Amicable and non-amicable divorces
Divorces in Spain are not the same as in other countries. Many clients do not realise this. In Spain, you previously always needed a barrister and a clerk of courts to get a divorce. However now there are instances when an amicable divorce can take place at a Notary.
Firstly, there is the issue of jurisdiction to consider. If there are children living in Spain, usually the divorce must be done in Spain. According to Spanish law, there is no need to prove anything. Except the marriage must have been in existence for three months. If there are no children, one of the parties must be resident in Spain. But not necessarily both. The other party can be informed in another country.
If the divorce is amicable and there are no children under 18 years old, it can be arranged at a Notary. So cheaper and simpler than in Court. Law of Voluntary Jurisdiction 15/2015 of 2nd July (came into law 23rd July 2015) permits notaries in Spain to arrange marriages and grant divorces. Both parties must attend. And there must be an agreement prepared in a deed (which will require a lawyer). Therefore for us to arrange this the parties need to be fairly local.
The new law is called “Voluntary jurisdiction”. As it means some aspects now can be resolved voluntarily. Whereas previously they had to be settled in Court. The law was intended to remove some of the burden on the Spanish system and it has had an effect. As clients can now obtain a simple amicable divorce fairly speedily when there are no children involved.
It is necessary that one of the applicants live (have a padron) in the area where the divorce will take place at the Notary. And a practising solicitor must draft the deed of divorce agreement for the Notary.
Please note that we are able to do this at a very reasonable cost for those in our local area. Also we are willing to provide free quotes. In addition, a separation agreement can be prepared as a first step towards divorce.
Regarding a divorce being recognised abroad, you can only get divorced once, in any country. The documentation will then need to be legalised for use in another country. This is not too difficult. There is not a divorce certificate in Spain. There is only a divorce judgment from a Court. Which at the end of the proceeding is registered at the Civil Registry.
There are two types of divorce proceedings. Amicable divorce as above (when two parties are in an agreement) and non-amicable, or basically a divorce where two parties are fighting. If you have children under 18 or are not in agreement, then the divorce will need to take place in Court.
It is essential that the parties employ a barrister. And both need to be present for the final signing in Spain. Even though the solicitor is able to do the rest in the Courts with a litigation power of attorney. Under Spanish Law clients cannot file divorce petitions themselves. So they always need a barrister and a clerk of courts, this is compulsory. Please see our blog on Divorce and Separation in the Courts for further information or please contact us with any queries.