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Divorce Procedures in Spain

Divorce Procedures in Spain

Updated on Tuesday 19th July 2016

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The divorce procedures in Spain were firstly approved in 1981, this country being one of the last European states in which this type of legal act was introduced and, since then, the rate of divorces increased to 0.9 per 1,000 people in 2000. However, it is important to know that the divorce rate increased at a fast pace, reaching 2.2 divorces at a population of 1,000 persons (at the level of the year 2010). 
A local or a foreign citizen who wants to divorce in Spain doesn’t have to present a specific reason in front of the court, because it is necessary only a petition signed by one of the spouses in order to get divorced. The divorce can be done by mutual agreement, if the spouses are married for at least three months. The divorce procedure can be performed in Spain, if one of the spouses is Spanish and the other is a foreigner.
After the divorce is finished, the two spouses can get married and they are not obliged to wait for a specific period of time, as it is required in other states. Our team of Spanish lawyers can assist local and foreign persons with more details on the steps involved in a divorce procedure in Spain

Alimony and custody of children in Spain 

If a couple has children, one of the spouses will pay a certain sum of money – the alimony to the other party, in case the beneficiary has a real economic disadvantage after the divorce. Even if the two parties are financially independent, the parent who has received the custody is entitled to benefit from the alimony. The parent who is not taking care of a child will pay generally between 15 and 40% of his income to the other parent who received the custody of the child. The custody is awarded to the mother in most of the cases, if she is capable of taking care of her children, but there are cases in which the parents will have a joint custody.
In case of a divorce, the judge will decide regarding the division of assets of the two spouses. The rules for these divisions are different from region to region. The spouses in Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre, Balearic Islands and the Basque County will keep the assets they owned before the marriage and, in case of goods they purchased together during their marriage, these will be divided according to the contribution of each part.
Even if a woman has a lower income than her husband, the daily duties performed in the house, such as raising children, housekeeping and so on, have a financial value from a legal point of view, that is calculated by the court when deciding how to divide the assets.
In other Spanish regions than those mentioned before, the goods that are bought during a marriage are considered to be the property of both spouses, set out in equal parts. 
Persons who are interested to know more on the legislation referring to the division of assets can receive more details from our team of attorneys in Spain, who can offer legal advice.

Who can get divorced in Spain

The divorce procedure in Spain is available for various categories of cases, such as: 
both spouses are Spanish residents;
both spouses are Spanish nationals, but they have their residence in another country;
one of the spouses is a citizen of another country. 


Types of divorces in Spain  

The Spanish legislation provides two types of divorce procedures, as follows: 
uncontested divorce;
contested divorce
The first type of divorce is the one in which the parties mutually agree on the dissolution of their marriage. The parties will have to provide several information on their current relationship by completing a governing convention, which will cover issues such as:
- custody arrangements referring to the children of the couple,
- the alimony value,
the compensation allowance which may be provided from a party to the other.  In such cases, the divorce may last few weeks. 
The contested divorce refers to the fact that only one of the parties has filed a court petition. Usually, this type of divorce may take up to more than one year, as the spouses may not agree on many issues. 
For more details about the divorce procedures, please contact our law firm in Spain. Our Spanish attorneys will offer legal consultancy or legal representation in front of local courts throughout all the stages of a trial.


  • Maria 2016-07-18

    Hello. I am interested to know what Spanish legislation prescribes in the situation of a divorce which involves the custody of 4 minor children.

    Hello, you can send us your request via e-mail at and one of our lawyers will answer you. 

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