Act or the law on the compensation of victims of contaminated blood reserves)
8. What is an "online divorce"?
The term "online divorce" is often used synonymously for a consensual divorce, in which the correspondence between the applicant and his authorized representative (lawyer) is dealt with online. However, this cannot replace the trial in court, especially since a marriage can only be effectively divorced by a judge under German law.
Accordingly, the concept of online divorce hides the idea of combining the low costs of a mutually acceptable divorce with the advantages of modern means of communication such as e-mail, contact form, etc., thereby saving time as well as costs. This eliminates the need for personal visits to lawyers. You only have to keep the divorce date in court. You can find out more about online divorce – the process and in which cases it makes sense – here.
9. How can you save money on a divorce??
Divorce proceedings are always associated with divorce costs, since a court and at least one lawyer must always be active for an effective divorce. However, there are certainly ways to reduce the costs involved.
- Get out of court settlements: You can avoid many costs simply by agreeing out of court with you and your partner. The more points are in dispute and the more decisions the court has to make, the higher the legal and court costs will be in the end. It is also important to avoid extensive expert opinions if possible.
- Amicable divorce: The easiest way to save costs from the outset is by amicable divorce. In this way, only one lawyer has to act to file the divorce application. As soon as one thing is in dispute, another lawyer must be involved (and paid).
- Online Divorce: As we all know, time is money, you can also save money with an online divorce. Especially if it is a mutually acceptable divorce.
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