Getting divorced can be difficult, even if your legal separation occurred by mutual agreement. If you were married in Spain or married a Spanish national, it is possible that complications can arise.
Here, you will learn how to obtain your certificate of divorce, as well as the paperwork you need to do so, and how you can get help with the process.
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More about divorce law in Spain, including certificates
More about the criteria you need to meet
If you're a UK resident, here's how you can obtain your divorce certificate
Understanding Spanish law can be challenging, but international lawyers can help
Here's how we can assist you
We answer some frequently asked questions
The procedures for divorce in Spain are different to those in the UK, and the Spanish courts do not issue official decrees, as they do in the UK. Instead, they simply amend the original marriage certificate to reflect the fact that the marriage has irrevocably broken down. This is called a Spanish Divorce Judgment. Spanish authorities store divorce documents at the Registro Civil (the Spanish civil registry office).
International couples who wish to start divorce proceedings in Spain can usually do so quickly. However, you will need to meet certain legal and document requirements.
To obtain a divorce certificate, you will need to prove that you have been married for at least three months. You will also have to provide evidence that at least one of the partners is a Spanish resident.
In Spain, divorce proceedings take place at a Juzgado de Primera Instancia. Lawyers can appear at the court on your behalf if you arrange to grant a power of attorney permitting them to act on your behalf. Paperwork required to obtain a divorce in Spain includes:
You can request your marriage certificate from the Registro Civil if you were married in Spain. You can also order one from www.mjusticia.es.
Your written statement must include reasons for divorce permitted in the country in which you spent the majority of your marriage.
The convenio regulador is a contract between you and your partner arranging how you will divide your assets, child visitation rights, and maintenance. Here, you should provide information on joint bank accounts you hold and any other information about your joint financial affairs, such as real estate that you may own. A declaración de la renta is a tax return form that is often part of the court's fact-finding process.
Judges may ask you to provide nóminas or pay slips, too, proving what you earn, and a certificado de empadronamiento, a certificate proving your residency.
Finally, couples will need to provide the court with a birth certificate for each child of the marriage. It can then use this information to determine how the assets will be allocated.
You cannot apply for a Spanish divorce certificate online if you live in the UK. Instead, you must use paper and a handwritten signature. However, this does not apply to electronic certificates of registration made in the General bureau of Barcelona or the General bureau of Madrid.
Most people seeking to obtain a Spanish divorce certificate regularly enlist the help of a lawyer. The lawyer can then make official requests for the documents that you require. These will then be duly apostilled and translated so that they become valid in the home country.
Spanish Divorce Judgements are often considerably longer than English Consent Orders because they contain information regarding the legal grounds of the case, and "Fact in Issue." Certified translation into English is necessary if spouses want the Judgement made in Spain to apply in the UK. For instance, if a spouse returns to the UK with children after a divorce, they will require an official, certified translation of the divorce certificate into English to prove their custody rights.
Obtaining an international divorce certificate can be complicated. Divorce laws vary considerably in each country. Therefore, individuals seeking a divorce should consider the best jurisdiction to deliver the best outcome for them.
An international divorce lawyer can help you with this decision after reviewing your case.
International solicitors can also help you file all the relevant paperwork. They can help obtain your divorce certificate for you or help you file for annulment.
At Giambrone and Partners, we have extensive experience in helping couples find the best possible international divorce settlement for their circumstances. Our Spanish cross-border divorce service helps the matter go as smoothly as possible and avoid delays and disruption during this difficult time. We understand how Brexit has changed divorce laws and are ready to serve you when you need us most.
Spanish divorces are recognised in the UK. If you obtain a Spanish Divorce Judgement, there is no need to go through the process of obtaining a Decree Absolute through British courts. However, there is no facility in the UK for formally registering a foreign divorce.
Spanish law requires couples to have been married for at least three months before filing for divorce. In the past, the law demanded a minimum separation period before divorce application could proceed. This was amended in a raft of family law reforms introduced in 2005.
At least one of the parties must be a permanent resident in Spain. As long as that is the case, parties can apply for a divorce using the documents outlined above.
The new legislation now aims to reduce the period to six months. This may take longer if there are children of the marriage.