Separation – what to consider

separation & Year of separation: You need to know about separation in front of a shepherd >

Separation is not only a very emotional topic, it also raises many questions. Such as. after the so-called separation year. There are many reasons for a separation. Often, in marriage, it can also be very useful as a time separation to become aware of one’s own feelings and to decide whether to cling to marriage or actually want the final separation, ie divorce. Without the spouses often being aware of it, so too are many legal effects connected. If the separated spouses do not seek early advice, they often lose a lot of money. It is therefore strongly recommended to get an overview in advance about the consequences and consequences of a separation as well as the prerequisites for a divorce and to work together to settle them in advance. Also, for the divorce of a marriage is the separation year Prerequisite, which is unknown to many married couples.

Table of Contents


Reasons of a separation

Possible reasons for separation include: disputes within the partnership, infidelity, lack of togetherness, lack of sex life, stress in the job, anger with children from another relationship, etc.


To bad economic and personal To avoid consequences by a separation, It is imperative that spouses both seek advice on their personal situation.

Separation as an opportunity

Not always a separation time necessarily ends in divorce. Many married couples are given the opportunity to realize that there is a bigger problem in their relationship. Only when a problem has been identified can something be done to eliminate it. The earlier a consultation takes place, the more the possibility exists that the Spouses working together to find a way how to deal with each other in the future and avoid separation. Here we answer the most important questions in advance.

separation year

What should be considered in the year of separation??

If a marriage fails, it is usually impossible to draw a line. In Germany, the law dictates that before a divorce a separation year complied must become. In the separation year, the spouses should check whether everything is really over. This is to make sure that nobody willingly takes the decision to end the marriage. Is there really no salvation left? the year of separation use everything to prepare for divorce.

Documents and contracts

If one of the spouses thinks specifically about a divorce, it is recommended important documents in advance such as insurance contracts, payroll or retirement plans too to back up. A lawyer can demand the information about the financial circumstances, but not infrequently it happens that not everything is disclosed.

When does the year of separation begin??

The year of separation begins, if one clearly communicates to the partner the intention of separation. The date will be stated in the divorce petition and submitted to the court at the end.

Separation of table and bed

A divorce is only possible after the separation year, when a common housekeeping has not taken place, So it came to a separation in this regard. The easiest way to do this is when one of the two spouses moves out – but the process is also possible under one roof. In the year of separation, the spouse is not allowed to sleep in a bed, cook for each other, or undertake joint recreational activities. It is also important the agreement who pays the cost of rent, electricity or utilities in the year of separation.

Can a reconciliation attempt affect the duration?

In the separation year, of course, feelings can flare up again. It even happens that spouses find each other again. Here you have to know that one Reconciliation attempt may take up to three months, without affecting the duration.

Entitlement to maintenance

Everyone has to claim maintenance until divorce. As a rule, the one who is better off financially pays. If the parties fail to agree with each other, these claims can be resolved through a lawyer or in court. In this case, both sides have to disclose their income situation.

Maintenance obligation for common children

Are there common children at the separation, are both parties obliged to maintain. This can be done in the form of natural maintenance or by the payment of money. Here is the Dusseldorfer table a good overview. The custody remains with both partners and can only be changed in court

Distribution of household effects

During the separation year, one should think in good time about shared possessions. Household items, real estate but also loan and insurance contracts must be split. If there are contracts or insurances that run on both partners, they should check at an early stage which deadlines and procedures must be followed.

Normally a divorce is only possible after the one-year separation period. However, there are cases where divorce is necessary immediately, especially to protect the other spouse.

Submitting a divorce without having to wait for the year is a narrow path. The law says, “If the spouses have not been separated for a year, the marriage can only be divorced if the continuation of the marriage for the claimant for reasons that are in the person of the other spouse would be an unreasonable hardship.” § 1565 Abs.2 BGB).

What does that mean? For the hardship decision there are no general guidelines. Judgments are always case by case decisions. The reasons for a hardship decision must be objectively comprehensible. The subjective feeling of the affected spouse is not decisive.

Hardship cases that give you an instant>

The paragraph cited above allows for immediate divorce. In the following situations, the spouses do not have to wait for the year, but can file the divorce immediately:

  • Serious cases of violence
  • Serious cases of drunkenness
  • Demonstrative adultery
  • Violence against the children
  • Sexual abuse

The family judge will assess whether the claimant can be expected to spend another year with the spouse. Unreasonableness is assumed when, in addition to the mere failure of the marriage, there are other reasons that make living together impossible.

