How to calculate accrued gains and the equalization of accrued gains in Germany
"Community of accrued gains" is the default matrimonial property regime in Germany
Most married couples in Germany live under the statutory matrimonial property regime, unless they have suspended
this regulation in a marriage contract. The default statutory matrimonial property regime in Germany is the so-called
"community of accrued gains" or "Zugewinngemeinschaft." This basically means a separation of assets during marriage.
That is, each spouse keeps the assets brought into the marriage on the wedding day for herself/himself. With this system,
the accrued gains of the spouses are equalised upon divorce. When a marriage ends under the property regime
"community of accrued gains," there is a right to compensation for gain. This means that the joint wealth acquired during
the marriage is divided between the two spouses following a divorce.
The value increase of these assets is taken into account by using the
Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the
Federal Statistical Office of Germany
(by indexing). If the accrued gains of one spouse is negative, it is marked as zero.
This may be possible since under the "community of accrued gains," debts also remain separate. The delivery of the divorce
petition terminates the "community of accrued gains." A divorce contract provides the possibility to fix this ending date
This accrued gains calculator may not take into account all cases. Also, the valuation of individual assets can be disputed.
For a precise calculation that does take into account your individual circumstances,
search for a family lawyer in a German city using our
lawyer directory or please
bilingual English-speaking family lawyer:
Calculating accrued gains and the equalization of accrued gains in Germany
Enter the starting and ending year of the "community of accrued gains" ("Zugewinngemeinschaft"), as well as the
separate assets for each spouse during the starting and ending year. Privileged acquisitions that the law does not
consider as accrued gains, i.e. inheritances or gifts (defined according to § 1374.2 BGB), must also be keyed in
along with their year of reception. Assets at the start and privileged acquisitions can be indicated in Euros (€)
or Deutsche Mark (DM). The result is always shown in Euros (€).
Nodes to the equalization of accrued gains
Understanding the equalization of accrued gains:
When a marriage and thus the matrimonial property regime is terminated, a payment to balance out accrued gains
(also known as equalization of surplus) can be claimed. First, the accrued gains for each spouse are calculated
individually. Accrued gains are the difference between the final assets on the date of delivery of the divorce
petition and the initial assets on the wedding day. Initial assets are separate assets brought by each spouse into
the marriage on the wedding day. Final assets are the property owned by a spouse after having deducted all payables.
For marriages before 1958 in former West Germany or 1990 in former East Germany:
The statutory matrimonial property regime known as the "community of accrued gains" was introduced by law in the
Federal Republic of Germany on 01.07.1958. Following the German reunification, the matrimonial property regime became
statutory in the new federal states as of 03.10.1990. For marriages that took place in the Federal Republic of
Germany before 1958 or in the new federal states before 1990, the initial CPI is taken from the year 1958 or 1990
Privileged acquisitions during marriage according to § 1374.2 BGB (German Civil Code):
Assets received by a spouse (such as inheritance, donations, or endowments) after the start of the matrimonial property
regime are added to initial assets after deduction of payables. The increase in assets is called a privileged
acquisition. These supplementary benefits are not added to the accrued gains and are thus not taken into account when
calculating the accrued gains.
Accuracy in calculating accrued gains:
To accurately calculate accrued gains,
the indicated assets and privileged acquisitions are necessary. For this calculator, the annual averages of the
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
are used. For an exact calculation, the year and the valuation date are also significant.