How to execute a foreign divorce in Spain. I got married and divorced abroad, so am I divorced in Spain?
Well, the answer to this question is no.
Simply by having a favourable sentence in one country doesn’t mean that it is valid in Spain.
In order to make the judgement valid in Spain, you have to undertake a process called “EXEQUATUR”.
What is “exequatur”?
The exequatur is a procedure that aims to recognise the validity of a judgement issued by a foreign court and therefore allow its execution in Spain.
It should be noted that this is not a revision of the sentence issued abroad but is a procedure that allows the judgement to have effects in another country, in this case Spain.
In what situations do we need an “exequatur”?
The most frequent cases are the following:
1.- Applications for recognition of divorce judgements of a marriage abroad, when at least one of the spouses is of Spanish nationality or resident in Spain.
2.- In order to force a person resident in Spain to pay maintenance recognised in a judgement issued in a foreign country.
3.- When it comes to enforceable judgements in which the payment of a sum of money is condemned and the executed has their permanent residence or headquarters, in case of a company, in Spain.
Can I request an “exequatur”?
The process can be undertaken by:
1.- Any person in whose favour the judgement was issued in a foreign country.
2.- Any person to whom the recognition of the judgement causes a loss or prevents a benefit.
What documents do I need to be able to present an “exequatur”?
Along with the demand for “exequatur” to be drafted by a lawyer, the following documents must be submitted:
1.- Copy of the sentence with the “apostille” of The Hague.
2.- Certificate of the testimony that the judgement is final.
3.- Certificate that the judgement has been notified to the defendant or in its case that it has been issued in default.
4.- Sworn translation of the sentence (if it is in a language other than Spanish).
5.- Photocopy of Passport.
6.- General Power of Attorney for litigation.
7.- Certificate of marriage, birth certificate of children if any, and regulatory agreement if the divorce has been mutually agreed (if it is an “exequatur” procedure by divorce decree).
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