Divorce in UK Spanish Property

Divorce UK Spanish Property

The title of this post sets a question with difficult answer: how to deal with a Property in Spain while getting divorced in UK.

Divorce in UK Spanish Property: when a couple from another EU country with property interests in Spain get divorced in their country of origin, the question arises as to how to register the property in Spain on behalf of the spouse who has been awarded the property.

Additionally there are important tax implications that need to be considered.

Reference any Spanish property in the divorce document

The best practice while dealing with this complex divorce UK Spanish Property cases is to include reference to any property belonging to the couple in Spain in the divorce proceedings taking place in their country of origin. In this case, the divorce decree, duly legalised and translated should be taken to the relevant notary in Spain to sign a deed of ‘end of joint-ownership’ to which the divorce decree should be attached .

It is important that there is equality between the spouses , that is, that each of them is awarded assets of the same value in the divorce settlement or , if one spouse is awarded property of greater value than the other, there should be financial compensation. This equality of distribution is important because in this case no taxes are levied. However, if one of the spouses happens to be awarded assets of a greater value , they are liable to pay taxes on the excess allocation compared to the other spouse

Finally, once the above procedures have taken place, the new property deed is deposited with the Land Registry to register the property in the name of whichever spouse has been awarded the property.

Potential Costs

Should the divorce proceedings in the country of origin not refer to the Spanish properties, it becomes necessary to draft a deed of ‘dissolution of the joint-ownership’. However the fiscal advantages available when the joint-ownership had ended, do not apply to the dissolution of a joint-ownership. Accordingly, it becomes necessary to pay the ITP sales tax (typically levied at between 8% – 10% of the value of the property transmitted).

One half of the tax is then payable by the spouse who is taking ownership of the property. A price should be stated in the property deed, and it is this figure upon which the tax payable is calculated. If a price is not stated, then it would be considered to be a gift/donation, for which an even higher amount of tax would be levied.

In conclusion, it is vitally important that any Spanish assets owned by a married couple are included in the divorce proceedings that take place in the couple’s country of origin in order to avoid high costs and taxes that would otherwise be levied.

Married in Spain, Divorced Abroad

It is not unusual for lawyers at Advocate Abroad to receive enquiries from individuals who got married in Spain but, for varied reasons, got divorced abroad, often in the UK. In those cases, the divorce, in order to be fully valid in Spain, should be inscribed in the Spanish Civil Registry where the marriage was inscribed.

In those cases where the divorce resolution was issued in the European Union, and according to European Union Regulation 2016/1191 6th July 2016, the divorce resolution should be valid in the whole EU area. But, in practice, each Spanish Registry will require certain specific documentation in order to inscribe the divorce granted abroad: typically, the original divorce decree/sentence issued abroad, showing that it is final, legalized with the Hague Apostille and translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

Do you need recognition for foreign divorces in Spain?

In those cases when the divorce resolution was issued by a non-EU member state, the interested party (one of the spouses) will probably have to initiate Spanish Court proceedings known as exequatur. These proceedings take rather longer, and additional documentation is required. Once the process is completed, the Court will legalize the divorce resolution that was issued abroad.

Your lawyer will need to obtain the details of the marriage and divorce outside Spain to be able to determine which process needs to be followed.

Related Services

34 Lawyers Offering Divorce Services in Spain

Testimonials for our Divorce service
  • Stephen Harris
    Stephen Harris, Fuengirola

    My solicitor here in Spain did get me a divorce as requested and tried his best to get it recognized in the U.K. unfortunately this has proved impossible. My solicitor here probably not aware of the difficulty at that time but did his utmost best.


    May 14, 2020
  • Havin Omed
    Havin Omed, Madrid

    I was satisfied with all of services above. Especially his responses so good.


    Jan 17, 2020
  • Christopher Allen
    Christopher Allen, Las Palmas

    Very informative and clear.


    Nov 28, 2019
  • Michelle
    Michelle, Murcia

    I’m very happy with the way Maria dealt with everything,I would definitely contact Maria if I ever needed her services again 😃


    Nov 27, 2019
  • Eamonn Gomez
    Eamonn Gomez, Madrid

    Francisco and Carmen did a great job handling my divorce. In this difficult time for me, they handled the issues with understanding and flexibility.


