Divorce costs and process

How to save costs?

In the case of divorce, a distinction must be made between the divorce and the other proceedings such as child support, post-marital maintenance, profit compensation, matters relating to the marital home and household effects, custody or access rights.

The divorce prosses includes an ex officio decision by the family court on the pension compensation. This means that the family court always decides on the pension compensation without this having to be explicitly requested by one of the parties involved.

If the parties concerned are only requesting the dissolution of their marriage, the procedural value and therefore the costs of the divorce proceedings are based on the cumulated three-month net income of the parties. This amount represents the procedural value for the divorce. The court also applies 20% of the procedural value of the divorce for the decision on the pension adjustment.


The wife earns € 2,500 net as a teacher. The husband earns € 3,500 net as managing director.

The procedural value for the divorce is calculated as follows:
( € 2.500 + € 3.500) x 3 = € 18.000

In this case, the total procedural value is € 21,600.

For the divorce proceedings court costs and attorney fees must be paid.
In the example above, there are court costs (2.0 fee) of 690.00 €.

The court costs must be paid in advance by the applicant of divorce so that the court can deliver the divorce petition to the defendant. However, since there is no win or lose in the divorce and each party bears their own costs, the applicant is entitled to get half of the costs reimbursed from the other defendant at the end of the procedure.

Furthermore, each party has to bear their own attorney’s fees. These are calculated as follows:

Procedure value: € 21,600

1,3 Procedural fee Nr. 3100, 1008 VV RVG*: 964,60 €

1,2 Appointment fee Nr. 3104 VV RVG*: 890,40 €

  • postal and telecommunications expenses Nr. 7002 VV RVG*: 20 €
  • VAT according to Nr. 7008 VV RVG*: 356,25 €

Total attorney’s fee: € 2,231.25

If the spouses are wealthy, an additional 5% must be added as a further procedural value for the assets. In the example above, if the spouses have a residential property worth € 500,000, the court adds another € 25,000 to the procedural value of € 21,600. This means that the procedural value amounts then to € 46,600.

If the spouses do not agree in matters such as spousal maintenance, compensation for profits, custody or access rights, the additional legal proceedings will require additional costs.

Save costs?

A lot of costs can be saved if both spouses are in agreement. If the applicant is represented by a lawyer, the other spouse can then consent to the divorce without his/her own lawyer.

At the beginning, the costs of the divorce are often difficult to understand. In our opinion, trustworthy and competent legal advice includes full cost transparency at all times. We would be happy to advise you on the costs of your divorce without obligation.

If you are not able to raise the costs of the divorce proceedings, there is also the possibility to apply for legal aid. We would be happy to advise you on the requirements for applying for legal aid.

*RVG (Rechtsanwaltsvergütungsgesetz): Lawyers’ Remuneration Act


Katharina Kutter

As an attorney for family and inheritance law and have specialised in advising companies and high net worth individuals in the areas of asset succession, asset division, tax law and family law retirement planning – with a particular focus on cross-border matters. 

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