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German Law/Marriage Annulment in Germany



Thank you for your service answering questions and helping others to find truth in hard times, I hope that you may also help me.

In September of last year (2012) I was married to a German national, and the relationship quickly eroded soon after. Within the first 5 days after the marriage, her family tried to extort me for money and threatened me with physical violence. That night I left for a friend's house, and when I returned I found her and her family in my house. Immediately I left again, and when I came back the next day I was greeted by Polizei after she claimed that I had beat her. After about a 5 minute discourse, and them meeting her family, they immediately dismissed the claim and removed her family and her belongings from my house. I was not even taken in for question because the claim was so bogus. Since that time I have been trying to seek any course to immediately end the union, for a wide variety of reasons. Among them include we never had sex before or after the marriage; the marriage was not consummated. She provided false information in the marriage application (she used an address she had never lived at, I found out later this was so she could claim money from the German government because she claimed was single with no familial support. A clear lie because she has always and still lives with her parents).

Since that time, she got a lawyer and has been seeking marriage 'maintenance' fees, upwards of 25.000 euro. I do not even have that much money. Nothing has happened since then to try to end the marriage in German civil courts. She has not been held accountable for giving false testimony under oath saying that I had beat her.

What recourse to I have to nullify this false marriage? It is clear to everyone around us that she and her family married me to gain money, but I am still within the year of marriage. What can I do to file for an annulment? I have sought help of two German lawyers, but all they have done is forward me her lawyer's requests for money.

Any help you have regarding this urgent matter would be greatly appreciated.


Hello Miles,

it is extremely hard to get a marriage annulled in Germany.

You need to fulfil very narrow requirements (laid out in 1314 BGB). 1314 II no. 3 BGB explicitly states that you cannot contest the marriage if you have been mislead about financial matters. The law assumes that you married for love, rendering any other motivation irrelevant. I also don't see the misleading about the address of your wife as material. Surely her address did not compel you to marry her. The same argument applies to the absence of sex, which in the eyes of the law is no requirement for a marriage.

I am afraid you will have to wait for the one year of separation and then file for divorce. There is a possibility to file for divorce early ( 1565 II BGB) but I also don't see that the requirements for that statute are met as one can't say that remaining married for another 6 months is an unbearable burden. After all, you are not forced to live together with your wife.

For more on divorce law in Germany, see my FAQ:

Based on my experience as a lawyer, if you file early, the court will simply sit on the file until the one year of separation time will be over, thus avoiding to have to make a rling on the contested questions.

However, I don't see why you should pay any money to your wife either. As long as you are not being sued, I recommend to ignore her financial requests.

I am sorry that I don't have any better news,

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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