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German Law/Allunment in Germany



I am contacting you because I have recently got engaged to someone who was in the military and stationed in Germany. While he was over there he was dating someone so they decided to get married to get her to come over to the states when she finished school. He was stationed in his home state of New York at fort drum. Not even a week later she was gone to Brazil and seeing other people. Right now, she's only holding onto the marriage for money since the military makes him pay a certain amount to her every month. We have tried to send divorce paperwork to Brazil to her but now she is saying she's going back to Germany. We cannot afford to serve her the paperwork since it will be about $3500.00 plus translation fees too. We are wondering if we can contact the German embassy to see if there is any way to get an allunment or divorce since she will not corporate with him. They do not have any assets, properties or children together. They have been separated since June 2013.

Please let me know what we can do because this has been a long and very hard year since she will not help with the divorce at all and we would like to move on with our lives.

Thank you

In German law, it's rather complicated to get an annulment, so it doesn't offer any advantage over a divorce.

However, I don't see why you would need to invoke international service of process and translation fees. If the wife is in Germany, your boyfriend can file for divorce there, she will get served by the court automatically, and if she doesn't cooperate, the German court will issue the divorce nonetheless. The only requirement for a divorce under German law is that the spouses have been separated for at least a year.

Your boyfriend doesn't need to travel to Germany, he can hire any lawyer in Germany who will then do everything for him. With no assets and no children, this sounds like a relatively easy, straightforward divorce which would cost you much less in Germany than the amount you indicated.
Generally, divorces in Germany are much easier and less expensive than in the US.

The German Embassy can't help at all in this case, because it's a civil dispute between two individuals.

For more on German divorce law, please see my FAQ:

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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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