Case study 3 - family law - alimony - Spain

Save as PDF

In this case study on family law – maintenance allowances – Member States were asked to advise the plaintiff on the legal costs in the following situations:

Case A – National situation: Two people have lived together unmarried for a number of years. They have a three‑year‑old child when they separate. A court gives custody of the child to the mother. The only outstanding dispute relates to the amount of the child maintenance owed to the mother by the father for the support and education of the child. The mother sues the father.

Case B – Transnational situation, where you are a lawyer in Member State A: Two people have lived together unmarried in Member State B. They have a three-year-old child. They separate. A court in Member State B gives custody of the child to the mother. With the agreement of the father, the mother and child move to Member State A, where they establish their residence.

A dispute remains outstanding. This relates to the amount of the child maintenance owed to the mother by the father for the support and education of the child. The mother sues the father in Member State A.


Costs of proceedings

Costs in Spain

Costs for court, appeals and alternative dispute resolution

Case study

Court

Appeals

Alternative dispute resolution

Initial costs

General costs

Other costs

Initial costs

General costs

Other costs

Is this option open for this type of case?

Costs

Case A

Initial costs: Advances paid to the party’s lawyer (abogado) and legal representative (procurador), unless the party is entitled to legal aid under Law 1/1996 on legal aid.

These are the general costs of the proceedings. In a contested divorce the general costs are payable by a party which has had all its claims dismissed (Art. 394(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure).

In family law, the usual practice is not to award costs for the proceedings but to split the costs, with each party paying only his or her own costs. However, in some cases a party whose claims have been dismissed may be required to pay the costs.

If only some of the claims submitted are successful, each party must pay only his/her own costs.

If the case concerns only the payment of maintenance for a child, no costs are charged (Art. 4(1) Law 10/2012).

Offers of evidence, drafting of separation settlement. If expert evidence is requested, the expert must be paid. In cases of mutual agreement, payment for the drafting of the settlement is normally included in the total fees paid to the lawyer.

The party lodging an appeal must make a prior deposit, unless entitled to legal aid.

The same criterion applies as at first instance.

The same criterion applies as at first instance.

The parties may agree on a separation settlement in which they voluntarily establish the amount of maintenance. The settlement must be notified by the Public Prosecutor and approved by the court.

The costs paid to the professional staff taking part in the negotiating process.

Case B

The same as in the previous case

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Idem

Costs for lawyers, bailiffs and experts

Case study

Lawyers

Bailiffs

Experts

Is representation compulsory?

Costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-trial costs

Post-trial costs

Is use compulsory?

Costs

Case A

The parties must be assisted by a lawyer (abogado) and represented by a legal representative (procurador) (Art. 750 Code of Civil Procedure).

In the event of mutual agreement, the parties may make use of the services of a single lawyer and a single representative to submit the agreement between them.

An advance has to be paid on fees for a lawyer and legal representative. In contentious proceedings the losing party may ultimately have to pay the costs.

No representation of the parties.

Not applicable in these proceedings.

None

None

Because of the nature of these proceedings there is not usually any role for experts.

None.

If an expert opinion is requested, the expert must be paid, unless he/she comes from the psycho-social centre attached to the court.

Case B

The parties must be assisted by a lawyer and represented by a legal representative (Art. 750 Code of Civil Procedure).

In the event of mutual agreement, the parties may make use of the services of a single lawyer and a single representative to submit the agreement between them.

An advance has to be paid on fees for a lawyer and legal representative. In contentious proceedings the losing party may ultimately have to pay the costs.

No representation of the parties.

Not applicable in these proceedings.

None

None

Because of the nature of these proceedings there is not usually any role for experts.

None.

If an expert opinion is requested, the expert must be paid, unless he/she comes from the psycho-social centre attached to the court.

Costs for witness compensation, pledges or security and other relevant fees

Case study

Witness compensation

Pledges or security

Other costs

Are witnesses compensated?

Costs

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Costs

Description

Costs

Case A

Witnesses are entitled to obtain compensation from the party calling them for losses caused by their appearance in court (Art. 375(1) Code of Civil Procedure).

Part of the cost is included in the payment of costs.

No prior pledge or security has to be lodged.

None

Certificates from the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths, marriage certificates or birth certificates of children, documents on which they base their entitlement (Art. 777(2) Code of Civil Procedure).

As appropriate

Case B

Witnesses are entitled to obtain compensation from the party calling them for losses caused by their appearance in court (Art. 375(1) Code of Civil Procedure).

Part of the cost is included in the payment of costs.

No prior pledge or security has to be lodged.

None

Certificates from the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths, marriage certificates or birth certificates of children, documents on which they base their entitlement (Art. 777(2) Code of Civil Procedure).

As appropriate

Costs for legal aid and other reimbursements

Case study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions does it apply?

When is full aid given?

Conditions?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of the litigation costs?

Case A

It applies to persons who can prove that they have insufficient finances to institute legal proceedings (for example for a lawyer and legal representative).

Lack of financial means is said to exist where the individual can demonstrate that his or her resources and income, calculated annually, from all sources and per family unit, do not exceed double the Public Index of Income (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples – IPREM) in effect at the time of the application.

The Public Index of Income (IPREM) is an index used in Spain as a reference for granting allowances, scholarships, grants and the unemployment allowance, among others. It can be calculated here:Link opens in new windowhttp://www.iprem.com.es

The winning party can obtain reimbursement of the litigation costs if the other party is ordered to pay costs..

Case B

It applies to persons who can prove that they have insufficient finances to institute legal proceedings (for example for a lawyer and legal representative).

Lack of financial means is said to exist where the individual can demonstrate that his or her resources and income, calculated annually from all sources and per family unit, do not exceed double the Public Index of Income (IPREM) in effect at the time of the application.

The Public Index of Income (IPREM) is an index used in Spain as a reference for granting allowances, scholarships, grants and the unemployment allowance, among others. It can be calculated here: Link opens in new windowhttp://www.iprem.com.es/

The winning party can obtain reimbursement of the litigation costs if the other party is ordered to pay costs.

Translation and interpretation costs

Case study

Translation

Interpretation

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost

Case A

Case B

All foreign public or private documents that may be required under conditions laid down by law (translation by an officially recognised sworn translator)

Translators set their own rates.

Interpreters for the proceedings where this proves necessary.

Interpreters set their own rates.

If the interpreter is requested by the court itself, no payment is made.


The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 07/06/2019