Spanish divorce law, when considering how assets should be divided between divorcing spouses, firstly determines the ‘type’ of marriage that exists between the spouses and then separates the common assets from private assets – the latter belonging exclusively to one of the spouses. It should be pointed out though that should there be an agreement between the spouses then it will be unnecessary for the courts to adjudicate the matter.
The judge directs the spouses to meet on a specified date to draw-up an inventory of the matrimonial assets. Failure to appear at this meeting will be taken to mean agreement with the inventory proposed by the other spouse.
Where there is disagreement as to whether an asset should be included in the inventory of matrimonial assets or as to it’s value then this is set-aside to be resolved by the judge.
Once the inventory is agreed or decided upon by the judge, and the declaration ending the marriage is made then either of the spouses may request division of those assets which appear on the inventory. This request should be accompanied by a proposal as to how the assets should be divided – taking into account the norms established by civil law in this regard.
Having received the request to divide-up the assets both parties will receive an invitation to meet with a court official within 10 days so as to reach an agreement as to the distribution of the assets. As before, failure to attend will be deemed acceptance of the other spouse’s proposal. A failure to agree will necessitate a ruling that an expert arbitrator be appointed to decide on the matter.
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