Divorce in the Courts

Posted in: Family Law

Please see our page on Divorce detailing the circumstances when this procedure can be used.

There are really two types of proceedings; amicable and non-amicable. An amicable divorce is when two parties are in an agreement.

Divorce and Children

This could be how to split assets, finances and how to deal with issues related to the children, most importantly custody. In Spain it is usual to deal with the matters relating to the children first. This would be in one agreement and so that there is minimum disruption to the children.

Finance and Assets

The next step is a further agreement relating to finances and assets. This is very normal.

For an amicable divorce which involves children under 18 years old, the divorce needs to be heard in Court.

What is Needed For Divorce?

We would need:-

  1. details of the proposed agreement between the parties,
  2. “padróns” (confirmation that at least one party is registered in Spain on the local electoral register)
  3. original marriage certificate (with a Hague Apostille for international use if a foreign certificate),
  4. passports and NIES,
  5. apostilled birth certificates of the children.

What Happens Next?

We prepare a draft of the agreement for approval by both parties. The agreement must be approved by both sides (perhaps only involving us as sole lawyer or involving another law firm or the client themselves). Then we file it in Courts using a litigation power of attorney from both parties. Furthermore the clients will be called to Court to sign after some months (they must be present for this).

Properties in Spain

We will quote for both proceedings, the divorce and change of joint property ownership (if there is a property (or properties) in Spain). As the property may need changing into the name of the other party. Please see our page Change of Property Ownership (Division of Joint Tenancy).

An amicable divorce with child custody and share of assets is very inexpensive. Depending in which Court the proceeding is registered, a normal amicable divorce takes between 2-3 months. It is even cheaper if there are no children and assets. It can take place at the Notary very quickly (please see our page on this Divorce)

A non-amicable proceeding always takes place in Court. The party initiating the divorce will propose what they wish to be agreed. If not accepted by the other party, then a action will be lodged in the Courts using a litigation power of attorney, and a hearing called. A non-amicable proceeding requires two separate barristers and two clerk of courts. This takes much longer and is almost always more expensive, but sometimes there is no choice.

If you have any queries with regard to divorce or wish to start a proceeding please contact us.