- InmaculadaInmaculada is a senior partner in her law firm which has assisted individuals and corporations in the Valencia region for over 30 years. From offices in Valencia City and Castellón de la Plana, Inmaculada provides expert legal advice and assistance to English-speakers in Property matters, Contract Breaches/Debt Recovery, Family law and Business formation and bookkeeping service.
Nowadays in Spain it is ever more common that at least one person in a relationship is not Spanish or very possibly that neither are Spanish but are living as full-time residents here in Spain, having married abroad. As a result, when considering the difficult and complex situations that arise with separations and divorces, either between married couples or those in domestic partnerships it is necessary to bear in mind three fundamental factors:
- which jurisdiction will be competent to hear the matter,
- which state’s legislation will apply to the proceedings, and
- with regard to the distribution of the matrimonial assets, what is the legal framework that underpins the ownership of those assets within the marriage.
Residency is Key
Regarding the competent jurisdiction, within the context of the European Union, residency is key and European Council Regulation 2201/2003, with respect to jurisdictional competence, recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions in matrimonial matters and parental responsibility, establishes that competence to hear divorce and similar proceedings lies with the State in which the spouses habitually reside, with some special individual rules for exceptional cases.
When there are children involved in the proceedings, the Spanish Courts will also have competence to hear the case, when the child has close ties to Spain, even where at the time that the proceedings are filed, the child is resident in a State, outside the European Union.
Spanish Civil Code
With regard to the applicable legislation to the proceedings, in Spain, Article 107 of the Spanish Civil Code establishes the following options in order of priority:
- the national law common to both spouses
- the national law of the country where the marriage was celebrated
- the law of the country in which the couple were both last resident, where one of the spouses is still resident there.
Finally, with regard to the financial rules applied to the distribution of the matrimonial assets, within the context of the European Union, Article 9.2 of the Spanish Civil Code as well as the Hague Convention of 1978, applicable to marriages celebrated after September 1978, establish that, in the first place, the rules that determine the distribution of assets shall be any such as the couple have expressly agreed, (pre- and post-nuptial agreements) and in their absence, those rules which are applied in the region that the couple habitually were resident in immediately following the marriage or, if this does not apply, the law of the place in which the marriage took place.
In Valencia, in the absence of an express agreement between the spouses, the financial rules that apply are known as ‘separación de bienes’ which means that the spouses keep their own individual assets and earnings.
In summary, the Spanish Courts will normally have competence to hear divorce and separation proceedings between anyone resident in Spain, regardless of the nationality of the spouses, applying the law of the State of which both spouses hold nationality, and if the spouses have different nationality, Spanish law will apply. Finally, with regard to the distribution of matrimonial assets, the laws of foreign countries may be applied, though the same must be proven before the Spanish Court.
Below is a list of recent reviews received from our clients, obtained via the Wufoo client survey platform:
- Darren & Gemma Nesbitt, ValenciaTuesday, September 11, 2018Inmaculada has been of excellent service to us, as a family and in helping to set up a business in Spain. She has now undertaking several project for us and has delivered high quality on all of them. ...Perfect service!
- Patsy Valentin, GranadaTuesday, September 11, 2018Extremely accommodating and highly professional and very pro active. Excellent result and service. Highly recommended.
- Jovie, MalagaWednesday, September 05, 2018My lawyer Alvaro was extremely helpful and very efficient. I would definitely recommend his services to friends.
- Albert Roldan, FranceTuesday, September 04, 2018Alfonso was extremely helpful, particularly since we requested a quick turnaround for the 18 documents needing to be translated from English and French to Spanish.
He was fluent in our phone conver...sations and email correspondence, he never misunderstood what our requirements were. He was was clear in explaining how this process works and what the price included.
I would highly recommend him to anyone needing these services.
- David Grundy, UKFriday, August 24, 2018Jose was very polite and we received an excellent service from him. Nothing was to much trouble and his communication was 2nd to none. Highly recommended!
- Mario Klappholz, Miami, FloridaThursday, August 16, 2018Inma was very helpful, always happy to assist. I particularly appreciated her professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend her services to friends.
- Daniel Spitzhorn, SpainTuesday, August 14, 2018Miguel in Oviedo helped us during the process of buying a flat in Asturias. He was just brilliant!
- Tracey Iliffe Bradley, UKTuesday, August 14, 2018Rosa dealt with everything efficiently and promptly and went beyond our expectations by helping us to open a Spanish bank account and deal with other minutiae.
- Erslaan Ahmed, BangladeshFriday, August 10, 2018Gave very good advice and provided an excellent solution. Inma is very professional in her work. I would recommend her services to friends.
- John Ryan, Derby, EnglandWednesday, August 08, 2018A perfect relationship between client and professional. Nothing was too much trouble.
