Live separately

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Living apart is a prerequisite for divorce in a marriage .


In German marriage law , a marriage can be divorced if it has failed. It is irrefutably presumed that the marriage has failed if the spouses have been separated for three years. The spouses live separately if there is no domestic community between them and one spouse clearly does not want to establish it because he rejects the conjugal union. The domestic community no longer exists even if the spouses live separately within the marital home ( § 1565 , § 1567 BGB). It is also irrefutably presumed that the marriage has failed if the spouses have been separated for a year and both spouses apply for divorce or the respondent agrees to the divorce ( Section 1566 BGB). The year of separation must also be at a divorce by mutual consent are complied with.

During the separated life there is a claim to separation maintenance acc. Section 1361 of the German Civil Code, which also includes the right to an advance payment of legal costs for divorce proceedings (Section 1361 (4) sentence 4, Section 1360a (4) BGB). Household items and the marital home can acc. § 1361a , § 1361b can be demanded. The procedure in marital home and household matters is regulated in Sections 200 ff. FamFG . The parental authority remains usually with both parents together.

For persons living apart, the previous tax bracket applies in the year of separation , which usually only changes after it has expired.


A divorce because of a profound, incurable breakdown of the marriage is possible according to the marriage law if the domestic union of the spouses has been dissolved for three years. However, the court does not have to grant the request for divorce if it is convinced that the restoration of a cohabitation corresponding to the nature of the marriage can be expected. This no longer applies if the domestic community has been dissolved for six years (Section 55 EheG). A mutual divorce is already possible after six months of being separated (Section 55a EheG).


A spouse can request a divorce if the spouses have actually lived separately for at least two years when the divorce suit became pending. Before the two-year period expires, a spouse can only request a divorce if he cannot be expected to continue the marriage for serious reasons that are not attributable to him, for example in the case of domestic violence (Art. 114, 115 ZGB ). Indisputable evidence of the two-year separation is the regulation of living apart through the judicial order of marriage protection measures according to Art. 176 ZGB. Living apart must have been voluntary and must not be based on necessity, for example in the case of an extended hospital stay or if one of the spouses is in custody or if he does not have an entry permit into Switzerland.

A divorce at mutual request (mutual divorce) does not require a previous separation.

Individual evidence

  1. § 1567 Trennleben, as of the comment: December 15, 2014
  2. ^ Year of separation in the common four walls of DAS Rechtsportal, September 10, 2018
  3. cf. OLG Frankfurt am Main, decision of February 25, 2015 - 2 UF 356/14
  4. cf. OLG Munich, decision of January 7, 2016 - 13 U 3004/15
  5. ↑ Tax class for separated persons IVB Neue Medien, website accessed on July 31, 2019
  6. Amicable divorce , content status: January 1, 2019
  7. Divorce based on lawsuit courts of Zurich, accessed on August 1, 2019
  8. Douglas Hornung: Trennleben website accessed on August 1, 2019
  9. Information sheet for divorce courts Zurich, accessed on August 1, 2019