Rules for marriage, divorce

To initially apply for marriage in Germany, visit the Ramstein passport office (Bldg. 2106, Rm. 101) to pick up a marriage package.  

Submit all documents listed below to the appropriate local registrar’s office. Typically, the marriage application takes three to four weeks from the time the package is submitted in order to obtain approval. Those wishing to marry in Ramstein must call the Ramstein Standesamt (local registrar’s office at the Rathaus) at 06371-592-126 to schedule an appointment. The Standesamt will provide information on the necessary paperwork for particular cases.

To initiate a divorce in Germany, one will need to hire a German lawyer to initiate divorce documents. If uncontested, the respondent may not need a lawyer. Lawyer fees will be based upon the income rates of both parties.  The average cost for divorce proceedings (including court costs) is €2,000 per person.  

According to German law, a couple must be separated for at least one year before the court can issue a divorce. This applies even in case a couple separates within a short time after the marriage. Very limited exceptions to the separation time apply in special hardship cases, for example in case of physical abuse. Annulments are very rare in Germany since they are limited to highly unusual circumstances.

Under German law, “separated” is defined as living in a separate residence or not sharing the same bed or table.

The Ramstein Base Legal Office provides a list of English-speaking German attorneys. If you should have any questions please contact the Host Nation Liaison at 480-2552 for further information.

All documents must be translated in German.  Stop by the legal office to pick up a list of certified translators. (Courtesy of the Ramstein Law Center)

Necessary documents: marriage in Germany
1. You must have your original birth certificate or a certified copy. You may obtain the original document by accessing your state department of vital statistics. The Ramstein Legal Office will notarize your signature on the copy of your birth certificate; however, this is not considered a certified copy of the original document. 

2. If you were previously married, you must show proof of your divorce. To obtain a copy of your divorce decree, contact the state court where you filed your divorce.

3. If you are marrying a German citizen, they must provide Ausweis (German identification card). If you are a military member, your military identification card will do.  If you are a non-military identification card holder, you must show a valid passport. 

4. An affidavit upon application for marriage by a Registrar in Germany must be completed.  This document can be obtained and notarized at the Ramstein Air Base legal office. 

5. If you are marrying a non-U.S. citizen, you must obtain your commander’s approval.  Additionally, you must obtain a memorandum from your commander approving the marriage.  This memorandum must also be submitted to the Standesamt.