Express divorce

Lawyou — Wednesday, 24 de february de 2021

You will have heard many times about the “express” divorce. It is the colloquial name given to the divorce requested by the spouses by mutual agreement, which owes its name to the greater speed in its processing. Therefore, it is not a “type” of divorce, but a specific way of obtaining it, faster and cheaper than the contentious way, and with a lower emotional cost because it avoids the confrontation of the parties in a trial.

Until 2015, the only way to obtain a divorce was the judicial one. That is to say, only a judge could decree the divorce, whether it was requested by mutual agreement or, in the absence thereof, within the framework of a contentious proceeding. After the reform of the Civil Code introduced by Law 15/2015, of July 2, 2015 on Voluntary Jurisdiction, the spouses can also process their divorce by mutual agreement before a Notary Public, provided that there are no unemancipated minor children or children with judicially modified capacity who depend on them.

But, be careful, when we talk about divorce by mutual agreement, it is not enough that there is consensus in the fact of wanting to divorce (neither spouse can refuse to do so if the other requests it), but there must be agreement on how to regulate the effects of the divorce in relation to the common children, the assets and the economic relations between both, an agreement that, in many occasions, is not so easy to achieve. This agreement must be expressed in a document calledSettlement Agreement.

It is a common requirement for the divorce to be decreed, in any of the ways, that three months have elapsed since the celebration of the marriage, unless the existence of a risk to the life, physical integrity, freedom, moral integrity or sexual freedom and indemnity of the spouse suing for divorce, of the common children or of the children of one or the other spouse is accredited.

Today we are going to explain how a divorce by mutual consent is processed before the Court, and we will leave for another day the divorce before a Notary Public.

What is an express or uncontested divorce?.

The divorce by mutual agreement was expressly recognized in our legislation granting the spouses the possibility of requesting the dissolution of the marital relationship based on their will to no longer be linked to the other spouse, without the concurrence of any other cause different or additional to this express will of the marriage to dissolve it.

The so-called express divorce is a faster and cheaper procedure to dissolve the marriage.

Since the 2015 modification of the Civil Code, under Law 15/2015, of 2 July on Voluntary Jurisdiction, the spouses may go to the Notary (to whom express powers were attributed in this regard), to request the colloquiallycalled express divorce.

This way, therefore, coexists in our legal system, with the divorce in jurisdictional way (before the Judge), and supposes a saving of time and money for the spouses who choose it as a way of dissolution of their marital bond.

But not all married couples can make use of express divorce, but must meet certain requirements.

Express divorce is a quick and hassle-free separation process.

What are the requirements for an express divorce?.

  1. First and foremost, as a basic requirement. There must be mutual agreement of the spouses to divorce.
  2. At least three months must have passed since the celebration of the marriage.
  3. The intervention of at least one practicing attorney is required.

How do I start the “express” divorce procedure?

Ya hemos dicho que para solicitar el divorcio de mutuo acuerdo, las partes deben acordar cuestiones como la custodia de los hijos comunes, la pensión de alimentos, el uso de la vivienda familiar, etcétera. Todo ello debe quedar recogido en un Convenio Regulador que debe presentarse al Juzgado, junto a una demanda de divorcio, para su aprobación.

La demanda de divorcio debe ir firmada por abogado y procurador, y pueden formularla ambos cónyuges o uno con el consentimiento del otro.

Para la redacción del Convenio Regulador las partes pueden acudir a un único abogado común para ambos, cuando el acuerdo haya sido previamente alcanzado y deba tan solo ser plasmado y redactado en la forma que la ley exige, o bien, contar cada uno con su propio abogado, de forma que sen éstos quienes negocien y acuerden los términos del Convenio en nombre de las partes.

La experiencia demuestra que es preferible esta segunda opción, es decir, que cada cónyuge acuda a un abogado que le informe y asesore sobre sus derechos y obligaciones, y, respetando siempre la voluntad de las partes y los acuerdos alcanzados previamente entre ellos, redacten ambos letrados el Convenio Regulador.  De no hacerlo así, de existir un único abogado, si durante el proceso de redacción del Convenio surgieran desavenencias entre las partes, ya no podría dicho letrado defender los intereses de ninguno de ellos frente al otro, debiendo designar cada uno un nuevo abogado.

¿Y cuál es el contenido de un Convenio Regulador?

The Regulatory Agreement is the document that collects the agreements of the spouses in relation to the measures that will regulate the effects of the divorce, and must contain:

  • El cuidado de los hijos sujetos a la patria potestad de ambos, el ejercicio de ésta y, en su caso, el régimen de comunicación y estancia de los hijos con el progenitor que no viva habitualmente con ellos.
  • Si se considera necesario, el régimen de visitas y comunicación de los nietos con sus abuelos, teniendo en cuenta, siempre, el interés de aquéllos.
  • La atribución del uso de la vivienda y ajuar familiar.
  • La contribución a las cargas del matrimonio y alimentos, así como sus bases de actualización y garantías en su caso.
  • La liquidación, cuando proceda, del régimen económico del matrimonio.
  • La pensión compensatoria que correspondiere satisfacer, en su caso, a uno de los cónyuges por parte del otro, cuando el divorcio produzca en aquél un desequilibrio económico en relación con la posición del otro, que implique un empeoramiento en su situación anterior en el matrimonio.

Aprobación judicial del Convenio Regulador

Once the content of the Regulatory Agreement has been agreed upon, it will be signed personally by the spouses and will be presented to the Court for its judicial approval together with the divorce petition signed by lawyer/s and attorney.

Prior to its approval, the Court will summon the spouses to ratify their petition. Likewise, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, when there are minor children, will have to approve the Agreement prior to its judicial approval. After that, the Judge will dictate sentence decreeing the divorce and approving the Regulatory Agreement, unless he considers that some of the points of the agreement can be harmful or detrimental for some of the spouses or of the common children, in which case he will give them a term to propose a new agreement in relation to the points that have not been approved.

If there are no minor children not emancipated or with the capacity modified judicially, it will be the Lawyer of the Administration of Justice, and not the Judge, who will decree the divorce and will approve the Agreement. In such a case, the major children or emancipated minors will have to grant the consent before the Lawyer of the Administration with respect to the measures that affect them for lacking own income and cohabiting in the family domicile.

Do you need legal advice?.

  1. The partners of Lawyou specialists in Family Law will be able to answer any questions you may have.
  2. LAWYOU lawyers will help you.
  3. At LAWYOU we have lawyers with many years of experience who can help you or provide you with more information about the currently applicable legislation and future changes. Feel free to contact us to tell us about your case through our email info@lawyoulegal.com or, if you prefer, you can also call us at 611 48 89 90.
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