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Are there no extenuating circumstances such as misrepresentation or fraud that would be considered an exception to the one-year rule? If one of the parties was only marrying for personal gain, for example, because the second party had citizenship in another country?
I know that a church ceremony has no legal standing in Germany, but if the civil ceremony only took place on the word of the citizen party that it was merely preliminary to a church ceremony which was then never arranged due to refusal on the citizen's part - could that not be seen as misrepresentation or fraud? Said citizen made the claim that there was no such thing as an annulment in Germany and only initiated divorce proceedings four years later in order to marry and emigrate his pregnant Russian girlfriend. No exceptions whatsoever?
Well, it was definitely a Scheinehe in every sense - but thank you very much for your legal clarification.