CONSULTATION: I got divorced in England by consent, and according to the divorce Court Order and the agreement reached, we must split the Spanish properties between us, but my wife does not want to collaborate. How I can transfer the properties? What is the fastest and cheapest way to do it?
Thank you for your email.
First of all, if you are getting divorced in another country, and part of the assets are in Spain, normally real estate properties, it is essential to get the advice of a Spanish Lawyer. It is important to be advised about how the foreign divorce agreement or court order needs to be worded, in order to simplify its recognition and implementation later on in Spain. Unfortunately, sometimes these agreements or court orders implemented outside of Spain do not included some important details such as the Spanish property Land Registry number, etc., which would make the process more difficult in Spain.
Once you have the court order, as in your case, there are different options to enforce it and transfer the properties in Spain:
1.- By consent, if the parties are in agreement: Officially the cheapest, fastest and best way, this could be done simply by going to the notary, both of you ( directly or represented by means of a Power of Attorney) and transferring the shares between you, by means of what is called in Spain a division of the common ownership, where the taxes to be paid are Stamp Duty ( about 1.5%). There would be no transfer tax, currently 10% in the community of Valencia.
Also, by consent, there is an option to try to register the English court order directly in the competent Land Registry where the property is registered, but not all Land Registers have the same criteria and agree with it. If this is accepted, and the division of assets is 50/50, no taxes or notary fees, will need to be paid.
2.- Contentious: If it is not possible to do it by mutual agreement because one party refuses to collaborate, you can ask for the formal recognition of the English Court Order in Spain, normally as per the COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 2201/2003, of 27 November 2003, concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility.
It is possible that to enforce the economic agreement like the transfer of the properties, we will need to do it by means of a process called exequatur.
If you need or will, or need to implement a family law ( divorce, separation, etc.) court order in Spain, we can help you.
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The information provided on this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos Lawyers
Tel: 966 426 185
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