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BANGKOK 17 July 2019 19:41
jacob29

Divorce settlement in Germany

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Posted (edited)

Fair warning, the thread title doesn't capture the full scope of this post, it just touches on one aspect of it (as it's difficult to summarise).

 

So there's this Thai lady I've know for about 5 years now, never a girlfriend, though close enough to have a good idea of her character. She's the type of person who avoids confrontation - or to put it another way, an easy target to take advantage of. She gets married a few years ago, I don't contact her any further out of respect, to give her marriage the best chance of success. She moves abroad to Germany. Some years later, she's back in Thailand, I find out about this through a friend of hers.


So the story is, she was married for almost 2 years, and during that time worked at the husbands business in Germany on a full time basis (spouse visa), for a sum that was well below minimum wage for Germany. Now being her wife, I believe minimum wage laws don't apply. Minimum wage doesn't apply, since she has joint rights to the profits from that business, such that in any divorce settlement she should be compensated by receiving her share of the profits. So far as I can ascertain, she's not aware this is a thing, and isn't expecting to get a dime. Now I can see ways this is technically possible, if through some fancy accounting the business is running at a loss. What I'm dead sure of, is she wouldn't know either way whether the business is profitable, and couldn't take his word for it. I'm inclined to think she's just not aware of the equalization laws in Germany. Whatever the case, on the surface it appears this guy has used his wife as cheap labor, for his own financial advantage, before kicking her to the curb. Of course reality will be a bit more nuanced than this, but it sounds likely to be a clear cut case of exploitation to me. At a minimum I would like to establish - for both her sake, and the sake of future wives, whether that is in fact the case.

 

I'm posting this, to get an idea of whether I'm overlooking anything obvious. To me, it seems she's clearly entitled to a wad of cash, assuming the business was in fact profitable. It is my understanding Germany has equalization laws to this nature, where assets accrued while married are to be divided evenly. So I'm wondering is there any situation where these laws don't apply? I expect to be engaging a legal specialist later, just wanted to get some opinions first.

Edited by jacob29

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She's not entitled to anything business wise if the business existed before marriage.

She would have been able to get temporary maintenance payments from her husband, maybe - is she's not able to earn money herself, that's a case by case decision by a court and only temprary to not endanger ones lifestyle.

 

Why did he exploit her? Did he not pay the rent/house/food etc? So she got an extra salary and he paid all the rest too?

Isn't it normal to help with family business? Most people wouldn't expect any extra salary for helping their husband.

 

I sure wouldn't charge my GF to help her with accounting/business tips etc for her business.

 

I think like many SEA women she's disillusional and thinks no one has to work for their money in europe - we all met many of these people, but life in europe is only good for many because they work damn hard for it.

 

 

Like we say in germany: Von nichts kommt nichts (from nothing, comes nothing) .... 

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Quite the humanitarian you are sir.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, ThomasThBKK said:

She's not entitled to anything business wise if the business existed before marriage.

German law seems clear enough in this respect of equalization of assets. This is commonly seen across many countries, leaving little doubt in my mind that she has some entitlements. The status of the business (whether it existed before or not) is immaterial, what matters is the gain in assets of both parties. The exception to this, is if it was (or can) be written into marriage contracts, I am unsure if such a thing a possible or typical.

 

Quote

 

Why did he exploit her? Did he not pay the rent/house/food etc? So she got an extra salary and he paid all the rest too?

Isn't it normal to help with family business? Most people wouldn't expect any extra salary for helping their husband.

 

Minimum wage in Germany for a full time working week, is far in surplus of these living expenses. Though admittedly this is tangential to the discussion. She did not get an extra salary, at best you could call it a token amount, it was a small fraction of what any other German worker would get for a full time working week. Do not misunderstand me, I loathe divorce settlements that unfairly punish the wealthier party - where someone gets to lay claim to assets that existed prior to marriage. Paying someone a pittance to enrich your business though, this really rubs me the wrong way.

