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German Law/marriage in US and divorce in Germany


My sister married in 1972 in Tennessee. She obtained a divorce in 2002 in Germany. He did not sign any papers left for US. Is she still married to him under the american Law?

Dear Mrs. Herron,

According to German law the divorce is valid when the German court issues a divorce degree. The husband doesn't need to be present at the court hearing or sign any documents to make the divorce valid. So if your sister has a German divorce decision from a German court she just has to get it translated into English and it will be valid in the US as well. Your sister should be able to get the divorce registered in her home state here in the US.

Carolin Burgess  

German Law

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Carolin Schulz-Burgess


German legal issues on inheritance, divorce, alimony, child custody and support, last wills and testaments, and other problems involving international family and civil law.


I am a certified German laywer with professional experience in both German and American law firms. Since 2001 I have been working independently at my firm, German Legal Services. I have represented hundreds of clients on matters involving US-German legal issues. One of my firm's areas of specialization is in divorce and child support and custody issues between members of the U.S. Armed Forces and German civilians.

World Affairs Council, German Bar Association

North Carolina Bar Association Newsletter

I received my undergraduate and JD degrees both from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, whose law school is consistently ranked in the top 10 in Germany.

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