337: The Great Graz Marriage Rip Off

~What’s The Point ?~

We were ripped off !

I lived in Spain, met Natascha through our WordPress blogs and decided to get married.  For medical reasons we agreed that the best option was for me to move to Graz which was quite a traumatic experience and expensive (€8000).   Still, I made it to Graz and we have been together here since September 2017.

As Natascha was single, Austrian and lived locally in Graz she could have got married in the Graz Registrar immediately, but what we didn’t know was that there was a crazy local law which our lovely lady Registrar had to abide by.   Because I was previously married and divorced in the last century, three documents of mine had to be legally scrutinised.  Most of the rest of Austria couldn’t care less, just the word from the British Embassy in Vienna was enough for marriages of divorced people to go ahead in Registrar offices.

The last few months was hellishly emotional and expensive.   It was all about the paperwork, nothing about humanity.   I was told that it did not matter that the British government knew that I was single as I have been receiving a single person’s old age pension for a number of years and because of this stupid money grabbing law we have lost months of increased married pension.   None of these offices and agencies had anything to worry about if I was secretly married to a dolphin trainer in the Gobi Desert in Tibet, as the only one who would be in trouble would be me.   I knew that the documents were genuine from day one as they have been in my briefcase for decades.   So what was the point of ripping us off for the tune of €820.37 inc. postage (similar amount in US dollars and UK Sterling).   That money could have been used to buy Natascha a new laptop as her old tower computer is on its last legs.  So we will have to wait.

It makes you wonder how many couples have pulled out from getting married in the Graz Registrar because of the excessive expense caused by this law.  Luckily there is an Austrian Legal Ombudsman to whom I will link this post and I will also send this post to the UK newspapers.    I hope that one day soon this law will be scrapped.

What follows is a breakdown of what happened and what we had to pay.

~Flow Chart~

(This flow chart was created using  draw.io (the link has been removed as the extension contains malware. Google Chrome has been informed) found on Google Apps.)

Oooops !.  These 2 gifs didn’t work when I exported the flow chart as a PNG image.  But you get the idea. Yes ?  

 

I hope my adding up is correct.  Some fees were paid in UK Pound Sterling.  I used the exchange rate of 1 UK Pound = 1.14 Euros.

Is Your Wallet Mind Exhausted As Ours ?

Ralph xox ❤

88 Comments on “337: The Great Graz Marriage Rip Off

  1. That’s one of the worst case scenarios of bureaucracy, Ralph and Natasha. It was a money grab if I ever saw one.
    Leslie

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oiiiiiiii! … and I thought I my s**t-ton of bureaucracy to become a Canadian citizen was tough! … glad you both, and assorted beasties, survived to the best bit at the end. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yay ! We survived ! I have heard from other bloggers of the nightmare of getting citizenship in different countries. Glad you got through the minefield Widdershins and are now Canadian. Did you get a free sled and husky ? Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so sorry things haven’t gone smoothly. My maths has never been great but I can see there’s so much red tape and bureaucracy here it’s ridiculous. Wishing you both well. xx 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was ridiculous, wasn’t it Miriam ?
      Ha ! Natascha has the same maths problem as yourself. Her mind goes blank when numbers are involved. Otherwise she is brilliant at other things such as language and computer skills.
      Thank you my friend and I wish you well too. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Bureau-crazy at its worst.

    Think of all the cat food you could have bought with that money! Anyhow, it’s all behind you. oxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep ! BureaucraZy indeed Yvonne ! I expect the cats were getting worried as the weeks went by and the fees got higher. Luckily we are now okay and no need to send the cats out into the garden to catch their own food. Got close though. Yes, it is all behind us now. Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Yuck. I think that the hoop-jumping and fee-paying for your wedding is the worst case of bureaucracy I have heard of recently. Often, the only reason for a lot of this stuff is to justify jobs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly Lynette. Yuck ! It was bad, wasn’t it ? Maybe you are right, justifying jobs, but I reckon the law is to give extra income to offices involved in this scam.
      Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, what a nightmare, both emotionally AND financially. I hope you guys get some action-compensation from the powers that be. Meanwhile, keep on happying! LOL

