What documents do I need to divorce in Spain?

Divorce is nearly always a difficult process for both parties. If you are planning to divorce in Spain, but live in another country such as the UK, you may be wondering whether the processes differ and what documents you need. Divorce in Spain can be straightforward with the correct documentation to hand, as well as expert legal advice.

Here, we explain the rules of divorce in Spain, and the documents you require. We will also highlight where these documents can be obtained if you live in another country, and consequences if you fail to provide the correct documentation.

Click on the links below to jump to that section:

Learn about the grounds for divorce in Spain

The documents and certificates you require to divorce in Spain

Where each essential document can be found

Find out how easy it is to retrieve your divorce documents from anywhere other than Spain

Here are the steps you should take if you struggle to find the required documents

When you should seek the help of a family lawyer

Here’s how we can assist

What are the rules of divorce in Spain?

In Spain, there are only two types of divorce; contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties come to a mutual agreement about the divorce without argument. With a contested divorce only one spouse petitions for divorce as the other spouse does not agree. Legal separation in Spain is categorised as a "no-fault" divorce, so blame does not have to be allocated if both parties agree to the separation.

What documents are required to divorce in Spain?

In order to divorce in Spain, you will required the following documents in order to begin proceedings - your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of any children of the marriage, you will also need a certificate of empadronamiento (census) of one of the spouses (usually the spouse who has Spanish citizenship, if only one of you does), and a convenio regulador, which is the divorce agreement that you and your spouse have drafted together, which outlines details such as child custody arrangements and financial assets.

If these documents are in English, they must be translated to Spanish at least three months before divorce proceedings begin. These translations must also have an official seal, known as the Certificate of Apostille of the Hague. Our Spanish family lawyers can help you to find an approved translator to assist with document translation

Where can I obtain these documents for my divorce?

Your marriage certificate and your children's birth certificates can be found online. The Registro Civil (Civil Registry) allows you to request your marriage certificate or apply for a new one if you wish to re-marry. You can also request birth certificates here by answering several questions about the birth and how many copies you need.

You can visit the relevant city hall in Spain to retrieve a certificate of empadronamiento, and you should already have a copy of your divorce agreement if your divorce is uncontested. If you need help acquiring these documents, you can get in touch with us today to discuss your case during a consultation.

Can I locate these divorce documents from another country?

Your marriage certificate and your children's birth certificates can easily be found online, as you simply need to request them. Acquiring a certificate of empadronamiento, however, may be more difficult. If you moved to Spain, you should have filled out an empadronamiento at your local city hall, which is where it can be retrieved if you need it again. You will need an empadronamiento to vote in elections, get married and buy a house in Spain.

To retrieve an up-to-date copy of your empadronamiento, you must visit your local city hall. Depending on where you live, it may or may not carry a cost. If you no longer live in Spain, an empadronamiento will not apply; if your spouse lives in Spain they will require their own.

You should negotiate with your spouse if you need a copy of the divorce agreement. If the divorce is uncontested, it is strongly recommended to seek legal advice when drafting up a settlement.

What happens if I cannot find the documents required for divorce in Spain?

If you live in the UK and have access to the internet, you should have no issues retrieving your marriage certificate or your children's birth certificate. Also, acquiring an empadronamiento will not matter if you do not live in Spain. However, should problems occur when attempting to retrieve the documents you require for your divorce, Giambrone & Partners Spanish family lawyers will be able to assist you.

They can apply to the Registro Civil on your behalf, and even talk you through the process so that you are fully aware of the process. If your divorce is contested, our lawyers can also negotiate with your spouse to ensure that you get a suitable divorce agreement that you can both agree on. To find out more about Spanish family law, you can visit our advice centre here.

When should I seek legal advice regarding my divorce document?

It is always recommended that you seek out legal advice, especially if you are divorcing in another country, or your spouse lives in another country. Spanish divorce law differs from English law, so seeking help from an experienced Spanish family lawyer can give you peace of mind and save you from having to navigate Spanish law by yourself.

If your divorce is contentious, you will almost certainly need legal advice to help you navigate what can prove to be a hostile landscape. Contested divorces can be drawn out and even more difficult, especially without the appropriate legal advice. Divorce lawyers can help you throughout the mediation process, helping you and your spouse reach a resolution that you both agree upon.

How Giambrone and Partners can help

At Giambrone and Partners, we can assist in helping you obtain the documents you need to ensure your divorce runs smoothly and efficiently. We can help you mediate with your ex-spouse if matters become contentious, and can help you translate all documents if you need assistance.

To find out more about our international divorce services, or to book a consultation, please get in touch with us today.

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