Filed under : Family Law

My colleague Reyes Gómez and I have just joined the UK Family Lawyers’ organization, RESOLUTION. Their aim is to encourage lawyers to seek settlements and avoid conflict when a family relationship breaks down. This can be as part of an agreed divorce; to agree custody and visits for children of the family or for the settlement of financial disputes.
In all cases the needs of any children come first. Parental responsibility is always shared between the parents whether married or not. This means both parents make important decisions about education, health and social or religious matters. Providing a home and making a financial contribution is a priority and a court will, in most cases, award occupation of property to the parent who has custody.
In Spain a no-fault divorce can be agreed dealing with custody and visits and any financial or property settlement. A full list of any assets acquired during the marriage can be drawn up and a negotiation take place on the fair division of those assets.
Where an older couple divorce and there are no children involved it can be difficult to assess. In English law after a long marriage, generally 7-10 years or longer, a division of 50/50 of capital and income is now the rule. Whether inherited assets are treated differently depends on whether they have come to form part of the wealth and income over the years. Pension rights are another difficult issue to deal with as although there is legislation in England in Spain it would be rare to split a private pension between a couple on divorce.
We are often asked which country is preferable for divorce. Many people believe that a wife benefits from seeking divorce in England thinking that the high-profile divorces show that Judges are more sympathetic to wives. This is not relevant if the assets to be transferred or divided are in Spain. An English order over property in Spain must be very carefully worded to be enforceable. However, a Spanish court order can be registered directly at the Land registry to ensure the asset is protected and can be transferred.
For more information or a confidential consultation call us on 952 527014 or email on [email protected]