Getting a divorce in Spain is wildly different to the UK.
According to the government’s advice, if you wish to end your marriage in the UK, you need to provide good reasons, listed as grounds for divorce.
These include adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or having lived apart for more than two years where both spouses agree or five where not. In the U.S., several states still apply fault-based grounds for divorce and tangible proof of extra-marital affairs can make all the difference in proceedings, leading to a more favourable settlement.
In Spain, following the reform operated by Law 15/2005, divorce does not require a previous judicial separation nor the concurrence of causes legally determined. This means that it is possible to sue directly to get a divorce without an invocation of a cause, a solution that has eradicated the conceptual distinction of fault and no-fault divorce.
Alas, it was never like this before. The 1932 Divorce Act established, as grounds for divorce, both familiar ones i.e. adultery, bigamy, abandonment of family, desertion, and others less known: inducing wife and/or daughters to prostitution or having contracted STDs sexually transmitted diseases during the marriage or before and it was concealed from the spouse.
Franco’s powerfully religious-influenced regime abolished divorce altogether.
Since 2005, private investigators are not required any longer as cheating pertains to the world of gossip and has no influence within divorce proceedings. Articles 86 and 81 of the Spanish Civil Code establish the following:
+Article 86: Divorce shall be decreed by the court, whatever the form of performance of the marriage, at the request of one of the spouses, of both or of one with the consent of the other, when the requirements and circumstances of article 81 are met.
+Article 81. Whatever the form of performance of the marriage, judicial separation shall be decreed:
1) At the request of both spouses or of one with the consent of the other, after the lapse of three months from the performance of the marriage.
The claimant must necessarily attach the proposal of settlement agreement, in accordance with article 90 of this Code.
2) At the request of one of the spouses, after the lapse of three months from the performance of the marriage. The lapse of this period shall not be required to file the claim when there is evidence of the existence of risk to the life, physical integrity, freedom, moral integrity or sexual liberty and integrity of the spouse filing the claim or the children in common or any member of the marriage.
The claim shall attach a reasoned proposal of the measures which are to regulate the effects of the separation.