Surprise surprise, my wife is a slut! Surprised? I’m not, she pulled the same shit before we were married but I was too dumb to realize, “once a cheater, always a cheater”. So you live and Germany as an Ausländer and the visa you have is tied to the person you are now divorcing. How screwed are you? It depends. If you have an Niederlassungserlaubnis, you should be fine, it’s permanent residency after all. If you are an unfortunate person like myself stuck on a Aufenthaltserlaubnis, it’s time to switch to a different visa!
Have kids with your German wife? Stop here, you are fine regardless, anchor babies for the win!
Are you on Hartz IV? Your’re screwed, start packing your bags.
Are you a student? You might be screwed, switch to a student visa ASAP (there are some odd requirements, mainly money available and sitting in a German bank account)
Are you employed? You should be fine, just make sure you get your company to sponsor you. If you make less than the requirements, you may be screwed. Working as a stock-boy at Rewe may mean you might be out of here real soon.
Are you self-employed? You might be screwed, depends on how much you make. Governments love tax dollars, the more you make, the safer you are. The safe formula is your basic cost of living (rent + utilities + health insurance + 300 euros).
The main point is if you are facing the prospect of a divorce in Germany and want to stay (why wouldn’t you right? the only bad thing about the country was your significant other anyway), is depending on your situation, you may be okay, you may not. Best advice is consult an immigration attorney. Since Germany doesn’t really believe in free market capitalism like the rest of us, most lawyer fees are capped unless you waive that (why would you?!). You’re looking at about 500 euros for them to fix your situation. Of course that is assuming you have a job, have health insurance and all the other requirements your previous spousal visa required. If you are from the EU, this is all moot, you have the right to live and work here automatically. This post is mainly for us poor saps from the countries outside the EU. Speaking German is absolutely CRUCIAL. If you can’t get by without your significant other, step up your game IMMEDIATELY.
Personally, I have not consulted an immigration attorney. I am one of those people that always manages somehow. Being self-employed has it’s benefits for sure but most do not have that luxury. I also speak enough Deutsch to communicate effectively (I am in no ways fluent but have been down the government red tape aisle many times).
The key is not to panic, well unless you are dirt poor and sucking off the government’s teet, it might be time to panic.
Best advice is if you are close to eligibility to a Niederlassungserlaubnis, stall. Stall stall stall. I was unfortunate, because I was only recently declared self-employed, I didn’t get it but I did get a 3 year extension of my visa. Technically, I should switch to a self-employment visa but the pencil pushers at the Ausländerbehörde are so overworked because of the refugee crises, I slipped through the cracks when I moved out as I imagine most do. If you have kept your nose clean and manage to extend your visa another 3 years, you should go unnoticed, especially in bigger cities. By time you hit 5 years and are making a living income (see the formula above), the Ausländerbehörde will grant you a Niederlassungserlaubnis regardless.
Oh, and if you married someone that cheated on you before, she will do it again. it’s not a question of if but rather when. If you want to stay here, learn German, get a job, get insurance, stay out of trouble and aim for bigger cities because like I said, the pencil pushers just don’t have enough time to worry about a clean cut person from the West.