As an expat living in Spain you are typically entitled to choose to get divorced under either the law of your country of origin or Spanish law, it is fair to say that using the Spanish legal system can be much quicker, cheaper and more effective than choosing your own country’s jurisdiction.
The law in Spain regarding divorce has changed a lot with the passage of time. It used to be a long and complex process and now, usually, it is relatively quick and straightforward.
Even if someone does not wish to get divorced, the process will go forward as to get divorced only a petition from one of the spouses is needed as well as the marriage having lasted for at least three months. It is no longer necessary for the couple to be separated any time before asking for the divorce.
Even if you got married outside Spain, or you are no longer living in Spain, non-Spanish nationals can obtain a divorce HERE:
- if they or their spouses live in Spain;
- their spouses are Spanish nationals;
- their children live in Spain.
2 ways for expat divorce in Spain
There are two ways to get divorced in Spain: by mutual agreement or petitioning the court.
By mutual agreement, getting a divorce in Spain is really easy as long as both parties can agree on the all-important matters of child custody and the division of assets. In fact, by mutual agreement the spouses can get divorced in a couple of months and completely hassle free. It is even possible to get divorced while not physically being in Spain or not appearing in court; by virtue of a Power of Attorney the lawyer will be able to act on your behalf.
The process whereby the court is petitioned to decree a divorce will obviously be longer but it needn’t be difficult.
While, for divorces where there are young children, custody is usually granted to the mother, if the circumstances allow it, a lawyer specialising in family law may ask for and obtain the court’s approval for joint custody, which in the last number of years has become a more common outcome of divorce proceedings in Spain.
While lately Spanish courts are not willing to award alimony, again a specialist family lawyer can prove useful in this area.
Another recent development in family law is the possibility that the court may grant a divorce decree without the court having to deal with matrimonial property or finances, since this is an issue that can be consider later on, not being any more an impediment to finalise a divorce.
Nevertheless, whenever one of the parties so desires, a spouse may seek to enforce a partition of family assets by asking to the court for a complete and full disclosure of all assets.
Due to many factors, divorce rate has been increasing for the last years, proof of this fact is found in the statistical records of the INE, expat divorce in Spain sums up for the final numbers.
It is worth having best available advise in your language, even divorcing the “easy” way can hide nasty moments you can spare.