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German Law/Divorce filed in Germany, respondent in US


QUESTION: My ex wife has filed for divorce in germany while I am in America. My question is if she is required toy have the paperwork translated to english? Also if there is nothing in paperwork about alimony, am I correct to assume that it is not being requested or is it separate filing than divorce petition?

ANSWER: Hello Adalberto,

according to Art. 5 of the Hague Service Convention, the US authorities are entitled to request an English translation from the German court. The German courts usually attach an English translation to the documents they hand over to the US authorities for service on you. (A German court cannot serve you in the US, as you are outside its territorial jurisdiction.)

Your wife could theoretically file for alimony separately, but if there is nothing included in the divorce that most likely means that for now she is not making any claims in that direction.

Of course she could still change her mind until the divorce is final, which is why I would recommend to cooperate with the divorce and make it happen as quickly as possible. That even applies if there won't be any translation because asking for one might take a few more months and it could only give your wife time to come up with bad ideas.

If you ever receive paperwork in German and you need to have an English translation, feel free to contact me at

Andreas Moser

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QUESTION: She told me that she has files some paperwork for it. But it is under my understanding that if she is working (which she is) our daughter has a spot held for her in a daycare but is still under 3 years old and she is involved with someone else. Once I receive the paperwork I would like you to look it over and make sure it is all good to go. What would the charge be for this service?

For a full consultation I charge 150 EUR. This would cover the translation of documents, a telephonic consultation and writing a reply for you to the Family Court in Germany.

If you only need me to read through the documents and give you the gist of them and my opinion (via e-mail or phone), I may do that for one of the books on my wishlist:

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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