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Family Matters

You were born in Germany, or you got married there, and you need a new certificate? Or do you require a death certificate, divorce order, or other kind of certificate from Germany?

Civil status certificates can be obtained directly at the local registry office in Germany, divorce orders can be obtained directly at the divorce court. There is no central authority that can issue your certificate and you cannot apply for it at the German Missions abroad. You may contact the local offices through the website of the city or town, e.g. www.frankfurt.de, www.leipzig.de, etc.

Were you born abroad or did you get married abroad and did you subsequently register the birth or marriage with the Registry Office I in Berlin? Or did you hand in a name declaration at the Embassy, which was forwarded to Berlin, and you now require a new name certificate? Ordering certificates in Berlin

If you are a German citizen planning on getting married in the Republic of Ireland, you require a letter of no-impediment to marriage from the registry office at your (last) place of residence in Germany. Certified copies or signatures to accompany your application can be obtained at the Embassy.

You should contact your local registry office to ask for the list of requirements and in order to apply for a letter of no-impediment to marriage.

 

Please contact your local registry office to ask if your fiancé/-ée’s details need to be included in the application. In such case, your fiancé/-ée also needs to sign the application form.

All information given in the application form has to be supported by relevant certificates. Usually the following documents are required:

  • filled in application form (unsigned)
  • your birth certificate or excerpt of the birth registry
  • your fiancé/-ée’s birth certificate
  • your passport/ ID
  • your fiancé/-ée’s passport/ ID
  • proof of deregistration (Abmeldebescheinigung) from Germany
  • proof of residence in Ireland (for example current utility bill)
  • if applicable, birth certificates of children you have together
  • if applicable, divorce decrees of previous marriages or death certificate of the late spouse
  • your fiancé/-ée’s certificate of no impediment to marriage
  • The application form includes a section on the marriages of the applicant’s parents, which might need to be accompanied by relevant documents.

Please provide the original and one photocopy per document.

Please note that the registry office might ask for additional documents e.g. translations of documents that are not in German.

Fees

The fee for the signature certification is € 20. There is an additional fee of approx. € 10 for the certification of the listed documents above.

The relevant registry office in Germany also applies a fee for the certification of the Letter of No-Impediment to marriage.

Please clarify with the relevant registry office in Germany, if you need to present a declaration on lieu of an oath that you are single.

This declaration can be certified in the Embassy. The fee for the certification is €35. 

Booking an appointment

The signatures on the application form for the letter of no-impediment to marriage can only be carried out in person in the Embassy in Dublin.  Please contact the Embassy via email: info@dublin.diplo.de, to make an appointment.

Please attach the filled in application forms and the above required documents/scans in support of your application to the appointment inquiry email. Please inform us in advance, if you require a declaration in lieu of an oath that you are single.

Marriage in Germany

In Germany marriage may only be contracted before a registrar. A religious ceremony is optional. This instructional pamphlet conveys general information only. Please contact the appropriate registrar's office (“Standesamt”) for detailed information. Applications should be filed with the registrar's office in Germany where either party has their residence. If neither party has a residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, the registrar's office has to be contacted, where the marriage should take place.

Documents to submit:

The appropriate civil registrar’s office in Germany provides information on the required documents. It is advisable to contact the registrar's office well in advance to make sure that you can be married on the intended date. The registrar's office will answer any further questions which may arise. Only the information provided by the registrar’s office is binding in the individual case. Typically both fiancés are required to submit the following documents to the registrar:

  • Certified true copy of identification document with photograph (e.g. passport, identity Card)
  • Birth certificate (not older than 6 months) in original or as certified true copy showing parents' names. A translation might be required. A baptismal certificate is not acceptable.
  • Certificate of Naturalization must also be exhibited if applicant has been naturalized.
  • If widowed, original death certificate or certified copy of deceased spouse. A translation might be required.
  • If divorced, a certified copy of the divorce decree accompanied by a translation into German made by a certified translator.
  • If the previous marriage was dissolved by a court other than a German court, the divorce decree might have to be approved by the appropriate German federal-state administration of justice department.
  • If one of the fiancés is a minor, a statement executed by a legal representative, i.e. father and mother or guardian, before a notary public, giving consent in accordance with the laws of the individual's country. Since some German States require a special form of consent, the appropriate registrar should be contacted for detailed Information.

