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Divorce in Spain

- Updated: 23/06/2011
Divorce in Spain

It is only relatively recently that Divorce has been legal in Spain, and even now it is not an easy path for troubled relationships to persue. In many cases divorce is so expensive and such a legal minefield, that there are still many unhappy couples who continue to co-exist under the same roof even though they would prefer to separate. The Spanish Government and the legal system in Spain have been slowly making changes to legislation which should make it easier in than it has been in the past.

Up until the last few years the system has required that two separate legal proceedings take place : one to confirm separation (which can sometimes take about a year) and another to finalise the divorce (which takes another year). This carries the problem that it carries two sets of Legal costs. Additionally this system required one of the Parties to be proven to be the 'Guilty Party' or to have left the Marital home for longer than a 6 Month period.

This new law stops this drawn out double proceedure, and makes it possible for couples to go straight to the Divorce Court without the seperation process. A legal separation is still possible, but only to those who wish to take that intermediary route for whatever reason. As long as both partners agree to the separation, and have been married for at least 3 months, they can obtain their divorce in just two months. If one of the partners does not agree to the divorce, then the divorce still must be granted under the new law but it will take up to six months.

Unlike the old divorce law, the new law does not require a couple to give any justification whatsoever in order to obtain the divorce, and nobody needs to be proven as 'The Guilty Party' which, for many Spaniards, this is what makes the new law the better.

Divorce of Non-Spanish nationals is possible providing both parties are legally resident in Spain and the couple have been married for more than 1 year.

It is a much easier process to get this done in the UK - neither party needs to appear in court in person and a divorce can usually be granted in as little as 16 weeks, however, this is dependant upon both parties being domiciled in the UK.

Under certain circumstances a Lawyer may be successful in naming the UK as your home country (for legal,if not residential purposes), but Tumbit always recommends that you speak with a Lawyer who is experienced with issues concerning divorce of expatriates before persuing this path.

Comment on this Article

 
Joyce : Assuming you are A Spanish Resident, but NOT a Spanish Citizen, you must have been married for 1 year before you can legally initiate proceedings. The length of time assumes that grounds are not denied by either party, and cab be around 6 months to 1 year.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 28th Dec 2012
Just married this year - 2012 in Spain and no longer find peace in my marriage, how many months or years can Istay before filing for divorce and how soon will it be granted ?
Joyce - Fri 28th Dec 2012
If both parties have signed and agreed the divorce do we still need to attend court? I live in Hungary and my husband in Spain.
Carol Naughton - Thu 25th Oct 2012
It depends WHERE you were married and, I am assuming you wish to be able to remain here in Spain once you have been divorced aswell ? If you lawyer is changing is stance and unable to keep you updated with regards to your case then maybe you should find anothe rone who is experienced in these matters.
Jake - Fri 21st Oct 2011
Helo sir I married with a portugees girl about 5 years ago. I am living in spain with a tarjeta familar de la union. I am no longer in contact with her and want to divorse her. 1.pls tell me the procedure in detail step by step. 2.As u will suggest me for a Lawyer, 3 months ago I already hired a Lawyer. but every time his statement is different. So... Can I check the exact status of my case by court. Hoping ur good response.
Shamsher - Wed 19th Oct 2011
Arif : Yours is quite a complex situation, I would strongly suggest that you spoke with a Lawyer experienced in these matters.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 17th May 2011
REMINDER.hello Sir I married in 2005 in swedon with portugees girl. Since 2007living in Spain having Tarjeta familiar de la union.Now want to divorse her. She is not in my Contact. 1.Can i divorse her alone? 2. Can i divorse her in Spain or i have to go in swedon or portugal. 3.If i divorse her in 2012 i have to renew my residency will it effect my residency
Arif - Tue 17th May 2011
hello Hope someoe will help me. I married in 2005 in swedon with portugees girl. Since 2007living in Spain having Tarjeta familiar de la union.Now want to divorse her. She is not in my Contact. 1.Can i divorse her alone? 2. Can i divorse her in Spain or i have to go in swedon or portugal. 3.If i divorse her in 2012 i have to renew my residency will it effect my residency. Thanks and awtg
Arif - Tue 10th May 2011