Equalisation of gains
What is the equalisation of gains (Zugewinnsausgleich) and how is it calculated?
In the context of a divorce, at the request of one spouse (or at the latest 3 years after the divorce), the marital gain during the marriage will be divided between both spouses in the matrimonial property regime of community of gains.
The law is based on two cut-off dates.
The date of the civil marriage and the date on which the spouse was served with the divorce petition. The date on which the spouse was served with the divorce petition is decisive for the final assets.
If it turns out that the final assets of a spouse are lower than the assets at the time of the separation of the spouses, this spouse must prove that the reduction in assets is not due to reproachable acts.
The calculated amounts must be adjusted for the loss of purchasing power (inflation) in each case.
What counts as initial and final assets?
Initial assets include cash, accounts, receivables, shares in companies, precious metals, securities accounts, real estate. However, debts also count as initial assets. Thus, in some cases it can happen that initial assets are negative overall. For the calculation, however, it is then only to be noted that one spouse had no initial assets.
Final assets are the assets that the spouse owns at the time the divorce petition is served to the opposing party. This also includes endowment life insurances, lottery winnings, compensation for pain and suffering. If one spouse has inherited something, this is added to the initial assets. Only the gain from an inheritance or gift is included in the calculation of the gain. The final assets also include any debts and can therefore be negative.
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In the context of international divorces, it is often nevertheless advantageous and possible to apply for the equalisation of gains under German law despite divorcing abroad.
The law of equalisation of gains is very complex and extensive. Our many years of experience in international family and inheritance law is particularly valued by clients who have specific questions about cross-border law.
We will take the time to go through the details of your case and answer any questions you may have.
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