Spain Explained

What happens when you separate?

It’s something that you don’t set out to do, but unfortunately some unions end in divorce and this has repercussions for your property in Spain too. It can be tempting to leave sorting this out until other matters are settled first. However, you shouldn’t leave it too late before you are putting your Spanish house in order too.

When you buy a property together in Spain you are co-owners. When changes must be made to this it is called the ‘extintion of co-ownership’. It isn’t just as simple as deleting one person from your Title Deed.

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The first step you need to take is to obtain the divorce agreement (Consent Order). This is issued by the country where the marriage was registered and will outline what steps have to be taken when the marriage is dissolved. The marriage assets will need to be distributed between the divorcees and this applies to your Spanish property too.

Equally, a new Title Deed must be signed before a Public Notary and then registered in the Land Registry. This the same process as you will have gone through when you originally bought the property. It is important, however, that you keep the Consent Order to hand as this will count as proof before the Notary that it is extinction of co-ownership that is forcing the transfer.

There are motives other than divorce which require a change of names on the Title Deed. Where a property has been brought in conjunction with someone else, your needs might change and you decide to sell your portion.  Whenever you have bought in joint names and, provided that 100% property ownership is intended to be transferred to only one of the co-owners, there is the possibility that one of you might wish to go their own way and an extinction of co-ownership will need to be arranged.

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There are no short cuts to this process and what can seem like a very straight forward ‘tippexing’ out of a partner must, in fact, be done legally and officially to make sure that there are no problems in the future. If you would like Ábaco’s help with this or just to talk through what the arrangements would be you can email the legal department on legaldpt@abacoadvisers.com.

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