How to Calculate Accrued Gains and Support Payments in Germany

If you are considering separation or divorce from your spouse, you will need to deal with intricate questions of family law. And if either you or your spouse is German, you will run into German family law. It is important that you have an idea of how your future finances will look like under the statutory matrimonial property regime in Germany.

This site provides you the tools to calculate your finances under German family law. To speak to a legal specialist for an individual consultation check out our lawyer directory or please contakt bilingual English-speaking family lawyer:

"Community of accrued gains" is the default matrimonial property regime
In Germany, the default statutory matrimonial property regime is the so-called community of accrued gains. This basically means a separation of assets during marriage. That is, neither your husband nor your wife's assets become joint property. With this system, the accrued gains of the spouses are equalized upon divorce.

A marriage contract is one way of regulating a couple's finances
Spouses can, in a marriage contract (Ehevertrag), specify a different matrimonial property regime they wish to follow. Some contract options are the separation of property (Gütertrennung), the community of property (Gütergemeinschaft), or something between the two. A marriage contract gives you the opportunity to combine different existing regimes according to your preferences. You can also decide on further individual regulations as long as they do not conflict with the law ruling the chosen property regime.

Calculate how you will fare financially after a separation or divorce
Whether you are considering a marriage contract or a divorce, competent legal counseling is indispensable. Nonetheless, you probably want to get a sense of what to expect before you contact a lawyer, especially in terms of your future financial obligations or gains. It is worthwhile for you to make initial calculations of the financial gains accrued during your marriage, the resulting equalization of accrued gains, as well as possible spousal support and child support dues. You have the right to file for an equalization payment for accrued gains and continuous support payments as part of the divorce settlement.

Our calculators allow you to get a better idea of your future financial situation:

How to calculate the equalization of accrued gains (Zugewinnausgleich):
Most married couples in Germany live under the statutory matrimonial property regime, which is the "community of accrued gains" (Zugewinngemeinschaft). As mentioned above, this is the default property regime. Accrued gains is the difference between the final assets on the date of delivery of the divorce petition and the initial assets on the wedding day. The increase in value of the initial assets over time (i.e. inflation) is taken into account by indexing.

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. To calculate this, you need to know the financial situation for each spouse at the point of marriage and at the point of divorce.

How to calculate support payments:
Support payments include child support and spousal support. In the case of spousal support, a distinction is made between separation support and post-marital spousal support. The support-relevant net income ("unterhaltsrechtlich relevantes Einkommen") is the basis for the calculation of the support payments to be demanded. Essentially, this is your monthly income minus important expenditures such as insurance fees, debt obligations, etc. The spousal support ("Ehegattenunterhalt") or severance support ("Trennungsunterhalt") is payable by the spouse who earns more. Child support ("Kindesunterhalt") is to be paid to the parent who care for the children.

How to calculate divorce cost:
How much are the cost of a divorce? The costs for divorce proceedings consist of the lawyer fees and the court cost and are calculated according to the procedural value. This divorce cost calculator will tell you what costs to expect.

How to calculate child support payments:
Child benefit ("Kindergeld") is taken into account when calculating child support. The entitlement to the child benefit depends on the age of the child, the amount of the number of children, etc. Child benefit is paid by the state for children up to the age of 18. The child benefit has to be shared equally by father and mother. For children above 18 years, child benefit is only paid under specific conditions.

How to factor inflation into your calculations:
Let's say you got married in the year 2000 and had assets worth 10,000 euros. How much are these assets worth in 2024? This calculator allows you to figure out the real price of your assets based on the official consumer price index (CPI) in Germany.