topics
tools
editor's choice

Checklist for moving to Germany

German immigration and residency regulations

Learning German: Passing the critical stage

Public holidays in Germany for 2012

O’zapft is! German Festivals in 2012

Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%)
BEL 20 3083.51 0.32
DAX 9605.08 0.17
IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04
CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20
FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05
AEX 397.5 -0.20
DJIA 16272.65 0.46
Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63
FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11
TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18
ASX 5415.4 -0.10
Hang seng 22836.96 0.04
Straits Times 3110.78 0.45
ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23
EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67
EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59
USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10
Gold 1329.6 -0.13
Oil 108.9 -0.76
Silver 21.28 0.08
You are here: Home Family & Kids Partners Marriage and partnerships in Germany
Enlarge font Decrease font Text size


03/01/2013Marriage and partnerships in Germany

Marriage and partnerships in Germany Marriage and civil partnerships are the forms of legal union in Germany. Marriage is protected under the Constitution while civil partnerships were introduced in 2001.

An overview of different partnership options in the country

Marriage:
A legal contract between a man and a woman and protected under the German constitution. Marriage affords rights to couples in many areas including taxation, pensions and adoption.

The popularity of marriage in Germany has seen a reasonably consistent decline since 1960, in line with many countries in the EU. In 19060 the rate of marriage was 9.5 per 1,000 inhabitants, but had fallen to 4.7 in 2010.

Civil partnership:
A legal union between same-sex couples. It offers many of the same rights as marriage, including taking of names, pension and health insurance, immigration and pensions. There are also some aspects in which civil partnerships do not currently enjoy the same rights, specifically in the areas of taxation and adoption.

Civil partnerships were introduced in Germany in 2001 under the Eingetragene Lebensgemeinschaft (Life Partnership Act), which gave same-sex couples legal recognition of their status.

The number of same-sex households in Germany has grown from 38,000 in 1996 to 67,000 in 2011. Of these, 40 percent have registered as a civil partnership – an increase from 19 percent in 2006.

What they mean

Marriage
Being married in Germany affords rights to couples that civil partnership does not. Part of the reason for this is because the institution of marriage is protected under the German constitution, which states that: “Marriage and the family shall enjoy the special protection of the state.” Married couples enjoy benefits in the areas of taxation, health and pension insurance, pensions and tenancy. In the area of tax relief married couples receive a benefit, while those in civil partnerships do not (nor do single parents and unmarried parents.

However, in the area of immigration a foreigner marrying a German citizen does not automatically attain German nationality, although they may apply for it. The duration of time for citizenship depends on the non-German bride or groom's country of origin.

Civil partnership
Civil partnership in Germany provides for many of the same rights as marriage. It affords key rights to couples such as in matters of adoption, tenancy and inheritance rights. The law is also important for foreigners who wish to live in Germany as civil partnership can guarantee an unlimited residence permit (unbefristete Aufenthaltserlaubnis) and may help when arranging a work permit. Couples may also take each other’s names, obtain a settlement in the event of a separation. They must also support each other financially.

Since the introduction of civil partnerships in 2001 there has been a gradual expansion of the rights enjoyed by same-sex couples, principally as a result of court rulings. In 2004 the German parliament extended additional rights to same-sex couples meaning that:

  • Same-sex couples cannot be compelled to testify against each other in court;
  • Surviving partners qualify for the state pension;
  • Partners can adopt the biological children of the other partner (although they cannot adopt children as a couple).

Currently same sex couples do not enjoy the same taxation rights as married couples. However recent events have challenged this position. In July 2012 the First Senate declared privileges for married couples in respect to taxes on property purchase to be unconstitutional, while in August 2012 a German court ruled that homosexual couples in a civil union should receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples.

Additionally, in 2010 the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a portion of the tax code requiring gay couples to pay a larger inheritance tax than partners in heterosexual marriages was unconstitutional. Before the ruling the German tax code required gay couples to pay between 17 and 50 percent in inheritance tax upon the death of a partner, while heterosexual married partners were required to pay between 7 and 30 percent.

Finally, same-sex marriages recognised abroad are automatically recognised as registered partnerships in Germany.

The procedure for getting them

The procedure for either getting married or having a civil partnership is exactly the same. You and your partner must visit the local registry office (Standesamt) located in the Town Hall (Rathaus), and give notice of the impending marriage (Antrag auf Eheschlielung). You must have been living in the locality for at least 21 days. One partner may attend on their own if the other has given a power of attorney to act on their behalf. Check on the opening hours before you visit, as offices are often only open for a couple of hours during the week.

Documentary requirements vary by region but may include the following:

  • Passport
  • Official Statement of Residency (Meldebescheinigung)
  • Original long form birth certificate (with parents’ names)
  • Birth certificates of any children that the couple have had together
  • Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) (Befreiung vom Ehefähigkeitszeugnis)
  • Affidavit confirming both parties are single (Ledigkeitsbescheinigung)
  • Marriage questionnaire (from the registry office)
  • Certificate of finality of divorce (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificates from any previous marriages
  • Death certificate of previous spouse (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of name change (if applicable)
  • Financial statement

All documents must be translated into German by a sworn interpreter. In addition, documents must have been issued within the previous 6 months. As a result you may have to apply for new versions of your documents.

