How do I get Divorced in Spain
lawyers in spain

In Spain the divorce is one of the legal ways by which a valid marriage may be ended. There is no requirement to allege any cause or reason, although there must be a court judgement which declares the spouses divorced and the marriage must have lasted at least three months before proceedings are initiated.

The main effects of a divorce in Spain are as follows:

–  any  joint financial liabilities of the couple as against third parties are terminated

– the right to inherit the assets of an ex-spouse upon their death disappears.

Who may request a divorce in Spain?

The spouses may request divorce proceedings together which is known as a divorce by ‘mutual accord’ (Express Divorce).

On the other hand, one of the spouses alone may request a dissolution of the marriage, which is known as  ‘contentious’ divorce.

The main difference between the mutual agreement divorce and the contentious one here is expense and time. Failure to agree on the divorce terms may require negotiation and communication between the lawyers and even the need to produce third party evidence. A divorce by mutual agreement can be concluded in less than a few weeks while a contentious divorce may take anywhere from a few months to more than a year.

Reason why it is always better to follow the course of divorce by mutual agreement, wherever possible.

Does it affect divorce proceedings if any of the spouses is not Spanish?

A Spanish court may adjudicate divorce proceedings involving anyone who is resident in Spain, by virtue of European Regulation 2201/2003. Therefore, if one of the spouses has their habitual residence in Spain, the Spanish courts may hear the case.

The Spanish law in arts. 9.2 and 107 of the Civil Code states that the applicable law is, firstly, the law of the country of which both spouses are nationals. If there is no common nationality, the applicable law is the law of the state in which both are habitually resident at the time of divorce.

Hence, if a Spanish woman is married to a British man and both are residents in Spain, it will be applied the Spanish law of divorce. Whilst an English couple who applies for a divorce in Spain may have English law applied, unless they request to be apply the Spanish law to the divorce proceeding.

If there is no common nationality nor a country of common residence, the applicable law will be the one of the state in which the couple had their habitually resident.

Do I need to travel to Spain for Divorce proceedings to be completed?

Even though the Ratification of the Divorce agreement before the judge usually requires both spouses to be present, if any of the spouses is residing abroad, this can be done by granting a power of attorney in favor of the Procurador.

Contact us and explain your case to one of our attorneys.


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