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Legal Guide: Divorce in Spain

Introduction to divorce in Spain:

Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage, and in Spain, there are different ways to obtain it. Divorce puts an end to the marital bond and allows both parties to move forward with their lives independently.

Types of divorce:

  • Mutual consent divorce: Also known as an amicable divorce, it occurs when both spouses agree to end the marriage and agree on the terms of the divorce, such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support. It is a faster and less expensive process compared to a contested divorce.

  • Contested divorce: In cases of disagreement between the spouses, a judicial process is initiated where a judge will decide on the terms of the divorce, including child custody, alimony, and asset division. Filing a divorce petition with the appropriate court is necessary.

Requirements for divorce:

In Spain, the spouses must have been married for at least three months before applying for a divorce. It is not necessary to establish fault or blame on either party to obtain a divorce, as the Spanish legal system is based on the principle of no-fault divorce.

Divorce process:

a) Mutual consent divorce:

  • Divorce agreement: The spouses must draft a divorce agreement that addresses key aspects such as child custody, visitation rights, alimony, and asset division.

  • Lawyer and solicitor: Each spouse must have their own lawyer and solicitor to jointly file the divorce petition with the appropriate court.

  • Agreement ratification: The spouses will need to appear before the judge to ratify their agreement and obtain the divorce decree.

b) Contested divorce:

  • Filing the petition: One spouse must file a divorce petition with the appropriate court, indicating the reasons and their claims regarding child custody, alimony, and asset division.

  • Judicial process: A court process will take place where both parties present their arguments and evidence before the judge.

  • Divorce decree: The judge will make a decision on the terms of the divorce, considering the interests and rights of both parties, as well as the well-being of any children involved.

Aspects to consider in a divorce:

  • Child custody: The type of custody (shared or sole) needs to be determined. The well-being of the children is a priority, and factors such as their age, preferences, and relationship with each parent will be taken into account.

  • Visitation rights: In the case of sole custody, a visitation schedule will be established to allow the non-custodial parent to maintain a relationship with the children.

  • Alimony: If necessary, child support will be determined to cover the basic needs of the children. In some cases, spousal support may also be awarded to a spouse in need of financial assistance.

  • Division of assets: The division of marital assets, including properties, bank accounts, investments, and other assets, needs to be considered. Generally, an equitable distribution is sought, taking into account the circumstances of each case.

Alternative dispute resolution methods:

In addition to court proceedings, there are alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation and arbitration. These alternatives allow parties to reach mutually agreed-upon settlements with the help of a neutral third party, thereby avoiding a litigious process.

Legal advice:

It is advisable to seek legal advice from a lawyer specialized in family law to ensure that the rights and interests of each party are protected during the divorce process. A lawyer can provide personalized guidance, ensure compliance with legal requirements, and help achieve fair and equitable agreements.

Please note that this guide is a general introduction, and laws and procedures may vary depending on the autonomous community in Spain. It is important to seek specific legal advice.

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