For marriages where either the groom or the bride is not German, the documents are sent to the Higher Regional Court of Nurnberg (Oberlandesgericht Nurnberg), which verifies the legal status of the couple. This office then sends everything back to the Standesamt.

The period between submitting the documents and the wedding ceremony is quite short - usually between 2 – 6 weeks. However, once the registry office has processed the documents a couple must get married within 6 months. Otherwise the process must be started again. The registrar’s fee is approximately EUR 65.

It is mandatory for both spouses to attend the civil wedding ceremony, which is held in the registry office local to one of the parties. You may choose a registry office in another location, although two fees will be charged. If a religious ceremony is also being held this must follow the civil ceremony. Witnesses are not required at civil ceremonies, although it is possible to have them. If you are using witnesses you must notify the registrar of their names at least eight days before the wedding and any witnesses must be able to prove they are over 18. You must also have a translator or interpreter at the ceremony, unless both you and your witnesses speak German fluently. Also, the translator cannot be one of the betrothed.

Sources
www.bundesregierung.de
epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu
ukingermany.fco.gov.uk
www.germanlawjournal.com
www.goethe.de
www.imcom-europe.army.mil/
jurist.org
www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de
germany.usembassy.gov



Expatica




5 reactions to this article

Farahnaz posted: 2014-01-15 10:28:04

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Aliya posted: 2014-01-26 12:55:29

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Mike posted: 2014-03-24 00:43:48

[Edited by moderator: Please direct expert questions to our 'Ask the Expert' service http://expatica.com/ask_the_expert] HI, I married a German citizen and I've been told I need to learn German if I want to have residency permit. I work for an airline and I'm not here a lot, is there a way around this? thank you

Alexander posted: 2014-08-07 18:16:02

Good evening,

I heard about a new law in Germany in 2013, which recognizes the same rights as married couples to couples "heterosexual" unmarried (unmarried couples), someone could kindly indicate the number of this law (if exist) and where I can find her? I already know that there is equal rights for unmarried couples gay, so I think they have also updated the law for heterosexuals.

Thank you for your cooperation and I am waiting for your kind reply .

Regards,

Alexander

Shanina douglace posted: 2014-09-03 06:56:00

Probably all this testimony you read about spell casting online are spam right?And yeah some are spam some think all of them are spam which is totally not bad and i also know some believe spell casting really works but have not been able to find the right one.Well i think i found the right spell caster Dr jaja.I know he is real not cos he helped me but because i was there in his temple i Have seen him and his temple and i tell you it can’t get more really that what am writing now.I know you may want to know why and what lead me to contact a spell caster i am an American woman here in USA by name Shanina Douglace as a matter of fact in America having a male child is like the most important thing in a marriage and it turned out that i am married to a very traditional man as he believes the male child carry the family name on and on but the females get married and change there name which is true.I were married for six years and i had no male child for him .Maybe friends and family filled his head with a lot of things like i don’t have a male child for him and as a result he need to get a divorce and get another wife that can bear him a male child.I always thought the people that filled his head with this ideas where is family and friends the people that i smile and dine with.The very people who ought to have advice him rightly.I never found out if they where involved in wanting to ruin life and my marriage.Not because i could not find out but cost i didn’t want to develop hatred for them cos i will always get to see them and it is not really healthy seeing the faces of people you hate.At that time, i mean before i knew my husband got himself a lover i was paranoid about him having a lover cos our lives changed a lot he starting coming home late he wouldn’t touch me any more and even he started avoiding me in our home making up excuses to stay all day in his study room doing nothing and telling me his need something off to clear his head.We had fights all the time i brought up the matter if he was seeing someone else.Maybe he got tired of lying i don’t know he finally asked for a divorce.A divorce my family saw him through his university and got him a job i told myself and now he’s asking me for a divorce cos i don’t have a male child yet for him.He was ready to let go of his three beautiful daughters he asked that i take them along.Maybe he was a real f**l and didn’t know what he had and maybe he didn’t deserve someone like me but one thing was crystal clear to me i was still in love with him and i wanted a complete family for my kid that and the fact that i raised him from the gutter i didn’t care about any of his problem when i married him and i forgot to say my father never approved our marriage but still i jumped into it thinking we are going to have each other forever.Though we are still together now but its cos of the spell i had jaja12demonspell cast on him to make him see how much he needs me in this life.When i contacted Dr jaja he asked that i get the materials for the spell which i did and delivered the materials to him in person that is to say i came in contact with him.I was to return in to his temple in 4 four days and within those 4 days he gave me a blessed red candle asking that i command and say whatever i wanted every night within those seven days which i did on the 4thday when i returned to Dr jaja temple he gave a harmless powerful substance with instruction on how to use it.This might seem like fiction or lie or what ever you lucky reads may think but deep down you know its true you just looking for a way not to get involved.I ve got my husband back and my family And also i have 2male children which i gave birth into as twins baby boys if not for Dr jaja where will i have been now, may be my enemies will be probably laughing at me but all shame to the enemies all my thanks to the spell caster dr jaja for every of his helps towards my life and marriage.
contact him with his email if you want his help also jaja12demonspell@gmail.com
or His cell phone number 2347062241597 you can contact me here if you are having problems in reaching him my email is.. Shaninadouglace@gmail.com
thanks to him again am sooh much happy right now