    Liked by 3 people

    • Definitely a nightmare Amanda. I don’t think that we will receive any compensation unless the law is scrapped and found illegal. I just hope that it is scrapped and that other couples in the future will not have to go through what we went through.
      Yep ! Keep on happying ! 🙂 Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Ralph, this is an horrific case of bureaucracy gone totally mad. Where is the human being in this mess. My heart goes out to you both.
    It worries me that things like this can happen…and is legal.
    Hope you find peace and rest now.
    Hugs to you both 💕
    miriam

    Liked by 3 people

    • In one of my emails to the Graz Registrar I did say to her that this was turning into a human rights issue. What upset us was the uncertainty and the not knowing of what was going on and whether documents would be accepted or not. This went on week after week. Yes, you are right Miriam, it is all legal. Oh boy !
      Once this post and the subsequent action with the ombudsman is over I am sure that we can start to live a peaceful life.
      Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 4 people

    • Je suis totalement d’accord avec toi Georges. Une perte de temps coûteuse. J’espère que vous avez un bon dimanche aussi mon ami. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. i am dizzy and i hope that both of you have been able to stop spinning and just loving each other. there is probably a form and a fee for that as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh no ! Is there ? Can’t be ! Are you sure dear Beth ? Nooo, not more forms and fees ! Heehee. Good one my friend. Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your flow-chart really helps illustrate the ugly (not to mention expensive) process for two people that love each other to find happiness. Imagine the poor people who don’t have the wherewithal or resources to navigate their way through this abusive quagmire! Good job both of you! Des

