Relationships between Spouses

This page will show you the relationship for the time after marriage and before split-up.



I come from a country where men run the family. My wife says that in Germany both spouses have equal rights. Because we live in Germany, she has a word to say, too. I do not like that at all. This is obviously not correct, is it not?

Yes and no. Yes, insofar as German spouses have equal rights and duties. No, she is insofar wrong as it concerns you two. German law wants to treat you, in these strictly personal matters, as if you were at home. Examples for these personal matrimonial matters are: Who is to keep the house? Who is entitled to go shopping? Who is entitled to legally lead another spouse’s life? As a practical matter, enforcing something in German courts can become extremely hard, expensive and time consuming, especially if you want to enforce a practice that is not known in Germany.

My wife made it hell in our apartment, so I took off. I fled from the apartment. I want her to let me move back in. The trouble is, she told my employer that I had quit my job. So here I am without housing?! I want alimony! Can I demand it in court from her? Can it be enforced?

Let me suppose your marriage is subject to German law. Your wife’s notice is invalid because your wife is not party to the employment contract. As for receiving alimony, this is theoretically possible but practically unlikely. Generally, if you can support yourself, you are not entitled to alimony. If you cannot support yourself, then you will be eligible for alimony. You may go to court for the right to move back in again, but in reality, this court ruling may be rather difficult to enforce.

Additional information