“German ordered to repay house deposit to his in-laws after divorce”

Divorce|February 5th 2010

Stowe Family Law’s International Family Law department is as busy as ever, and we have also seen a steady rise in the number of enquiries about prenuptial agreements. This, I believe, has been prompted – at least in part – by last year’s ruling in the Radmacher v Granatino case, which involved an agreement made between a German heiress and her banker husband.

David Charter, Europe Correspondent at The Times, contacted me to ask for thoughts on another landmark ruling in a German case. The story appears in today’s newspaper.


German ordered to repay house deposit to his in-laws after divorce

It is not just the grasping ex that Germans must contend with during a divorce. Now it is the in-laws as well.

Judges in Berlin yesterday ordered a man who kept the family home to pay back a gift of €29,000 (£25,000) from his in-laws that had helped the couple buy the house.

The ruling by the Federal Court of Justice has been interpreted as a landmark judgment which could allow in-laws to reclaim presents given to their child’s spouse if the marriage breaks down.

Judges said that the “contractual basis” of such presents depended on the in-laws’ child being able to enjoy the fruits of the gift. That basis no longer applied after a divorce.

“If the child benefits from the gift for a long period of time (for example if the couple lives together in a house donated by the in-laws), then only a part of the gift must be paid back,” the judges said in their ruling.  Continue reading»

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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