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly Des. That is why I want a bit of publicity about what happened to us so that it does not happen to others in the future. I have already contacted a newspaper in the UK, but no response as yet. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. As your wifi, I have of course been following your saga, but I think you have charted it out exceptionally well. I hope someone you send it to will take notice and work to change this awful bureaucratic setup–in both countries. I can not imagine the stress you have been under; it can’t have improved the health issues of either one of you. May life get better and better with each day as a married couple.
    Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your understand dear Linda. We are so happy that all this is almost behind us. BTW Natascha is very happy for you to be my wifi. lol. Take care. Hugs Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ah, Natascha is as kind as she is beautiful. She has a generous heart to share you with me as your wifi😉 as well as with all of your other blogging friends.💜 Given all the comments during your announcement, move, and marriage, I have to say that the “Ralph Blogging Community” has easily and rapidly expanded into the “Ralph and Natascha Blogging Community.” We love you both and are thrilled that you have found happiness with each other–even before the official blessing of Graz!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Awww, you’re so sweet and kind Linda! Both, Ralph and myself are thanking you for your absolutely lovely and beautiful comment. I’m honored to be seen as part of the Ralph blogging community! How sweet! I’m also very happy to have found such wonderful friends through Ralph’s blog and how kind and welcoming everyone was to me from the very beginning. I really thank you! You’re a totally awesome wifi! Big hugs and lots of love, Natascha ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I think there’s a book somewhere in this adventure, with all the financial rewards that go with it. Why should the government employees you supported be the only ones taking holidays in Monte Carlo?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I did think about writing a book about our experiences Al, but with my shaky single finger typing and an audio/typing app that makes up its own words most of the time, I think it will take a while. The Delete key has the most use when commenting. (I had to type Delete as it is a command for my app to remove previous words. Can’t win !). So a book is out of the question until I sort out these minor problems. lol.
      Yes, we want a holiday in Monte Carlo !! But living in Graz is a sort of holiday 🙂
      Take care my friend. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello dear Nancy 🙂
      Yes, we both tried to keep our spirits up over the last few months, but I must say, a few expletives of disbelief resounded around Graz from our home when another stupid task was given to us. Still, it’s all over now, thank heavens.
      Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you Magick Mermaid. The very expensive red tape is now untangled. Yay, living happy ever after is a good ending, isn’t it my friend ? Love and hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That is so terrible, paperwork, paperwork , paperwork. Dealing with councils and Embassies is terrible. I do know and have also spent 2 trips around the world to become British and to get my sons German Passports. The questions they asked… ridiculous. But as you, I and my sons are sorted now and we all can live happy ever after! … and save up money again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I know what Natascha and I have been through, I completely understand what you must have suffered to gain your British citizenship and sort out your sons’ paperwork. I can imagine it being emotional and expensive for you dear Ute. Anyway, as you say, it’s all over now. The fat lady has sung ! Enjoy living happily ever after my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes, my mind is, as exhausted as yours, from your Tale of 2 Cities’ paper works. My wallet is also exhausted, but for different reasons. Only the very rich shall not suffer the trials, tribulations and financial burdens of any government.
    Advice: Do not tell the Graz government that you have 3 cats. I am positive they will have paperwork and fees for that as well.
    Anyway, you guys are finally on your way to the rest of your marriage. Love and peace to both of you! xoxoxoxox and the cats. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh dear, you must be exhausted creating your new gown without me adding to it dear Resa. Wallets seem to have holes in them, don’t they ?
      Shush, please don’t give the Graz government ideas or else we will have
      to send Samantha over there to pat them on the head. 🙂
      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment my friend. Love and hugs. Ralph xoxoxo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sonic, Samantha, Murli, and China Cat would have started a riot if they had to have gone out to find their own food! So glad you and Natascha didn’t give up, when faced with all that paperwork and expenses. Blessings to your beautiful family. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • If our cats rioted, that would make good blog fodder, wouldn’t it Barbara ? 🙀🙀🙀
      There was no way that we were going to give up as at the end of the day our goal was to be married. One good thing was that the stupid law did not defeat us, but it was close !
      Blessings with thanks to you my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ralph, I need a nap, just reading about your long tortuous, money grabbing bureaucratic experience!! Happy you and Natascha are finally married and you’re back blogging. So nice to hear the good news!! Have a happy life! Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shush ! I shall be as quiet as possible while answering your comment Christine. Enjoy your nap 💤💤💤💤💤😊
      Thank you so much for being happy for us and we are so pleased that that awful journey is now behind us.
      Thank you and do have a happy life yourself my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. So disgusting the bureaucracy! Only true love can prevail all the obstacles you two went through. Now enjoy life to the fullest! ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you Debby, the crazy part was that we had to go to the British Embassy in Vienna that verified my documents and I made an oath that I was free to be married. That should have been more than enough to satisfy the legal requirements asked for by the Graz Registrar. You know the rest !
      Yes, once this has all died down we should be able to relax more and enjoy life.
      I hope that you and hubby are well and happy my friend. Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • No complaints here Ralph, thank you. Just wish for peace, happiness and health for ourselves and everyone and the world can go on. 🙂 ❤ xx

        Like

  17. it appears the answer to everything they ask for is to translate documents into german, pay, and go away! well, you both are on the other side of that now, and as they say, love concurs all, but it doesn’t hurt to have some $$ left, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spot on dear Roxie ! I daren’t write this in German or I may have to pay you a substantial amount. lol. Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was very difficult and expensive Charlotte, but the fat lady sang and we eventually got married after many months of hassle. I have no idea what the UK Registrars get up to if one is a foreign national. They probably have their own antics to plough through.
      Have a lovely weekend my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Well this just proves how much you wanted to get married and that love and being with that someone special, is more important than money! Good for both of you. Lots of love and hugs xx and for the cats xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hello Ralph and Natascha! Wow! Congratulations. Any couple who can maneuver through that much red tape deserves a long and happy honeymoon, and after that a long and happy marriage. Cheers!

    Like

    • Good gawd indeed AJ ! Months of emotional stress and our bank balance totally stressed. Still, we made it in the end and eventually got married.
      I hope that you and Sir are well and happy my friend. Love Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow, guess they have left out a lot from children’s fairytales. They just skip right to THE END. Can’t imagine the frustration for you two. Glad you kept at it. 8)8)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. We did go through a lot Anjali (is that right ?). Still, all worth it in the end. Thank you for your lovely words. Ralph xox ❤

      Like

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