Family Law

At Paton & Asociados we specialize in the most complex areas of family law, as we have extensive experience solving both: everyday conflicts and serious situations or problems. We offer our clients guaranteed legal counsel.

DIVORCE AND SEPARATION

For over 30 years Patón & Asociados has specialized in divorce and separations so our team is one of the most experienced in Spain.

CUSTODY

Parents hold a set of rights and duties towards their minor unemancipated children: to protect them, feed them, provide them with a comprehensive education and manage their assets. In short, both parents must be part of the development and education of their children and provide the care they need.

After separation it is common that both parents continue to have custody of their children, although there are exceptional cases when it can be attributed exclusively to one of them. However it may happen that after a separation one parent violates the custody of the other and takes decisions about the children without consulting the other. These violations can be prevented by an execution of sentence and may eventually be cause for a change of the measures already established.

GUARDIANSHIP

After the breakup of a couple, custody of the children can be attributed to one parent, usually the mother, or to both of them. This is known as joint custody. In these cases, the interests of children should always be the priority, so the type of custody that will best guarantee their welfare must always be chosen.

At Patón & Asociados we are sure that in most cases the best for the children is to continue living with both parents, and so, we are pioneers and we have extensive experience in the defense of the still recently regulated joint custody of children. However, for over 30 years ago we have defended parents for whom we have obtained sole custody of their minor children, having been one of the first law firms in Spain to specialize in defending men who wish to obtain custody of their children.

CHILD SUPPORT

When a couple with children separates or divorces and custody is allocated to one spouse, the other is obliged to cooperate with child support. Alimony not only comprises mere supply of food support, but also mainly providing healthcare and education, and therefore the judge imposes the obligation of a monthly payment for each of the children.

The amount to be paid is determined by the needs of the children and the income available for the liable parent. Although the amount is calculated depending on many variables, there are some guiding tables in order to establish the alimony for children involved in these cases. In cases of joint custody it is normal that no alimony is established and that parents bear the costs of their children during the time they spend with them.

COMPENSATORY PENSION

As a result of a separation or divorce, one member of the couple might suffer a significant economic loss compared to the other; for example, if he or she did not work in order to devote himself or herself exclusively to taking care of the family home. The person who finds himself or herself at a disadvantage has the right to ask for a compensation, which may be a single lifetime benefit, a recurrent temporary pension (payable monthly for a limited period of time), or a lifetime pension (payable monthly for life).

This pension can be changed or eliminated thanks to a modification of measures.

AMMENDMENT OF MEASURES

When the personal circumstances of one of the parents change he or she can request an amendment of measures. It is a process during which it is made known that the family or financial conditions existing when the judgment was delivered have changed and that therefore the measures established cannot be maintained. This process takes place in cases of separation, divorce or parent-child relationships.

At Patón & Asociados we specialize in the defense of the most complex cases in which this process is used: to change the custody agreement, to requesting joint or sole custody for the father, to change the children’s alimony conditions or to extinguish a lifetime compensatory pension.

ENFORCEMENT OF SENTENCES

It is common for one party to be unable or to refuse to comply with a sentence or an order. The most frequent examples are not paying alimony or compensatory pension, or preventing the other parent right to visitation.

To force those who do not comply with the content of a sentence there is an enforcement process, which is submitted to same judge who issued the unfulfilled resolution and who, besides enforcing compliance, may impose fines on those who fail to comply. In many cases these processes are the prelude to a change to the custody system in place.

MUTUAL AGREEMENT AND FAMILY MEDIATION

When there are common children or there is a mortgage on the family home, relationships do not end with the end of cohabitation. Taking that into account, and as part of our comprehensive legal advice, Paton & Asociados always works towards the couple reaching a mutual agreement about the measures that will govern their relations after the breakup.

After a thorough work of family mediation achieving this agreement will give greater satisfaction to the interests of both members of the couple, who will find themselves more comfortable with the measures that they themselves have adopted, which, in turn, will help improve their relationship between them and with their children, the main reason why our team pours all its efforts in this process.

