SPOUSES / PARTNERSHIPS
Spouses and non-marital partners receive professional legal counsel at Jürgens Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft from a certified family law specialist on matters such as:
Marital contracts serve to protect spouses’ individual interests in the event of a divorce. Most marriages don’t require a marital contract, but it is a different matter when assets such as real estate or business interests are involved. These assets will be included in a divorce settlement’s equalization of accrued assets unless separation of property has been previously stipulated in a marital contract. In addition to clarifying property issues, the marital contract can also regulate retirement benefits adjustments and maintenance payments. There are limits, however, to the scope permitted in a marital contract. Contracts disadvantaging one spouse unfairly are considered unconscionable under the law. We assist you in formulating a legally valid marital contract that is in your best interests.
Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage
A marriage’s dissolution demands sensitivity on everyone’s part, for divorce involves not only facts and their legal assessment but also feelings and emotional injury. We advise and represent you in divorce proceedings with the necessary finesse and negotiating skill. You can depend on the attorneys from Jürgens Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft to remain levelheaded in high-conflict situations and to work toward a pragmatic solution that is in your interest.
Separation and Marital Settlement Agreements
Spouses can avoid much aggravation during the divorce process with a marital settlement agreement. A marital settlement agreement can address the following issues in a divorce: child custody, access rights, child support, spousal maintenance during separation and after divorce, equalization of accrued assets, pension rights adjustments, division of household goods, and usage of the family home. A marital settlement agreement will be certified by a notary or judicially recorded, after which it is very difficult to revise. It is therefore imperative that you consult an attorney certified in family law before concluding a marital settlement agreement. Jürgens Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft looks forward to being able to advise you in these matters.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Law
Many factors go into determining what constitutes an adequate level of spousal maintenance: How much maintenance will the children receive? How much will be provided to the parent providing primary care? When will the primary-care-giving parent be returning to work after the divorce? These issues were all regulated anew in the revision of the German Spousal Maintenance Law in effect since January 1, 2008. German family law differentiates between spousal maintenance during the time of separation and after divorce. Only a spouse divorcing from a long-term marriage can expect to successfully press a claim for income support.
The division of marital property involves rigorous calculation and is often cause for intense conflict. In the absence of a marital contract the law considers assets accrued during marriage to be the couple’s community property, which — oversimplified — are then divided among the marriage partners in the event of divorce. In practice the division of property during divorce is a very complex matter. How should the division be calculated when one partner has accumulated many more assets than the other during the marriage? How will a jointly built home or business be handled? Who will be responsible for debt? We assist you in resolving these questions in the best possible way while avoiding having the entire dispute carried out in the courtroom.
Division of Retirement Benefits
The division of retirement benefits ensures that the spouses will receive a fair share of any retirement benefits accrued during their marriage. In addition to governmental retirement benefits, the division also covers entitlements accumulated in company and Riester- or Rürup-type pensions (tax-incentived supplementary pensions) as well as those accrued in individually financed plans. A civil servant’s supplementary benefits are also included. The division of retirement benefits during the divorce proceedings occurs ex officio, meaning that the calculation will be carried out by the court. As your legal counsel, we act to ensure that your best interests are not overlooked during the division of benefits.
Specific legal questions will need to be addressed if the divorce involves children. Please consult the “Parents / Adoption” for more information on how we can serve you and your children regarding child support, child custody, and access rights as well as adoption. (-> continue)
A non-marital relationship presents the same basic legal questions as a marriage. The answers, however, are often different. How much influence, for instance, may unmarried partners exercise in making medical-care decisions for each other? In the absence of a marriage license, you would not automatically be permitted to make certain necessary healthcare decisions for your partner during a severe illness. A power-of-attorney or healthcare proxy is required. It is advisable that you and your partner attend to these matters proactively, before such a situation occurs. The dissolution of a non-marital relationship also presents legal questions requiring competent answers. We offer you detailed advice on the legal details to be considered in a non-marital relationship. This applies to registered partnerships as well.