NATO SOFA forms the basis of the legal status of military personnel, U.S. civilian employees, and family members who live in Germany by order. As part of an additional amendment, German staff also enjoy privileges that are not granted to other members of the service deployed elsewhere in Europe. These agreements cover status, entry and exit from the host country, military training in the territory of the host country, jurisdiction, criminal prosecution, taxes, import and export laws, driving privileges, employment, post, education, housing and much more. Think carefully about your decision to get married or divorced during your country. Marriage and divorce in Germany can be very different from those in the United States, marriage or divorce documents cannot be easily transferred or enforced between German authorities and different states in the United States. Any divorce, whether abroad or in the United States, can be very complicated and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for maintenance, child support, division of marital property and attorney fees. Former spouses could apply for a court order for money, call your commander to enforce a separation agreement, or an obligation under military rules to support families. As the Law Center cannot represent staff in the event of a divorce, you must hire a German lawyer. Also be careful in dealing with brokers.
Brokers technically work for the potential tenant who is looking for the property, but they are very familiar with local landlords. Landlords often have more than one leased property and when their tenants are American, new tenants rotate every two or three years in their properties. This reality means that brokers often take the side of the landlord in the event of an owner-tenant dispute. In addition, real estate may be subject to high brokerage fees. In almost all cases, brokerage fees are non-refundable. . The quintessence: check with the Housing Office before contacting a broker. Although the SOFA determines your legal status, it is important to understand that German law applies to U.S.
personnel, both on and off the board. U.S. facilities are not American soil. In addition, while there are many similarities between German and American legislation, there are also many important differences. For example, spanking or paddling children is prohibited under German criminal law as a means of punishing disobedience. German law considers it a “physical punishment”, which makes it synonymous with child abuse. . German civil law is also very different from what most of the United States is familiar with. Read on to learn more about the main differences between German and US law, and if you have any questions, please contact the Legal Center on Kelley Barracks….