 

Quote

I think like many SEA women she's disillusional and thinks no one has to work for their money in europe - we all met many of these people, but life in europe is only good for many because they work damn hard for it.

Yes you work hard, you deserve to get paid. That is the principal I'm operating on. She worked a full time working week, same as the other employees. She didn't help out here and there, it was a full time position. She has ways to verify this, nobody has to take her word for it.

Edited by jacob29

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4 hours ago, Skallywag said:

Quite the humanitarian you are sir.  

Thank you Skallywag.

 

Anyone wishing to steer this discussion into how I shouldn't get involved - understand that this will only strengthen my resolve to follow through. If I see someone receive treatment, that I personally would feel violated by were I in that position, I'm going to seek ways to help. It's as simple as that, I don't feel that warrants further discussion, though understand it may go there anyway.

 

If someone has thoughtful discourse on ways this may not be as bad as it seems, I'm very much interested to hear it. Talking about how she received nominal support (food and shelter), while relevant, doesn't cut the mustard. It doesn't account for the shortfall compared to the minimum wage any other worker would get. If she hadn't worked full time over the duration of her stay, even though she might have had legal options, I wouldn't encourage them. The issue is, someone working in Germany and not receiving benefits in line with the minimum wage, either directly or in kind. Nobody deserves that.

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Forget trying to recuse her, your only hearing one side the story.....Mate she just dont hop on a plane more over there and get married..

 

A former TGF ive stayed in touch with just married a German she had to learn German while in Thailand....its part of the visa obligations...the husband would have spent money travelling to and fro and maybe had her visit as well.....

 

Dont know the costs associated with German partner visa but in AU there around $10,000 now...so you dont just spend the money on anyone...

 

Sounds like she's a boring girl.....maybe the love wore off it happens you know....Who says the business was a good one? profitable? many business just get by you know, your thinking like a socialist that a guy who has a business is rich and exploiting workers....was his wife...she should be in it to help...Few Thai women ever contributed money into a relationship let them work....she would have cost him a small fortune to begin with....The idea love lasts forever is romantic foolishness...

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, AlexRRR said:

Sounds like she's a boring girl.....maybe the love wore off it happens you know....Who says the business was a good one? profitable? many business just get by you know, your thinking like a socialist that a guy who has a business is rich and exploiting workers....was his wife...she should be in it to help...Few Thai women ever contributed money into a relationship let them work....she would have cost him a small fortune to begin with....The idea love lasts forever is romantic foolishness...

Yes the business might not have been profitable, but if it was, don't you think it unfair to receive no settlement? The reasonable default assumption, is that it was running at a profit. Especially with what amounts to free labor. The money she got paid, was small enough to be considered petty cash charges, may as well have got nothing.

 

Surprised to see so many apologists come out of the woodwork. $10'000 doesn't begin the cover a full time salary for over a year in Australia. It's not a big sum framed in that context. If you yourself married, enriched your partners business, then divorced - don't tell me you would be ok that your partner got to keep all the profits.


We have a saying in Australia, "a fair go for everyone". Her gender/race/religion doesn't matter, I don't play into these tribalist attitudes.

 

This is his fourth Thai wife, so we can rule out the innocent victim angle. Though I don't think that's entirely relevant, what matters is the legal aspect.

Edited by jacob29

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1 hour ago, jacob29 said:

Yes the business might not have been profitable, but if it was, don't you think it unfair to receive no settlement? The reasonable default assumption, is that it was running at a profit. Especially with what amounts to free labor. The money she got paid, was small enough to be considered petty cash charges, may as well have got nothing.

 

Surprised to see so many apologists come out of the woodwork. $10'000 doesn't begin the cover a full time salary for over a year in Australia. It's not a big sum framed in that context. If you yourself married, enriched your partners business, then divorced - don't tell me you would be ok that your partner got to keep all the profits.


We have a saying in Australia, "a fair go for everyone". Her gender/race/religion doesn't matter, I don't play into these tribalist attitudes.

 

This is his fourth Thai wife, so we can rule out the innocent victim angle. Though I don't think that's entirely relevant, what matters is the legal aspect.

