Many people avoid separation from their spouse for fear that divorce costs can not be funded. Those who can not shoulder this financial burden alone may be entitled to state legal aid for divorce. Depending on the income, either all costs for attorney and court are borne or repaid in the form of a loan.
Legal aid divorce conditions
Who is entitled to legal aid?
In order to receive legal aid in the event of a divorce, there must be an income situation that the legislator defines as needy . This applies to social assistance recipients (beneficiaries of the job center) as well as to all people with a low income . Even those with a medium to good monthly income may benefit from legal aid in case of divorce. Anyone who has taken up high loans, for example, because the rates for a condominium must be repaid monthly, can make a request.
The need for an applicant for legal aid is not based on actual earnings, but on the amount of the so-called income to be used . The amount relevant for the divorce proceedings is calculated from the monthly income less any payment obligations and various allowances. In general, the chances of obtaining legal aid for a divorce are good. According to recent surveys, in at least 70 per cent of the cases, at least one party to the couple who wants to get separated receives legal aid.
Income of both parties
In order to apply for legal aid in case of divorce, the process must be sufficiently successful . It also checks whether it makes sense to apply for legal aid for divorce on the basis of income.
example 1 If one of the spouses has a significantly higher income than the other, the situation is as follows: The wife’s net income is 800 euros, her husband earns 2200 euros net. This gives the wife a claim for separation maintenance of 3/7 . At 2200 euros that is 600 euros, so that a total income of 1600 euros is present. If the woman has no large debts to pay off, she remains after deducting all liabilities and allowances enough, so they can claim no legal aid. Example 2 A woman draws a monthly salary of 1500 euros net per month, plus child benefit of 182 euros. The expenses for rent and additional costs amount to 700 euros. A claim for separation maintenance does not exist. The income of the woman with the child benefit amounts to 1684 euros, deducting from this the rent costs (700 euros) as well as the allowances for herself, her employment and the child (462 euros + 215 euros + 349 euros = 1026 euros) which is an income to be used of -42 euros. The husband earns 1,200 euros per month. After deducting rent, utilities, insurance and credit installments, he has nine euros to spend. Both parties are entitled to legal aid due to the negative or falling below the income threshold .
Process on costs
The advance on legal costs is the claim that a spouse has to the assumption of the legal costs of a divorce in the form of an advance . This process cost advance takes precedence over state legal aid. The right to a legal advance can only be claimed if the spouse who makes the claim is in need . In addition, the spouse used must be able to provide this benefit. In practice, the advance on legal costs usually fails because the spouse responsible for the maintenance himself is entitled to legal aid. In this case, the obligated party does not have to pay any legal costs advance.
If a spouse has a significantly higher monthly income than the other party, the lower-earning part has a maintenance claim. This maintenance claim is taken into account in the calculation of income . A spouse who is entitled to dependents can not renounce this. The maintenance waiver is only possible after the divorce became final. Before applying for legal aid, there is an obligation to enforce any maintenance claims. Legal aid can be provided if a maintenance claim has been made and provided, but the spouse refuses to pay. In this case, the maintenance claim is not included in the calculation.
When applying for legal aid, the existing assets are considered. Because there is an obligation to exploit this and to pay the costs of the divorce proceedings from this proceeds. This applies, for example, to investments , life insurance and savings accounts . The legislature requires a resolution here. Real estate that is leased must also be recovered. However, there are items that can not be consulted if legal aid is applied for in divorce.
- Cash assets up to an amount of 2000 euros
- A property that is inhabited by itself
- Fortune used for vocational training
- Fortune invested for adequate additional retirement
Legislation requires the divorce year to be completed before a divorce is filed. As a rule, divorce petitions are filed in court a few weeks before the end of the divestment year , as it takes some time for information to be obtained from individual care providers. If legal aid for divorce is already applied for, this is not possible. Reason is that legal aid can be granted at the earliest after the end of the year of separation. The year of separation is not the beginning of the divorce process, but the condition for filing for divorce. Only in special hardship cases, such as extreme physical violence against the spouse or common children, can the year of separation be eliminated or shortened.
Application and amount of legal aid
How and where is legal aid applied for? [
Anyone wishing to apply for legal aid must submit the application to the competent family court . There is a special form for this purpose. The application for legal aid must be accompanied by proof in the form of copies of income . Also the regular expenses are to be proven, these include copy of the lease, debt repayment and proof of insurance . The application for legal aid in divorce is usually filed by the lawyer together with the divorce . All costs incurred by lawyer and court are assumed.
What is the legal aid?
There is no uniform claim to the amount of legal aid for divorce. The measure of neediness and the income that can be spent are taken as a basis. There is the possibility of a full cost bearing by the state. This occurs when the calculated income is less than 15 euros per month . If the calculated usable income is above this limit, legal aid is granted as a loan by the state. The amount may not exceed a period of 48 months. The rate is half of the income to be used . If the income is over 600 euros, the rate is 300 euros. This will be supplemented by the part of the income to be used, which exceeds the 600 euros. The income is calculated in several steps.
Step 1: Determine the monthly income
In addition to the monthly net income, regular incomes from renting or leasing, income from self-employment , for example from an ancillary business, child benefit, housing benefit, social benefits as well as pension and pension payments are counted as income . In the case of irregular income, the sum of all income in this division from the last calendar year is taken as the basis and divided by twelve. The procedure determines the monthly average. Separation maintenance is attributed to this income. Not included are earmarked services such as care allowance.
Step 2: Deduction of all running costs
The monthly expenses are included in the calculation of legal aid. Deductible costs include rent and utilities, expenses such as travel to work and insurance contributions such as life, liability or home insurance. Regular costs incurred for luxury goods such as yacht and hunting lodge are not deductible.
Step 3: Calculating allowances
Allowances can be claimed to ensure that not all the income is spent on divorce. It is permissible to deduct the following allowances from the income:
- Free allowance of the applicant: 462 euros
- Deduction at work: 215 euros
- Maintenance paid to adult persons (child studying): 370 euros per person
- Child allowance from 15 to 18 years: 349 euros per person
- Child allowance between 7 and 14 years: 306 Euro per person
- Child allowance up to 6 years: 268 Euro per person
Alternative financing options
If legal aid is refused despite limited financial resources, a private guarantee can be considered for a loan. Often help friends or family members as a guarantor, which has the disadvantage that the guarantee remains, even if it comes to a rift. If the debtor is then unable to pay, the guarantor is charged.
A mini loan for financing
Attorney’s statements often flutter into the house at the wrong time. If there is a short-term financial shortage, a Stephen Dedalus mini-loan promises a quick remedy. If approved within one hour, the repayment of the installment loan can be customized.
Can further government grants be applied for?
In addition to the legal aid for divorce, there are no other government options to help those who are willing to divorce financially. Since a divorce is associated with a reboot, which is particularly difficult for the spouse who does not work, further assistance such as unemployment benefits, housing subsidy or maintenance advances can be claimed.