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Foreign divorce verdict recognition

In accordance with the general principles of state and international law, judgments and comparable acts of state have, in principle, direct legal effects only in the territory of the State in which they were adopted. Each State is free to decide whether and, if so, under what conditions it recognises foreign acts of sovereignty, provided that it is not bound by state treaties.

Recognition must be granted by foreign decisions annulling, annulling, divorced from the marriage to or under the maintenance of the marriage, or which have established the existence or non-existence of a marriage between the parties. Thus, foreign divorce judgments are particularly affected, but also comparable decisions by (e.g. Russian) administrative authorities or so-called private divorces in religious courts such as the Arab Sharia courts or the rabbinate courts in Israel as well as divorce declarations before a Thai registry office.

A formal recognition procedure is not necessary if the foreign decision was taken by a body of the State to which both spouses belonged exclusively (i.e. not dual nationality) at the time of the decision (so-called home country decision).

A formal recognition procedure shall not be carried out for decisions in matrimonial matters from Member States of the European Union, except Denmark, if the procedure was initiated after 1 March 2001 or after the accession of the Member State at a later date.

The decision shall be taken only on request. In addition to the spouses concerned, any person who demonstrates a legal interest in clarifying the status issue (e.B. fiancée, later spouses or heirs) is entitled to apply. Pension insurance institutions also have their own right to apply. Recognition shall be granted on request. It is only when this decision has been complied with that decision that the foreign decision also has effect in the German area of law.

The recognition and non-recognition of the President of the Higher Regional Court binds all courts and authorities in Germany, Section 107 (9) FamFG. With recognition of the foreign divorce, the marriage is also considered dissolved for the German legal area retroactively to the date of the foreign divorce. The decision pursuant to Section 107 of the FamFG extends exclusively to the statement of divorce (change of status from "married" to "divorced"). Any provisions made in the foreign decision on divorce consequences (e.g.B. provisions on maintenance, custody and pension compensation) are not affected.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)

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