German Family Lawyers

Legal Solutions Made in Germany


Legal Solutions Made in Germany

Family law cases concern issues that are more personal in nature. Compared to legal professionals in other fields, a specialist family lawyer should be both sensitive and assertive. Its interpersonal nature very much characterises the diverse area of family law. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our family law team will discuss the procedure of your case with you, explain your rights and obligations and support you where we can.

Our general approach in cases is first to find an amicable solution for the parties out of court. In particular, the welfare of the children involved is of paramount importance. For this reason, it is imperative that in divorce cases, marriages are dissolved as amicably, and at as low a cost, as possible. Settlements out of court in family law disputes are faster, more efficient, and cost-effective than court proceedings. If, however, an amicable solution is not possible, we will represent you in court, too, using all of our practical experience to assert your interests. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers are ready to provide you with comprehensive service.

International Family Law Cases

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte we are a German law firm with an international outlook. As the world becomes smaller and people from all over the planet become more connected, it is no longer possible to be merely concerned with “domestic cases”. Families have changed and become multinational and children born now may be citizens of more than one country and their parents may live on different continents. Therefore, there may be different legal systems involved in such disputes and for this reason, our specialist knowledge of immigration law plays a huge role in how we deal with our clients’ family law issues.

It is not uncommon for modern divorce cases to involve international aspects and child abduction cases also frequently cross borders. Contact us today if your family law case is one with an international aspect. Our English-speaking lawyers look forward to working with you.

Adoption Law Cases in Germany

Generally, the adoption procedure in Germany is very lengthy and subject to strict requirements. German adoption law has inherent complexities. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our team of experienced German family lawyers advise and represent our clients in all matters relating to adoption law in Germany. When adopting a child, our lawyers will ensure that the legal requirements are fulfilled throughout the process.

Adoption of children in Germany involve presenting important documents such as health certificates and a certificate of good conduct. The team at Schlun & Elseven assist our clients in locating them and presenting them to the required offices. Other requirements vary depending on the individual case. Also, throughout the adoption process, there is great importance placed on the term “best interests of the child”. For those not familiar with the adoption process or German family law, this can be a vague requirement. However, our team is very familiar with the process and will advise you throughout. From there, our team can prepare your application while having this consideration at its centre.

Our legal services also include the adoption of adults. This form of adoption can play a significant role in inheritance law matters.

Child Access, Custody and Support Legal Issues

Significant questions arise regarding child custody, access and support following separations and divorce. Generally, in cases of child custody, “the best interests of the child” is seen as the general rule to follow. Usually parents (if they were married) are given joint custody, but this is not always the case. Parents can voluntarily relinquish their rights to joint custody, and a parent can challenge for the withdrawal of joint custody if they deem the other parent’s custody as “harmful” to the child. Such harmfulness may be found in cases of domestic violence.

Even if a child does not live with a parent following divorce or separation, that parent is generally provided with child access rights. It should be clear that the right to access and visitation is not limited based on marriage or lack of marriage on the part of the parents. Allowing parents to have the right of access to their child means that they can be connected. Under German law, they are entitled and obliged to contact their children. However, the right is not unconditional, and it can be withdrawn. Courts in Germany have a right under § 1684 (4) BGB to restrict or exclude the right of contact”, in cases where “best interests of the child would be endangered“. Such endangerment includes cases of physical or sexual abuse of the child, neglect or alienation, alcohol/drug abuse within the household and the risk of (international) child abduction.

With an increase in marriages involving partners from different nationalities, the threat of international child abduction cases also increases. In such cases, a parent can bring a child to another country and not return them in the agreed manner. Some parents may try to go against custody agreements by keeping their child away from Germany. Such a move can cause distress for the other parent and for the child or children involved. In such cases, it is crucial to consult with an experienced family lawyer regarding possible actions that can be taken.

Divorce Proceedings in Germany: Full-Service Legal Support

Divorce cases can be acrimonious. The end of a marriage is not something we hope to experience at the start of the journey, but the reality is that life sometimes creates complications. Divorces are becoming more common in Germany, but the law remains complicated in this field.

For this reason, it is better to seek an amicable end to the marriage when possible. A friendly solution can reduce the costs, reduce the time needed to see through the divorce and also lead to better solutions when it comes to issues around children from the marriage.

However, as experienced lawyers in this field, we are aware that not all divorces can come about amicably. For this reason, we are prepared to represent our clients in court when needed and we can bring our wide knowledge to the fore if and when our clients need it. If you are considering a divorce, we would urge you to read our articles on the topic so that you are fully aware of the different issues that can arise in a divorce case.

Our law firm advises on many issues including:

  • international divorce cases,
  • the division of both personal and business assets,
  • spousal maintenance and alimony payment,
  • child custody and support following divorce,
  • residence permits after divorce.

Do not hesitate to contact us directly if you are in the midst of divorce proceedings. Having an experienced German family lawyer at your side is crucial for a successful conclusion in these cases.

Domestic Violence: Legal Advice & Representation

What happens behind closed doors does not need to stay there. Domestic violence is an issue which can lead to serious consequences and on more than just the direct victim. Domestic violence affects spouses, partners and children as well as those closest to them. It is not an issue to be treated lightly. The victim deserves to be respected and should be aware of their legal rights. No-one should ever suffer from domestic violence in silence. Options do exist for you through legal representation. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers are experienced in family law and will work with you in a compassionate and understanding manner.

Enforcement of Foreign Family Court Rulings in Germany

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our family lawyers support our clients in recognising and enforcing foreign judgments in Germany. Family law disputes are complex when dealing with issues restricted to one country; however, further problems can manifest if different legal systems are involved. Complications can arise if a judgment given in one country is sought to be enforced in another. Enforcement is more straightforward when the judgment originates from specific jurisdictions, such as other European Union countries. However, recognition and enforcement will not be permitted in cases where:

  • recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy,
  • the defendant’s right to a fair hearing was violated,
  • the judgement is irreconcilable with a judgement given between the same parties,
  • the judgment conflicts with certain rules on jurisdiction.

The original foreign judgment or a copy issued by the same authority which rendered the foreign judgment is required to apply for recognition and enforcement.

If you require expert legal assistance with the enforcement and recognition of a foreign judgment in Germany, please do not hesitate to contact our team of family lawyers.

Fake and Sham Marriages in Germany

Sham marriages can allow those who would not normally be allowed into Germany to enter the country. These marriages can be arranged as a means to allow individuals to come into possession of residence permits. The definition of a sham marriage in Germany is one that has been entered into for convenience, based on gaining legal advantages for those involved or a third person. Sham marriages can present a danger to those involved in them. Sham marriages particularly forced marriages, can have an increased likelihood of domestic violence taking place within them. Should the fake marriage have been used to falsify a residence permit, those involved can leave themselves open to legal consequences.

However, determining what constitutes a fake marriage is difficult in practice. Consulting with a lawyer is strongly advised in cases where a person faces unfair accusations of such an arrangement.

Paternity Recognition Cases