Home > Family > Germany > 2009-05-11 - Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt, n. 5 WF 66/09

2009-05-11 - Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt, n. 5 WF 66/09

Family · Germany · Divorce · Talaq

A divorce ruled by Pakistani law is compatible with German law if the wife agrees with the divorce

Key facts of the case - Parties are both Pakistani and got married in Pakistan in the year 2000. Since 2008 they live separately. Now the husband declares talaq, which is a form of unilateral divorce (repudiation by the husband). In the current case he demands for divorce recognition. His wife agrees with divorce.

Main reasoning of the court - In trial court the request was denied. According to Article 6 EGBGB (ordre public) Pakistani law cannot be applied. The court declares that talaq is incompatible with German Constitution. In appellate court the request was granted. Since the parties are Pakistani citizens, Pakistani law has to be applied (Article 14 I Nr. 1, Article 17 I 1 EGBGB). According to his law, Pakistani husbands have a unilateral right to repudiate their wives (talaq). The requirements for talaq are given. German public policy (ordre public) codified in Article 6 EGBGB would forbid the recognition of Pakistani law, only if it leads to an incompatible situation with German law. Given that here the wife agrees with divorce, the talaq in its consequences does not violate the German law (Article 3, 6 GG) and has to be recognized.

Comment - The court applies the result of a norm, not its content, which would contradict German principles of equality of the sexes (Article 3 GG) and protection of marriage (Article 6 GG) in this case.