THE title is short, but the consequences of divorce are often complex, far-reaching and can last for decades.
When a couple, married or not, decides to end the joint use of the family home after a separation or divorce, the family home – whether jointly or privately owned by one of the spouses – becomes the property subject to the greatest disputes.
These concerns arise for many obvious reasons, both personal and financial.
In Spain, the courts have certain guidelines that they usually respect when deciding who retains possession.
These include: ownership status, existing judicial precedent, social inertia, mutual or unilateral decision (very often, one partner leaves voluntarily), and, most importantly, children.
The following guidelines can help us understand what to expect in this situation:
• When it comes to children, 95% of the time the use of the family home corresponds to the mother because she is granted custody in 95% of the cases.
• Where there are no children involved, the judge may decide that possession, for a reasonable period of time (some courts state it is 6-12 months), passes to the non-owning spouse/partner if they have further claim. of protection (lack of income, financial situation or illness).
• When there are no children, the property is not jointly owned and both parties are in a similar economic situation, the owner partner will have the right to enjoy possession. When it is jointly owned, courts expect the partners to agree on its use; Otherwise, the property is sold at public auction and the proceeds, if any, are divided.
If the property is not sold at auction, which is common especially when a large mortgage is registered, the court can assign the use of the property for alternate periods of time and, very exceptionally, could even divide it with a wall if the home is lend to it.
• Domestic violence situations are extremely complex because the male partner generally spends time in police cells, is prosecuted and usually, regardless of the outcome of the process, receives a restraining order that automatically locks him out of the family home.