Cases in which the court has assumed unreasonableness

Unacceptability is assumed:

  • when a spouse is beaten again and again
  • when the children are abused
  • in a serious threat with violence
  • when a woman is raped by her husband
  • in particularly serious cases of adultery
  • if one spouse is reported by the other to the police or the prosecutor, or blacked out at the employer

Cases that are not unreasonable

Courts set a rigorous yardstick in assessing whether a case is unreasonable or not. An immediate divorce is an exception. There are no cases of hardship in the following cases:

  • A single case of strangulation is usually insufficient (unless this case affects the stepdaughter).
  • It will not be enough if the woman becomes pregnant after a single misconduct, because then the wife’s adultery would be harder to assess than the husband’s adultery.
  • severe mental illness or nauseating disease.
  • if the marriage was only means to an end to obtain a residence permit
  • If sexual intercourse can no longer be carried out, this is not a cause for hardship. Otherwise, marriages of sick and old people could always be divorced immediately.
  • when a spouse in the relationship has very liberally engaged in gender relations with others.

A hardship decision also takes time

If a spouse wants to take the path of a hardship decision, it must be considered that nevertheless a divorce proceeding must be gone through. And that takes time. Also, the divorce without a year of separation requires a judicial process in which at least the supply compensation must be regulated with. If the other spouse wishes to integrate into the divorce proceedings all other divorce matters, such as parental responsibility, spouse maintenance, child maintenance, household distribution, and housing allocation, the divorce will take several months. A quick divorce would be excluded.

If a case of hardship shoots up evidence, the year will often be (almost) over until the judge’s divorce verdict. Then the court can also pronounce the marriage to fail. Overall, in practice, only about 1.5% of divorces are pronounced “immediately” on the basis of unacceptability

In most cases, renting your own apartment is a way out of the unsustainable situation.

Are you in such a situation? Do not know at the moment. Then contact us by e-mail or call us via the free hotline. We help you.

What effects does the separation have??

Several legal consequences are triggered:

  • According to § 1566 BGB, the year of separation begins.
  • The lifting of the so-called key power according to § 1357 Abs. 3 BGB is effected. Key violence means that one spouse can do business for the other spouse to adequately cover the daily necessities of life.
  • According to § 1362 BGB it is presumed in favor of the creditors of a spouse, that those in possession of one or be >

Only a divorce causes the divorced spouse has no more heir claims against the other spouse.

The spouse living separately thus inherits the same as in the case of the intact marriage, if the spouses have not made provision by marriage contract or inheritance contract.

Even a contract of inheritance, which the spouses have jointly concluded, does not automatically disappear.

It is therefore advisable that you seek advice from a lawyer who will explain the inheritance possibilities.

What can I live on, if my spouse who has moved out after the separation is the sole earner?

Apply for financial aid

If a spouse does not have their own income and the undressed spouse, who has previously provided financial support for the family alone, does not pay any maintenance, there is a possibility to apply for state social benefits. The following aids are available as state social benefits:

  • housing benefit
  • Help for a living
  • Advance payment for small children up to the age of 6 years
  • Social assistance or benefits according to Hartz IV (unemployment benefit II)
  • Unemployment benefit I
  • raising allowance
  • Maternity benefit

If a spouse and / or the children are granted social benefits, then the entitlement to payment of maintenance passes to the social welfare office. The Social Welfare Office therefore does not provide independent assistance, but only shoots up the amount of maintenance that would actually have to be paid to the severed spouse.

Reimbursement to the Social Welfare Office

The Social Welfare Office will, of course, apply to the undressed spouse and ask him to reimburse the social benefits paid. If the withdrawn spouse does not voluntarily pay maintenance, he will be sued for maintenance.

The affected spouse should not be afraid to make use of social benefits, at least temporarily, for the benefit of the children after the separation. As a public institution, the Social Welfare Office usually has quite different means of pressure to induce the severed spouse to pay alimony.

Some social benefits, such as maternity and parental allowances, are paid without reimbursement.

Many spouses who still have their own small income will receive only partial or no social benefits. However, it makes sense to make an appointment with the local social welfare office to find out about the possible social benefits.

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Christina Cherry
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