 

You dont know anything...you only know what shes telling you...if he cant maintain a relationship for long 4 TW well he sounds like a dill big time, Profit in business ?? haha well i was in business its feast or famine...all the time...some times ur over flushed with cash other times your hanging out for the next EFT and using credit to get by in the end it gave me a better life style than a salary worker but i aint rich...Nice of you to want to help her belive me you wont get much of a thank you for your efforts or you thoughts here looking for ways...

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1 hour ago, AlexRRR said:

 

You dont know anything...you only know what shes telling you...if he cant maintain a relationship for long 4 TW well he sounds like a dill big time, Profit in business ?? haha well i was in business its feast or famine...all the time...some times ur over flushed with cash other times your hanging out for the next EFT and using credit to get by in the end it gave me a better life style than a salary worker but i aint rich...Nice of you to want to help her belive me you wont get much of a thank you for your efforts or you thoughts here looking for ways...

I fail to see how it matters that I don't know all the details. If there's nothing untoward going on, then no harm done - this is merely the process to establish if any wrongdoing has taken place.

 

You said it herself, I can't trust her, similarly she can't trust him, I can't trust him, he can't trust me. That's why the law has provisions in place to deal with these matters, it's not a he says she says situation. Why would you assume the worst, as far as the business is concerned? This is not logical to me. I'm not assuming anything, the facts of the case aren't known, what we have is a situation, where on the balance, he probably hasn't done the right thing. Leave it to the law to figure that out.

 

I have trouble forming attachments, there's no romantic interest with this girl. That is probably also why, I don't have any apparent allegiance to this guy, on the basis he happens to share some traits with me (male, and not-Thai). If his business made no money, no problem, there would be no settlement legally required. What I don't think is reasonable, is to trust without question that he's acting in good faith.

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33 minutes ago, jacob29 said:

I fail to see how it matters that I don't know all the details. If there's nothing untoward going on, then no harm done - this is merely the process to establish if any wrongdoing has taken place.

 

You said it herself, I can't trust her, similarly she can't trust him, I can't trust him, he can't trust me. That's why the law has provisions in place to deal with these matters, it's not a he says she says situation. Why would you assume the worst, as far as the business is concerned? This is not logical to me. I'm not assuming anything, the facts of the case aren't known, what we have is a situation, where on the balance, he probably hasn't done the right thing. Leave it to the law to figure that out.

 

I have trouble forming attachments, there's no romantic interest with this girl. That is probably also why, I don't have any apparent allegiance to this guy, on the basis he happens to share some traits with me (male, and not-Thai). If his business made no money, no problem, there would be no settlement legally required. What I don't think is reasonable, is to trust without question that he's acting in good faith.

I think your not understanding whats involved trying to go down the road of getting a settlement, it would be hard enough living in the same city, foreign country.....well...Funds to start proceedings? ha...Lawyers dont come cheap, then the fact he was her husand could snooker the lot, its not doable pure and simple from outside of the country to begin with.

 

She should be content she got something and put it down to experiance thats life...and you should be too its not your crusade...

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, AlexRRR said:

I think your not understanding whats involved trying to go down the road of getting a settlement, it would be hard enough living in the same city, foreign country.....well...Funds to start proceedings? ha...Lawyers dont come cheap, then the fact he was her husand could snooker the lot, its not doable pure and simple from outside of the country to begin with.

 

She should be content she got something and put it down to experiance thats life...and you should be too its not your crusade...

It's a pretty vanilla procedure, lots of divorces out there, nothing particularly difficult about it. Expensive, yes likely. If my goal was simply to give this girl some money, I'd be better off just giving her money instead of to lawyers. That's not my sole goal. There are hints his next wife is a work in progress.

 

If he is screwing each of these girls over, I'm willing to shell out a significant amount of money to see justice served. Call it an OCD thing. When I say it rubs me the wrong way, I mean it *really* rubs me the wrong way, to see someone take advantage of others, just because they think they're untouchable.

Edited by jacob29
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