Went over and above his job and more. I would only use his services if I need legal services. I were very lucky... to find Jose first time round.
Thank you jose
- Robert Brownlee, Almeria, SpainWednesday, August 08, 2018Everything was as it should be: excellent. Had to pay by bank transfer and maybe would have liked another means of paying.
- Delbecq, FranceFriday, August 03, 2018Cristina, is extremely professional, fast, responsive understand and explain well, she always found appropriate solutions and provide good advices.
She know how to deal and negotiate, and look self...-confident, and make you feel less stress, you can trust here.
The value for money is good, and she is up to date with technologies (mail/google app etc… very practical).
It was a pleasure and a great luck to found here and have here at my side for my case. For anything, i should need a lawyer she will be the one I’ll work with
- Mohamed Nasir, EnglandMonday, July 30, 2018My lawyer Carmen is a nice lady ,very professional. I would like to be her client again if I need a lawyer in the future.
- Michael Harrison, Urb. Camposol Mazarron MurciaFriday, July 27, 2018Maria was extremely helpful and professional, and put herself out to satisfy my needs.
I contacted her on a number of occasions and always had very good advise on costs etc.
Her English was imp...eccable and could always be understood.
- Michael Bates, UKFriday, July 27, 2018Francisco was very easy to deal with. Very professional. Would not hesitate to recommend him to friends.
- Elizabeth Coelho, BarcelonaWednesday, July 25, 2018Oscar was very helpful and really understood my needs.
- Janette Payne, FranceWednesday, July 25, 2018Jaime was quick, made good suggestions about remembering to revoke the power in the future, very responsive - changing a meeting to suit our timetable - and even took us round to a DHL office and arra...nged for the document to be courriered after it was signed.
- Janet/Alex Olsen, NewcastleWednesday, July 25, 2018Overall the service provided by Oliver was exceptional.
My mother and I couldn't of asked for more from him as he sorted out our family affairs. His attitude, attention to detail and promptness wh...ile helping us were second to none.
His English is top notch and his way of explaining and or guiding you through what needs to be done makes the whole experience easier than expected.
We'd recommend Oliver to anyone in need of his expertise while dealing with issues in Tenerife.
- Neil Linter, LondonTuesday, July 24, 2018Cristina immediately understood our requirements and was essential in guiding us through a very tricky process.
- Jason Yorke, United KingdomThursday, July 19, 2018Beatriz was really helpful and always kept me informed at all stages. She is very professional and a pleasure to deal with.
- Mr David P Robson, ValanciaThursday, July 12, 2018My lawyer Francisca offered value for money and was very helpful. Will use her again.
- Richard Day, London and BarcelonaThursday, July 05, 2018My initial call to your service desk was responded to by Oscar very quickly.
I appreciated his time as I outlined my issue, a problem with the building community and administrators. At the end of ...the call he provided clear guidance on next steps.
Furthermore he quickly turned around the issue with an excellent drafted response for which I could not of hoped to be better worded. It was comprehensive and aligned perfectly with what I felt was needed.
Excellent value for money and most definitely I would highly recommend Oscar.
- Søren Aabel Hammer, MalagaThursday, July 05, 2018Beatriz was professional and quick to respond. Would definitely recommend to friends.
- Patrick Crean, AlmerimarThursday, July 05, 2018Juan was fantastic. Very easy to understand and very pleasant. I would definitely use his service again.
- Damien Stephan, BenidormThursday, July 05, 2018The whole process from start to finish was straightforward and well explained. I honestly cannot recommend them enough!
They really went out of their way to be helpful and kept me up to date at ev...ery opportunity. Excellent value for money from some really nice and genuine people. True professionals.
Wouldn’t hesitate to use again in the future.
- Claire, FuengirolaWednesday, July 04, 2018Alvaro assisted me during my experience at advocate abroad, and he was so kind. He answered any questions I had, and made me feel completely at ease.
I knew I was in the hands of a professional. H...e could not have done more to help me.
- Paul and Joyce Rose, Mijas, MalagaWednesday, July 04, 2018Extremely helpful and very professional. Will definitely use Alvaro next time we require legal advice.
- Nigel Whinnett, Esher, UKWednesday, July 04, 2018Professional, friendly, efficient service, good value, a pleasure to use the services of the lawyer and his team. In depth knowledge of the relevant laws, taxes etc.
Would highly recommend and use ...again.
- Claire O'Gara, FuengirolaWednesday, June 27, 2018I liked Alvaroós enthusiasm, and the great level of customer service. He always answered my questions thoroughly.
- Mrs Susan Vickery, Silves, PortugalTuesday, June 26, 2018Good advice, very helpful and fast. Would definitely recommend Luis to friends.