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP AND COUPLES DISSOLUTION

A domestic partnership is in fact formed by two people who, regardless of their sexual orientation, stably coexist in a relationship similar to marriage. There is no common law in Spain and Autonomous Communities regulate these domestic partnerships.

Their differences with a formal marriage is that there is no common economic regime, that cohabiting partners cannot pay their personal income tax in the joint mode and that, in case of death of one of the partners, the other is not entitled to part of the inheritance if there is no will.

In case of the couple’s dissolution the procedure to establish the measures regarding the children will be a parent-child relationship process. If one of the members of the couple ends at an economic disadvantage he or she cannot request alimony in the same process but will have to use a different one.

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

When two people intend to marry and worry about what will happen to their assets or what could happen in the event of a separation or divorce in certain personal aspects, it is desirable to sign a contract known as prenuptial agreement.

To be valid, prenuptial agreements must be signed by both members of the couple in the same year that they will marry.

For more detailed information according to your case, do not hesitate to contact us.

LIQUIDATION OF JOINT PROPERTY

One of the most frequent points of conflict before the breakup of a couple is to determine how the common property is dealt with. These tensions also take place frequently when, after the death of a family member the inheritance period opens. At Patón & Asociados we have extensive experience in the liquidation of assets of couples and inheritances, which is why our lawyers are frequently called upon by the courts as independent experts in this type of process.

INHERITANCES AND WILLS

The emotional and family stress that might be caused by the death of a person is very frequently joined by other problems that may arise when determining how to allocate his or her estate. Whether the deceased had a will and testament or not it is very convenient to have the advice of an attorney who can help the family in such a delicate moment.

At Patón & Asociados we can help to provide an adequate answer to your questions about a topic as sensitive as inheritances.

LUQUIDATION OF JOINT ASSETS

When a couple marries in Spain it is normal that the economic system they choose is that of the community property. With it, both benefits and charges will be equally shared. However, there are exceptions, for example, in Catalonia the most common regime is the separation of property.

In case of the couple’s breakup the allocation of common property can prove troublesome since it is unusual that both spouses have contributed to the marriage in the same degree and also some assets cannot be easily divided, for example, the family home. If a distribution agreement is reached it can be resolved at a notary, but if not a judicial process is necessary.

GUARDIANSHIP

Guardianship is the authority conferred by law to an adult in order to take care of an unemancipated minor or an adult who has been incapacitated. Due to the responsibility involved, the guardian must be appointed by a court, and his duties will cease once the minor reaches the legal adult age, due to his or her adoption or to a court decision terminating the disability or upon death.

If you believe that one of your elders meets the requirements to be incapacitated, contact us and we will answer all your questions.

ADOPTION AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FILIATION

ADOPTION

When you are going to face such a delicate process as an adoption application it is very convenient to be well advised from the start. The procedures are not always easy, and may become even more complicated depending on the country in which you want to apply for adoption.

Through our network of 50 lawyers worldwide, at Patón & Asociados we can help you to guarantee success, whether the adoption application is filed by a heterosexual couple or by a homosexual one.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF FILIATION

Filiation is the relationship existing between two people when one is a descendant of the other, whether it is the case of a biological or adopted child, and must be registered in the Civil Registry.

Through filiation one can obtain the right of inheritance, the right to use the parents’ family names and the right to obtain proper care for a correct personal and educational development.

In case filiation has not been recognized a court process can be initiated so that the real parents are recognized and the corresponding rights can be obtained.

SURROGATE MATERNITY

It is a pregnancy induced by means of assisted reproductive techniques that enables homosexual or heterosexual couples to have their own offspring.

If this process has taken place in a country where it is legal and there is a court decision recognizing that the child’s parents are those who have resorted to this technique, the birth may be registered in the Spanish Civil Registry whenever at least one parent is Spanish.

Thanks to our team of over 50 specialist lawyers worldwide we can provide you with comprehensive legal advice in this matter.