Overview article about divorce in Spain, expert advise answering questions that English-speakers have about divorce and Family Law in Spain.
In the absence of children or any express agreement between the spouses, the home shall be retained by the original owner. If the property is jointly owned then typically the property is sold and the proceeds shared or one spouse pays the other to take the entire property.
Where there are children and custody has been awarded to one parent only then use and enjoyment of the family home will be awarded to that parent until such time as the children become emancipated.
The order relates to use and enjoyment and not ownership. When appropriate the home may be sold and the proceeds shared.
Who is responsible for the mortgage and household bills after a divorce?
Responsibility for payment of any household bills usually belongs to the spouse who has use of the property though the contrary may be specified in any divorce agreement or ‘convenio’.
With regard to a mortgage, as far as the financial institution is concerned, liability continues and so the owner of the property must continue to discharge the mortgage to avoid losing the property.
Where both of the spouses were jointly liable for the mortgage this therefore continues to be the case and the non-custodial spouse must continue to pay their portion of the mortgage though they do not personally use the property.
The need to pay for accommodation elsewhere while paying towards the mortgage of the marital home should be reflected when calculating the child maintenance or alimony liability.
Should the spouse who has retained the use and enjoyment of a jointly-owned property start cohabiting with a new partner, it will be open to the ex-spouse to request an order from the court adjusting the original agreement due to a substantial change in circumstances.