Division of Matrimonial Assets in Spain

 

The Application of Spanish Law

Since in certain cases Spanish law may apply to divorce proceedings, then it is important to have an understanding how this will impact on the distribution of marital assets.

Typically Spanish law is applied where a foreign national is resident in Spain and married to a Spanish national. Also, a married couple who are foreign nationals and who are habitually resident in Spain, may also request that a Spanish court applies Spanish law to their divorce application. If the divorce is a mutually-agreed ‘fast-track’ divorce, then Spanish law, by definition, applies.

The rules relating to the distribution of marital assets govern what will happen to the shared matrimonial home, how any shared assets will be split  etc

So, here we shall look at how Spanish courts assess the legal issue of division of matrimonial assets. Specifically we will consider the following matters:

 

  • The different ‘types’ of marriage in Spain
  • Division of Assets in ‘Separación de Bienes’ type arrangement
  • Division of Assets in ‘ Sociedad de gananciales’ type arrangement
  • What are private assets?
  • The matrimonial home
  • Division of Assets Process in a Contentious Divorce

 

Different Economic Relationships in Spain

The first step is to determine under which system of economic relations the marriage has existed.

In Spain, there are two standard economic types or systems of marriage: ‘separación de bienes’ and ‘sociedad de gananciales’.

Unless specifically chosen by way of public document signed in front of a notary, the type of marriage is determined by default and usually depends upon which autonomous community or region the couple are resident once married.

Family Law Client Testimonials

Client reviews of our family law services, as uploaded by clients directly to the Wufoo survey platform:

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    Wendy Dickson, Marbella
    Tuesday, June 19, 2018
    It was all done very quick. Very good value for money. How easy it all was to communicate via email.
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    Liezl Pulido, Philippines
    Monday, April 23, 2018
    Rosa never stopped working very hard, she went way above what she needed to do...she never gave up on me and always did more than I thought anyone would.

    I am so blessed I got Rosa to help me I co...uldn't have gotten a better lawyer she's the best.

    Thank you Rosa from the bottom of my heart you are a wonderful person, I am so grateful to you.
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    Julie Smith, Torrellano
    Friday, April 20, 2018
    I can't compliment my solicitor enough.

    From our initial meeting right through to my ultimate divorce (with no unpleasant surprises the entire duration of the entire process), he immediately respo...nded to my many enquiries, always had mine and my daughter's best interests at the forefront of any considerations and was well worth every penny of his extremely reasonable fee.

    Excellent value for money, totally approachable and very professional and understanding. I highly recommend him and will continue to retain his services for other matters in the future.
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    David Pratt, Alhaurin del Grande
    Friday, April 13, 2018
    Alvaro gives me confidence that he understands the issue and gives me practical solutions. He works rapidly and efficiently. I would strongly recommend his services.
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    John Burchell, Arroyo De la Miel
    Tuesday, March 20, 2018
    Alvaro was very professional, helpful and friendly. Understood things quickly. Explained things well in English. Very easy to contact at any time.
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    Robert Davies, Mallorca
    Monday, March 12, 2018
    Very supportive and clear on producing a suitable divorce settlement. Efficient, understanding and professional.
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    Adam Clark, Tenerife
    Friday, March 09, 2018
    Oliver was very professional. He explained things very clearly and honestly at all times and in the end we got the best result possible in my particular case.

    Many thanks to him for his high level ...of service.
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    Holly, Lanzarote
    Friday, February 23, 2018
    The divorce process could have been explained more clearly and accurately so that a more realistic time for completion can be attained.
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    Tamara Malcolm, Mallorca
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Rosa was and is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Her advice was excellent and i will definitely be using her expertise again in the future.
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    Eric Van Der Straeten, Belgium
    Friday, November 17, 2017
    Mr. Sempere Gelardo was a pleasure to work with. This lawyer has an understanding of difficult matters that surpasses most of his colleagues.

    He replied to my demand the next day and in fluent Engl...ish assisted me in the case I presented to him.

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    I can only thank him and would recommend him to anybody who is in need of legal assistance in the region of Alicante.
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    S Smith, Estepona
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017
    Being English in Spain and fighting a child custody and divorce case here is extremely difficult.

    I originally had an only Spanish speaking lawyer and after 2 years of everything taking ages inclu...ding just responses from my lawyer plus with the language barrier I decided to make the difficult decision to change my lawyer to Alvaro.

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    Communication and response from Alvaro was always immediate and his recommendations were always correct. He is very professional and approachable person, and a very good lawyer. With his help and guidance I won the case and without any hesitation I would highly recommend Alvaro as a lawyer to anyone.
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    Aaron L, Oregon
    Wednesday, August 02, 2017
    Very satisfied with the service provided. Helen was knowledgeable, helpful and responsive to communication. Will definitely use again.
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    Maya M, Canada
    Monday, July 31, 2017
    My overall experience with Rosa was a positive one.

    Value for the money? Yes.

    In my opinion, Rosa is a very knowledgeable and professional lawyer, who is able to not only understand the situat...ion at hand, but also suggest different approaches and customized solutions for unique, non-standard situations, which was the case with me.

    And for that I am really happy and grateful to have worked with Rosa, and wish her the very best in the future.
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    N. Gardiner, Mijas
    Friday, June 16, 2017
    Rosa was value for money, really easy to deal and very efficient. Highly recommend.
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    D slocombe, Spain
    Friday, May 19, 2017
    Jose is very friendly and understanding. I am very satisfied and I would you use the same lawyer again in the future.
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    KSC, Ireland
    Tuesday, October 18, 2016
    She was very helpful, always happy to assist. I was very satisfied with the service.
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    Elena, Australia
    Tuesday, June 14, 2016
    Rosa was straightforward, friendly, polite and cheap. I was very satisfied and I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.
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    Kate Godbehere, Granada
    Thursday, February 25, 2016
    From the outset, Rosa was extremely professional, approachable, efficient and competent. Her level of English is extraordinary, something very much appreciated as it made life easier for me during an ...inherently difficult time.

    Her correspondence was always relevant, detailed, simply and clearly explained and expressed. Rosa was kindly, matter of fact, calm, patient and always reassuring.
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    Peter Gural, La Linea
    Thursday, October 08, 2015
    What I liked about this service: Value for money.

    The level of professionalism and excellence in service was not compromised in the reasonably low fee charged for the service.

    All details were... explained in a simple format that an ordinary citizen could understand, sparing the bureaucratic procedure that only lawyers can understand.
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    Elena Todd, Almoradi
    Friday, July 18, 2014
    Our lawyer was very understanding of our situation, and took a lot of time to strategise for the best possible outcome.

    Her passionate performance in court exhibited a heartfelt commitment to our ...case.

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    Thursday, July 03, 2014
    Very fast and comprehensive responses to all my queries.

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Division of Assets Under ‘Separación de Bienes’

This, or a variation of it, is the default choice in Cataluña, Aragón, Navarra, Balearic Islands and Basque Country.

Where a couple are married under ‘separación de bienes’ then each spouse is considered to own that which they brought into the marriage i.e. owned before they were married as well as that which they have acquired during the marriage either by purchase, inheritance or gift. They may dispose freely of such goods and assets as they wish.

So, where the couple purchases an asset, say a car, and one pays 75% of the cost while the other spouse pays the remaining 25% then upon divorce they would be entitled to a percentage of the value of the car based upon the percentage that they contributed to the purchase price.

If it is not possible to determine which of the spouses is the owner of a particular asset then it is split 50-50.

In terms of contributions made towards the cost of assets, recent court rulings suggest that the spouse who stays at home to look after domestic chores, raising children etc, may have a financial value attributed to that work.

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