All persons not registered in Germany but marrying there require an “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” (a Letter of No-Impediment to Marriage), stating that they are legally free to marry. In case the civil registrar’s office requires an affidavit (“eidesstattliche Versicherung”) stating that the applicant is unmarried, this can also be done at the Embassy.

Marriage in Ireland

You got married in Ireland or wish to get married in Ireland? In general, marriages entered into abroad will also be valid in Germany as long as the marriage requirements were met.

Please contact the registry’s office for more detailed and binding information on getting married in Ireland.

You can find a first overview on getting married in Ireland in the leaflet issued by the Federal Administration Office “Deutsche heiraten in Irland”

The birth of a child born to German parents in Ireland may be registered in the German birth register in order to obtain a German birth certificate.

Do I have to register the birth of my child?

Registering a birth with the German registry office is not always obligatory, but might be necessary in cases where there are questions of legal parentage or Name.

Attention:

You were born outside Germany after 31.12.1999? The birth of your child must be registered in the German birth register in order for the child to obtain German citizenship. The application needs to be filed within one year after the birth of your child. Read here.

What is the application process?

The application can be made at your local German Embassy and will then be forwarded to the registry office in Germany. If you previously resided in Germany, the registry office at your (last) place of residence is the competent authority. If you have never resided in Germany, your application will be forwarded to the Registry Office I in Berlin, where the processing time is currently between 3 to 4 years.

How to Apply

  • If a name declaration is necessary, it can be done with the application for birth registration. In that case, both parents and children 14 years and older must appear in person to apply.
  • Bring all documents and certificate listed below in the original plus two simple copies each. The copies will be certified at the Embassy and the originals immediately returned to you.
  • All documents that are not in German or English must be furnished with a German translation. Note that the registry office might also ask for German translations of English documents.

Information concerning data protection with regard to the processing of your application can be found here.

Required documents

  • Application form, fully completed
  • Proof of identity (passport/ID) of both parents and the child (not necessary in case of registration of babies)
  • Proof of citizenship of both parents (e.g. passports, citizenship certificates, naturalization certificates)
  • Birth certificate of the child
  • Birth certificates of both parents
  • Marriage certificate of the parents if applicable
  • In case of previous marriages: divorce order or death certificate of late spouse
  • Acknowledgement of paternity if applicable
  • Custody agreement if applicable
  • Name certificate if applicable
  • Proof of Irish address (e.g. utility bill)
  • Fee for certification of signatures and copies (in cash or by Visa/ MasterCard) for the verification of signatures in the amount of 20,- Euro without name declaration or 25,- Euro with name declaration plus fee for certified copy (subject to the number of pages: 1 - 10 pages: minimum fee of 10,- Euro, as of 11th page plus 1,- Euro per page) plus subsequent fee of the registrar's office

Note: Not all possible cases and scenarios can be represented here. Additional documentation might be requested depending on your specific case.

Scheduling an appointment

In order to prepare your birth registration certificate, please fill out the application form but do not sign it before the day of your appointment, and send it via email to the Embassy.

Please send a scanned copy of the form and of the necessary documentation (siehe Antrag einreichen) stating briefly as email subject “Birth registration” together with a phone number to info@dublin.diplo.de. The consular section of the Embassy will then schedule an appointment with you.

Fees charged by the registry office

The registry offices' fees differ from one federal state to another. The Registry Office I in Berlin will likely charge the following:

Registration of a birth Euro 80,-, increased by Euro 80,- if foreign law is to be observed in your specific case. The issuing of one birth certificate will be Euro 12,-, the issuing of each additional copy at the same time 6,- Euro. The application will only be processed once payment has been received. You will be notified by email about the exact amount and the banking Details.

If the child’s parents are married at the time of birth of the child generally no acknowledgement of paternity is needed.

If the child’s parents are not married at the time of birth then according to Irish Law the formal acknowledgement of paternity is fulfilled when both parents register the birth at the local Registrar’s Office. In the case where the Irish birth certificate shows that both parents have acknowledged the birth of the child, there is no need for an additional acknowledgement of paternity. This constitutes a formal acknowledgement of paternity in Irish Law and is recognised by German law as well (Art. 19 i.V.m. 11 und 23 EGBGB).

When is a German Acknowledgement of Paternity necessary?

