Why do you need a separation and divorce settlement agreement?

Why do you need a separation and divorce settlement agreement?

With a separation and divorce agreement , you make arrangements for – as the name suggests – the time after separation and divorce.

Two periods – one agreement

The somewhat unwieldy name of the agreement already shows that the separation and divorce process is divided into two periods in the legal sense:

  1. The period from separation to divorce
  2. The time after the final divorce

These two periods should also be kept apart in the agreement, even if they contain uniform provisions under maintenance law. Specifically, the various sections address the following:

1. agreements on the occasion of separation

During the period of separation, you are still officially married – so until the divorce becomes final, you are still considered husband and wife to outsiders. Therefore, the principle of marital solidarity also takes effect during this time: the principle of being there for the other in good times and bad.

As a rule, you must be separated for at least one year in order to get divorced. In this
Separation year
the law grants the financially weaker spouse so-called separation maintenance, which the more solvent spouse must pay. Provisional housing allocations are also possible in this process.

The arrangements you make for the separation period are set out in the separation agreement. Whether these agreements are to continue to apply after the divorce – and whether a divorce takes place at all – is irrelevant.

2. agreements as of the divorce becoming final

From the time of divorce, the principle of personal responsibility applies: According to Section 1569 of the German Civil Code, the former spouses must, in principle, provide for themselves.

However, in certain situations, postmarital solidarity is assumed, where there is a right to postmarital maintenance. For example, a spouse who fails to enter the workforce after 20 years of marriage can hope for financial support from his or her former spouse.

Regulations concerning the time after the divorce has become final are called divorce settlement agreements. Important aspects in this context are stipulations on the amount and duration of postmarital maintenance payments or on provision in old age (keyword: pension equalization).

What does the separation and divorce settlement agreement regulate?

In a separation and divorce settlement agreement, you make arrangements in the following areas:

  • Alimony (separation, provident and post-marital alimony and child support)
  • Custody and access rights (for minor children)
  • Regulations on home ownership (divorce property)
  • Regulation on the matrimonial home (adaptation of the lease agreement)

  • Equalization of gains
    (equalization of assets)
  • Pension rights adjustment (division of pension rights)
  • Distribution of household goods

We provide you with a tool that allows you to draft your very own separation and divorce settlement agreement.

The notarial certification creates legal certainty

A separation and divorce agreement should always be notarized. Only then is it usually legally binding and, if necessary, enforceable. For example, agreements on alimony are not enforceable without a notarization and enforcement notice – and therefore cannot be enforced by legal means if the party liable to pay alimony does not pay voluntarily.

Likewise, you must go to a notary for certain agreements in any case. For example, this usually – though not always – concerns

  • the regulations concerning the divorce property
  • Regulations concerning shares in a joint limited liability company
  • the exclusion of pension equalization

Who can help you with the agreement?

In general, the more contentious the separation and divorce, the more important it is to seek expert assistance. As attorneys and mediators, we will accompany you on the way and work with you to find amicable solutions to your conflict issues. Please feel free to book an appointment for an orientation meeting right away.