As with most jurisdictions, the courts in Spain, where divorce petitions are being considered, give priority to the needs of any children of the marriage. Given that the children will continue to require a home following the divorce of their parents this has a particular impact on the question of the use of the family home upon divorce.
In the absence of an agreement between the spouses and where there are children involved and custody is awarded to one of the spouses then the court shall award use of the matrimonial home exclusively to that spouse. While this is the case regardless of whether the home is owned jointly or solely by the non-custodial spouse, it is important to reiterate that the assignation relates to the ‘use of’ and not to ‘ownership of’.
Where the court makes an award of ‘joint custody’ it is possible that the court will decide that the ex-spouses should alternate use of the family home (see article on this here). It has to be said that while an award of ‘joint custody’ is becoming more common in the autonomous regions which have legislated in support of it, across the majority of regions it is still a relatively unlikely outcome (less than 10% of cases).
Where there are no children or the children have ’emancipated’ and are no longer the parents’ responsibility then the court may award use of the property to that spouse which, following the divorce, requires more protection. This is the case regardless of whether the property is rented or is owned by one or both of the spouses.
Given that the court order relates only to the use and not the ownership of the property, then liabilities for bills such as IBI (Spanish property tax) and other town hall charges remain the responsibility of the spouse who ‘owns’ the property. For this reason, a Convenio agreement between the spouses will normally reflect this and require the spouse who has the use of the property to repay these charges.
If the spouses were tenants in a rented property then by virtue of Article 15 of the Law of Residential Leasing, the spouse who retains the use of the home by judicial order may do so even though they do not appear on the lease.
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.