The aim of this short guide is to give information on the options available to anyone contemplating divorce in Spain.
The first major question to answer is whether to proceed via the contentious or express routes to divorce. What are the advantages to choosing one or the other?
Family Law Client Testimonials
Client reviews of our family law services, as uploaded by clients directly to the Wufoo survey platform:
- Wendy Dickson, MarbellaTuesday, June 19, 2018It was all done very quick. Very good value for money. How easy it all was to communicate via email.
- Liezl Pulido, PhilippinesMonday, April 23, 2018Rosa 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.
- Julie Smith, TorrellanoFriday, April 20, 2018I 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.
- David Pratt, Alhaurin del GrandeFriday, April 13, 2018Alvaro gives me confidence that he understands the issue and gives me practical solutions. He works rapidly and efficiently. I would strongly recommend his services.
- John Burchell, Arroyo De la MielTuesday, March 20, 2018Alvaro was very professional, helpful and friendly. Understood things quickly. Explained things well in English. Very easy to contact at any time.
- Robert Davies, MallorcaMonday, March 12, 2018Very supportive and clear on producing a suitable divorce settlement. Efficient, understanding and professional.
- Adam Clark, TenerifeFriday, March 09, 2018Oliver 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.
- Holly, LanzaroteFriday, February 23, 2018The divorce process could have been explained more clearly and accurately so that a more realistic time for completion can be attained.
- Tamara Malcolm, MallorcaTuesday, February 20, 2018Rosa was and is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Her advice was excellent and i will definitely be using her expertise again in the future.
- Eric Van Der Straeten, BelgiumFriday, November 17, 2017Mr. 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.
His professionalism, together with a lot of empathy, gave me a feeling of security. The results were of the same high standard.
I can only thank him and would recommend him to anybody who is in need of legal assistance in the region of Alicante.
- S Smith, EsteponaTuesday, September 12, 2017Being 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.
Immediately and quickly Alvaro got an understanding of the case and was able to advise me. I was now able to understand myself what was going on and he worked to a new pace that had previously been lacking and that was needed to win the case.
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.
- Aaron L, OregonWednesday, August 02, 2017Very satisfied with the service provided. Helen was knowledgeable, helpful and responsive to communication. Will definitely use again.
- Maya M, CanadaMonday, July 31, 2017My 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.
- N. Gardiner, MijasFriday, June 16, 2017Rosa was value for money, really easy to deal and very efficient. Highly recommend.
- D slocombe, SpainFriday, May 19, 2017Jose is very friendly and understanding. I am very satisfied and I would you use the same lawyer again in the future.
- KSC, IrelandTuesday, October 18, 2016She was very helpful, always happy to assist. I was very satisfied with the service.
- Elena, AustraliaTuesday, June 14, 2016Rosa was straightforward, friendly, polite and cheap. I was very satisfied and I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.
- Kate Godbehere, GranadaThursday, February 25, 2016From 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.
Her pro-active, intelligent, thoughtful and knowledgeable advice helped very much during a particularly delicate and worrying stage of the process.
- Peter Gural, La LineaThursday, October 08, 2015What 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.
- Elena Todd, AlmoradiFriday, July 18, 2014Our 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.
Her fees were very reasonable and she was willing to consider payment terms at difficult times.
I strongly recommend her and will use her again in the future.
- Christine B., SpainThursday, July 03, 2014Very fast and comprehensive responses to all my queries.
Always available via email and telephone.
Very reasonable fees.Extremely helpful and thorough. Polite, perfect English. Absolutely prof...essional.
Express Divorce v Contentious Divorce
While there are advantages to proceeding with an Express Divorce (divorcio de mutuo acuerdo), the choice is usually determined by the circumstances.
Contentious divorce proceedings will normally have to be issued:
- If one of the spouses does not wish to end the marriage or,
- If the spouses are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce.
It can often be difficult to avoid such circumstances but it is worth bearing in mind that if an agreement can be reached, Express Divorce proceedings can be taken instead which means a faster and cheaper resolution.
The Express Divorce route is cheaper as it permits both spouses to use the same lawyer who will draw up the divorce agreement on the agreed terms of the spouses as well as collate all of the required information and submit the relevant documentation to the court.
Choosing the ‘express divorce’ route will typically provide a saving of 75% of the legal costs of the process for each spouse.
A ‘procurador’ (officer of the court) is required legally to be present in all divorce cases in Spain which will affect the final fee also.
It should be borne in mind that the cost can rise due to additional complexity or where the lawyer needs to work with the couple to ensure that agreement is reached on any aspect of the divorce agreement.
Regarding the specific cost, it being free market, it is permissible for lawyers in Spain to quote as much (or as little) as they wish for legal services. This has resulted in a wide disparity in the quotations made for the same service – often by more than 100%.
So what does this mean for the ex-pat seeking a quotation for legal services?
In order to make sure you find the right lawyer for you, at the right price you may well need to speak to a number of lawyers. You should also check if the lawyer is adhering to the law societies recommended tariffs. Many still do even though they are not required to.
Advocate Abroad provide an extremely good value service that is provided at approximately 50% of the standard price charged!
For more information, please see the Advocate Abroad Express Divorce Service.
What issues will your lawyer need to address?
When involved in divorce proceedings in Spain you should have an experienced family lawyer advise you on some or all of the following issues:
- Custody of the children
- Visitation rights of the non-custodial parent
- The ‘Patria Potestad’ or Exercise of parental authority
- Child support payments
- Alimony or spousal maintenance
- Distribution of the matrimonial assets
- Use and enjoyment of the marital home
What services should your lawyer offer?
Your lawyer should be able to offer any of the following services:
- Filing of the divorce petition to the Spanish Courts
- Formal legal response upon receipt of a petition for divorce from the Spanish Courts
- Negotiation of all terms of the divorce settlement
- Drafting of the divorce agreement
- Division of Matrimonial Assets
Solicitors in Spain
Advocate Abroad can recommend family solicitors, from our network of family lawyers, who provide divorce services across Spain.
They are independent English-speaking lawyers that have plenty of experience in dealing with family law issues, particularly those that involve clients not from Spain.
The lawyers have been specifically recommended because of their experience, their level of English and because they are competitively priced.
Moreover the lawyers are competitively priced when compared to standard prices charged to Spanish clients for the same services.
Each lawyer is responsible for providing a quotation in advance which we would invite you to compare with other service providers.
Innovative Support Services – Free of Charge
Furthermore, by choosing a lawyer recommended by Advocate Abroad you can benefit from additional protection afforded by our innovative support services that are included free of charge.
These support services include:
- Documentation detailing regulatory status of your lawyer.
- Fees within guidelines established by Law Societies in Spain. .
- Legal fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
- Services levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
- All lawyers must hold professional indemnity insurance.
- Lawyers’ standard of English checked.
- Continuous quality controls and reviews.