It is necessary to acknowledge paternity according to German law if

  • The child is born or will be born out of wedlock and the father will not be entered into the Irish birth certificate, or
  • If the child is born or will be born out of wedlock in Germany and the father cannot come to the German registrar's office in person to acknowledge paternity.

An acknowledgement of paternity can be declared at the Embassy. It can be declared before the birth of the child. The acknowledgement of paternity requires the consent of the mother; her consent may either be given at the same time as the acknowledgement of paternity, or separately.

A joint custody agreement can be declared together with the acknowledgement of paternity if required.

What Must I Do?

In order for the consular officer to prepare the notarization of the acknowledgement of paternity, the following documents must be sent by email to info@dublin.diplo.de.

  • Birth certificate of the child or
  • In case of prenatal acknowledgement of paternity a medical certificate confirming the pregnancy and the estimated due date
  • Birth certificates of both parents
  • Proof of marital status of the mother
  • Passports of the parents
  • In case of previous marriages: marriage certificates and divorce orders of previous marriages. Note: If the mother was previously married, her divorce must be valid in Germany, see here.

In some cases the submission of additional documents may be necessary.

The following additional information is required:

  • Complete addresses of the child’s parents (in Ireland and/or Germany)
  • Citizenship(s) of the child’s parents.
  • Marital status of the child’s parents (single/married/divorced/widowed)

The acknowledgement of paternity will be drawn up in the German language. If either parent does not speak German, the content will be orally translated into English by the consular officer. You may bring your own interpreter or ask for a written translation, the costs of which would have to be covered by you.

Notarization of an acknowledgement of paternity is free of charge. If a joint custody agreement is to be notarized at the same time, a fee of € 65 will be charged.

Appointment

After the certification has been prepared, the consular section will contact you for an appointment.

Have you divorced abroad? You may need to have this divorce recognized in Germany first.

Divorce outside the EU

Why do I need my divorce recognised?

Regardless of where the marriage was entered into and whether you are already married again, any divorce carried out outside the EU must first be recognised in Germany so that it also has effect under German law.

A marriage only resolved abroad is still considered to exist, i.e. until the foreign divorce is recognised in Germany, the spouses are listed as married in the German civil registers or registration registers. A new marriage or registration of a marriage in Germany would therefore not be possible because of the ban on double marriage. In addition to the need for divorce recognition when getting remarried, a divorce must also be recognised in order to avoid later problems relating to names and civil status for yourself and your descendants. Children born after a divorce could also be considered to be marital children of the former husband unless the divorce is recognised under German law.

Exception home country decision:

A divorce that has been granted outside the EU does not need to be formally recognized if:

1. both spouses are only citizens of the same state

and

2. The divorce was granted in the home country of the two spouses.

Example: If an only-Brazilian woman was divorced from an only-Brazilian man in Brazil, the divorce does not have to be officially recognized in Germany.

How do I apply for divorce recognition?

You must apply for divorce recognition from the responsible state judicial authority. Responsibility is based on the habitual residence of one of the former spouses. You must therefore send the application to the state judicial authority of your place of residence. If none of the former spouses is resident in Germany, the application must be sent to the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination in Berlin.

The State Justice Administration fee is based on your income.

If your divorce has been pronounced outside the EU and you have further questions regarding the procedure, you can contact us by email at info@dublin.diplo.de.

Divorce within the EU (except Denmark)

Foreign decisions in matrimonial matters are recognized automatically in the Federal Republic of Germany, i.e. without carrying out a special recognition procedure, if the conditions according to Art. 21 of Council Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 of November 27, 2003 are met:

  • The marriage has been dissolved or annulled by the competent court of a member state of the European Union (except Denmark) and
  • The judicial procedure for divorce or marriage annulment started after March 1st, 2001 and legally ended before March 1st, 2005, or
  • The judicial procedure for divorce or marriage annulment started after March 1st 2005 or after the accession of a member state at a later date.
  • If the procedure was initiated after March 1, 2001, but the decision was only taken after March 1, 2005, it can be recognized under certain conditions in accordance with the aforementioned regulation.
  • There must be no grounds for exclusion under Article 22 of the Regulation.

To immediately recognize the decision in matrimonial matters given by a court of an EU member state, only a copy of the court decision and a certificate according to Annex I to Article 39 of EC Regulation 2201/2003 on matrimonial decisions must be submitted.

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