Division of property

Questions relating to the division of marital assets, more precisely the marital savings and the so-called marital property (essentially the marital home) often give the impression of being an issue of mere arithmetics. How is the status of the building loan contract or the existing savings on the relevant key date? What is the market value of a condominium or a single-family house? What is the outstanding balance of the loan taken out together? Ultimately, however, the financial possibilities that people will have after a separation or divorce always depend on this. It goes without saying that financing two households or two cars is more complex than navigating a common everyday life from two sources of income. Therefore, if one party does not want to lose the living environment they have been used to, the question of financial feasibility will normally almost inevitably arise, especially if the party leaving the previously shared home has the right to a compensation payment. Loans have to be taken over and, of course, subsequently repaid by one person, which for many leads to a strain on their economic reality for many years to come. If you rely on the punctual payment of child maintenance by the other party in your financial plans, your own budget can soon stand on feet of clay if this is suddenly paid late or is no longer paid at all, because a child then (for whatever reason) prefers to stay mainly with the other parent.

Disputes in this context can therefore often be no less emotionally charged than other topics in a separation or divorce, even if the division of property claims to know “no fault” and appears superficially to be easy to process and to show objectifiable figures. Accordingly, it is not surprising if disputes about the division of the marital property occasionally escalate to the question of who should receive the Christmas tree decorations that have been shared up to now.

In principle, decisions of the court can be made according to “equity”, i.e. the general sense of justice of the court, whereby preliminary decisions are of course also decisive here. There is a wide range of case law on the division of property law and there is now also a separate specialist senate for division of property issues at the Supreme Court. The result of a disputed division of property procedure is therefore often not really assessable in advance. If the actual value of the existing assets is used to calculate the value in dispute in court (and thus also the legal fees in the context of the proceedings), this can quickly rise to unimagined heights and thus also increase the costs associated with such proceedings. Taking these factors into account is therefore important for the economic management of a division of property procedure.

As part of our many years of experience in this regard, we therefore try to always conduct division of property procedures with a sense of proportion and with consideration for the overall picture.