5 reactions to this article

Farahnaz posted: 2014-01-15 10:28:04

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Aliya posted: 2014-01-26 12:55:29

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

Mike posted: 2014-03-24 00:43:48

[Edited by moderator: Please direct expert questions to our 'Ask the Expert' service http://expatica.com/ask_the_expert] HI, I married a German citizen and I've been told I need to learn German if I want to have residency permit. I work for an airline and I'm not here a lot, is there a way around this? thank you

Alexander posted: 2014-08-07 18:16:02

Good evening,

I heard about a new law in Germany in 2013, which recognizes the same rights as married couples to couples "heterosexual" unmarried (unmarried couples), someone could kindly indicate the number of this law (if exist) and where I can find her? I already know that there is equal rights for unmarried couples gay, so I think they have also updated the law for heterosexuals.

Thank you for your cooperation and I am waiting for your kind reply .

Regards,

Alexander

Shanina douglace posted: 2014-09-03 06:56:00

Probably all this testimony you read about spell casting online are spam right?And yeah some are spam some think all of them are spam which is totally not bad and i also know some believe spell casting really works but have not been able to find the right one.Well i think i found the right spell caster Dr jaja.I know he is real not cos he helped me but because i was there in his temple i Have seen him and his temple and i tell you it can’t get more really that what am writing now.I know you may want to know why and what lead me to contact a spell caster i am an American woman here in USA by name Shanina Douglace as a matter of fact in America having a male child is like the most important thing in a marriage and it turned out that i am married to a very traditional man as he believes the male child carry the family name on and on but the females get married and change there name which is true.I were married for six years and i had no male child for him .Maybe friends and family filled his head with a lot of things like i don’t have a male child for him and as a result he need to get a divorce and get another wife that can bear him a male child.I always thought the people that filled his head with this ideas where is family and friends the people that i smile and dine with.The very people who ought to have advice him rightly.I never found out if they where involved in wanting to ruin life and my marriage.Not because i could not find out but cost i didn’t want to develop hatred for them cos i will always get to see them and it is not really healthy seeing the faces of people you hate.At that time, i mean before i knew my husband got himself a lover i was paranoid about him having a lover cos our lives changed a lot he starting coming home late he wouldn’t touch me any more and even he started avoiding me in our home making up excuses to stay all day in his study room doing nothing and telling me his need something off to clear his head.We had fights all the time i brought up the matter if he was seeing someone else.Maybe he got tired of lying i don’t know he finally asked for a divorce.A divorce my family saw him through his university and got him a job i told myself and now he’s asking me for a divorce cos i don’t have a male child yet for him.He was ready to let go of his three beautiful daughters he asked that i take them along.Maybe he was a real f**l and didn’t know what he had and maybe he didn’t deserve someone like me but one thing was crystal clear to me i was still in love with him and i wanted a complete family for my kid that and the fact that i raised him from the gutter i didn’t care about any of his problem when i married him and i forgot to say my father never approved our marriage but still i jumped into it thinking we are going to have each other forever.Though we are still together now but its cos of the spell i had jaja12demonspell cast on him to make him see how much he needs me in this life.When i contacted Dr jaja he asked that i get the materials for the spell which i did and delivered the materials to him in person that is to say i came in contact with him.I was to return in to his temple in 4 four days and within those 4 days he gave me a blessed red candle asking that i command and say whatever i wanted every night within those seven days which i did on the 4thday when i returned to Dr jaja temple he gave a harmless powerful substance with instruction on how to use it.This might seem like fiction or lie or what ever you lucky reads may think but deep down you know its true you just looking for a way not to get involved.I ve got my husband back and my family And also i have 2male children which i gave birth into as twins baby boys if not for Dr jaja where will i have been now, may be my enemies will be probably laughing at me but all shame to the enemies all my thanks to the spell caster dr jaja for every of his helps towards my life and marriage.
contact him with his email if you want his help also jaja12demonspell@gmail.com
or His cell phone number 2347062241597 you can contact me here if you are having problems in reaching him my email is.. Shaninadouglace@gmail.com
thanks to him again am sooh much happy right now

 
 
 
 
 
Inside Expatica
The ABCs of the German school system

The ABCs of the German school system

What you need to know about German schools and daycare.

German immigration and residency regulations

German immigration and residency regulations

Want to move to Germany but haven’t figured out the details? Check out Expatica’s overview of the German permit system.

Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines

Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines

In part one of our two part series, we cover the driving culture in Berlin, where to park and buy gas and, most importantly, the laws.

Looking for work in Germany: The in depth version

Looking for work in Germany: The in depth version

Our comprehensive guide includes information on how to find work, recruitment agencies, employment contracts and labour law.