Divorce petition decision

In order to end your existing marriage, you must apply for divorce in the family court. You must be represented by a lawyer. There is no legal requirement to approve the divorce petition.
The family court pronounces the divorce, provided that the legal requirements are met. In the case of an amicable application for divorce by both spouses or the consent of the respondent to the divorce, the district court will divorce the marriage if the so-called year of separation has passed. In the case of contentious proceedings, the court decides within the meaning of the law on the basis of the individual circumstances.
As a rule, the following must be presented for this:
  • Your photo ID
  • the original or a certified copy of the marriage certificate
  • if necessary, the original or certified copy of the birth certificates of your minor children
Please seek legal advice as to which documents your lawyer needs from you.


The prerequisite for the divorce of your marriage is that it has failed.
The marriage has failed when your relationship no longer exists and you and your spouse cannot be expected to restore it.
According to the law, this is irrefutable to suspect if you and your spouse have been separated for at least three years. In addition, a marriage is considered to have failed if you and your spouse have been separated for a year and you both apply for divorce or your spouse agrees to divorce.
If you and your spouse have been separated for less than three years and your spouse does not consent to the divorce, you must present and prove that the marriage has failed.
The court can divorce the marriage irrespective of the length of the separation if the continuation of the marriage would represent an unreasonable hardship for you for reasons which are personal to your spouse.


A divorce petition must always be submitted by a lawyer or specialist lawyer for family law to the responsible family court. Please note the collection of links below!

The district court - family court (Sections 23a, Paragraph 1, Clause 1, 23b, Paragraph 1 of the Courts Constitution Act (GVG)) is responsible.
The local court - family court - responsible for you in accordance with Section 122 of the Act on the Procedure in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG) determines the lawyer you have appointed.
§§ 1564 ff. German Civil Code (BGB)
Section 111 No. 1 of the Act on the Procedure in Family Matters and in Matters of Voluntary Jurisdiction (FamFG)
Section 113 (1) FamFG
Section 114 (1) FamFG
Section 121 No. 1 FamFG
§§ 133 ff. FamFG
Section 43 Law on court costs in family matters (FamGKG)

Related Links

  • Hamburg District Courts
  • The German Lawyers Association
  • District courts, family court
  • Federal Ministry of Family Affairs
The divorce petition must be submitted to the family court by your lawyer, usually after the separation period of at least one year.
  • The court then serves the application on the divorcee. There is no legal requirement to approve the divorce petition.
  • As a rule, pension equalization is also to be carried out in the divorce association, ie the fair distribution of the pension entitlements acquired by the spouses during the marriage period. To this end, the district court will ex officio request you and your spouse to notify your pension provider and then ask the pension provider for information about the rights acquired by you and your spouse during the marriage period.
  • You and your spouse can also file other follow-up matters in the divorce association, e.g. B. the following matters gain compensation or post-marital maintenance.
  • In the appointment for the oral hearing on the divorce petition, you and your spouse will usually be heard personally about the divorce prerequisites.
  • If the divorce prerequisites are met, the family court will pronounce the divorce of the marriage by decision.

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