    Francisco was very good in court and he could defend well against all the challenges made to the pre-nuptial contract my husband and I signed, so that it was upheld in full.


    Sep 29, 2019
  • Eamonn Gomez
    Eamonn Gomez, Madrid

    Francisco was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more.


    Sep 07, 2019
  • Tina Shiels
    Tina Shiels, Fuengirola

    Alvaro was very helpful and went above and beyond to try to help me in my situation as I needed it to happen as fast as possible.


    Even whilst he was on holiday he was in touch and made things happen. would definitely recommend!


    Sep 06, 2019
  • Marion Brennan
    Marion Brennan, Alicante

    At every stage of our family case, Jose Antonio has been knowledgeable and thorough, very professional while remaining kind and supportive and ensured that we took the right steps for a positive outcome.


    I would highly recommend Jose Antonio for legal representation.


    Jun 29, 2019
  • Robert Cunningham
    Robert Cunningham, Mallorca

    Rosa was absolutely first class. She made a very difficult time in our lives a lot easier and for that I could not be more grateful. Thank you Rosa


    May 20, 2019
  • Keisha
    Keisha, Valencia

    Inmaculada was professional and also demonstrated compassion and understanding during this difficult period in my life.


    Apr 03, 2019
  • Wayne
    Wayne, Valencia

    Francisca was very informative and helpful. She handled my divorce professionally and made it easy for me throughout the process.


    Highly recommend and reasonable fees. Thank you, Francisca!


    Mar 16, 2019
  • Wayne Cherry
    Wayne Cherry, London, England

    Francisca was very informative and attentive to all of my inquiries and concerns. I would definitely be going back to her if needing her services again and would recommend her brilliant services.


    Mar 09, 2019
  • Candy
    Candy, Cadiz

    Francisco was very responsive, supportive and understanding.


    Unfortunately, I had to use another lawyer who has helped me in another case.


    Feb 11, 2019
  • Colin Wilson
    Colin Wilson, Australia

    Overall it was great. Rosa always answered all questions asked and provided clear, concise and well explained answers.


    When there was a delay in responding she did offer an apology which was appreciated. Rosa always instilled a sense of confidence that she knew exactly what was going on, what I was asking, and what the applicable law was.


    When not a Spanish local and dealing with her remotely, this provided great comfort in a sensitive matter.


    Oct 30, 2018
  • Julie Smith
    Julie Smith, Torrellano

    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 responded 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.


    Apr 20, 2018
  • Robert Davies
    Robert Davies, Mallorca

    Very supportive and clear on producing a suitable divorce settlement.


    Efficient, understanding and professional.


    Mar 12, 2018
  • D slocombe
    D slocombe, Spain

    Jose is very friendly and understanding.


    I am very satisfied and I would you use the same lawyer again in the future.


    May 19, 2017
  • Louise Kirby
    Louise Kirby, Alicante

    Jose Antonio is a very dedicated lawyer. He ensures he has a deep understanding of the case and provides excellent advise on a range of issues.


    He has often replied to queries out of hours and works hard to provide the best outcome for his clients.


    His service is outstanding and I would highly recommend him.


    Feb 15, 2017
  • Stanley Jones
    Stanley Jones, Llano del Camello

    I am very satisfied with Oliver, he was very helpful and always happy to assist.


    I would definitely use the same lawyer again in the future.


    Jan 17, 2017
  • CW
    CW, Ibiza

    Very knowledgeable and supportive from the outset.


    Made to feel very comfortable and nothing was too much trouble. Very highly recommended.


    Nov 22, 2016
  • Kate Godbehere
    Kate Godbehere, Granada

    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.

    Her pro-active, intelligent, thoughtful and knowledgeable advice helped very much during a particularly delicate and worrying stage of the process.


    Feb 25, 2016
  • Thomas Hills
    Thomas Hills, Spain

    Legally I believe everything was covered in what I think was a complicated situation, so I am satisfied that I was well represented.


    No problems were encountered with language, as the lawyer had perfect English. Meetings were scheduled and kept, which is good for Spain !

    Overall I am very satisfied with the service.


    Mar 13, 2015
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