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German Law/American Divorce Decree vs. German support order


My husband is an American and he had two children with a Croatian woman, who resides in Germany.My husband filed for divorce(he filed for divorce in the US)in December of 2008,and it was finalized in August of 2010.During that period,my husbands wife at the time filed for full custody/support of the 2 minor children through a German court,and apparently through a default,was awarded full custody and support in the amount of $1600/month.My husband was never made to pay this money because his divorce finalized and he has only made child support payments per the US divorce decree. Now that we are seeking a reduction in child support,the ex-wife is trying to say that the German documents take precedence over the American divorce decree and that he must pay per the German order. Do you have any words of wisdom? It was my husbands understanding that the German support order was temporary and that once the divorce finalized, the divorce took precedence.

Dear M.C.,

This is a complicated question but I am familiar with the problem. I would need more information to determine which decision is valid here according to international law. The Hague Convention applies. And I am not sure if the decisions got served correctly to the other party and when that happened.

Also the enforcement of a German alimony decision is not possible in certain US states.

It will be best if you will contact me directly at so that I can set up a phone consultation with you and you husband.

Carolin Schulz-Burgess
German Attorney at Law/Foreign Legal Consultant

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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