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Pension splitting in German family law – what does it mean?

The idea behind the equalization of pensions ( pension splitting ) between spouses after divorce is one of just and fair sharing of what was acquired during the marriage. According to the – not only – German law-giver it would not be acceptable, if one spouse got a higher pension, because during the marriage he was able to pay more contributions to the pension fund. 

This is particularly true if naturally and traditionally one spouse – obviously usually the wife – does not work for a longer time. Because she is busy with giving birth to children and bringing them up, while the other spouse is busy winning the bread – and paying for the future pensions. 

Germany has a system of equalization under public law. This means that the other spouse after divorce gets her own claim towards the pension fund. Thus she does not depend on the former husband – who might by now have totally different ideas about how to share what was acquired during the broken marriage. 

What is not known to many that this is also true when the marriage was divorced abroad, after one spouse earned money in Germany and paid for the future pensions. Then the other spouse can still turn to a German court and request the equalization. 

The problem is that hardly anyone knows it. So if your spouse worked in Germany legally for a considerable time and you got divorced outside Germany – even according to the law of a completely different country – you can still make a claim in Germany. This could give many divorced women a prospect for a better future after retiring. 

If you have any questions concerning pensions from Germany, do not hesitate to contact us here

Dr. Donat Ebert Rechtsanwalt - Lawyer germanlawyer@email.de

Dr. Donat Ebert
Rechtsanwalt – Lawyer

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