By Myles Jackson – an English Lawyer with De Cotta McKenna y Santafé
This month, I discuss marriage in Spain, the definition of which has changed relatively recently so as to allow gay marriages. One party needs to be resident and demonstrate such by producing the relevant documentation. Both parties must demonstrate that they are single, which typically is proved by obtaining a certificate from the civil registry in one’s home country. Necessarily, birth certificates are required as are, in the case of widows or widowers, the original birth certificate and death certificate of the deceased spouse. Divorcees need provide one’s certificate of decree nisi. All such documentation needs an apostille stamp as issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office. The aspostille confirms that the documents are originals. Thereafter, the documents need to be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.
If intent on marrying in church, you also need to present certificates of baptism and a declaration from your (former) parish priest that you follow the Roman Catholic faith and are free to marry.
Thereafter, you need lodge the documentation with the Spanish Civil Registry Office which will allow you to be married about 30 days or so thereafter. With regard to those marrying in church, the priest will hand you a marriage certificate which needs to be presented to the Civil Registry so that you are granted an official marriage certificate.
In the event that you marry a Spanish subject, you will be issued with a Family Book (libro de familia). This is an important document into which future births and deaths within the family will be formally entered. Marriage to a Spaniard does not confer automatic citizenship, rather one needs to apply for such. Typically citizenship will be granted without too much fuss.
Those not wanting to marry just yet, can always register as a couple of fact (pareja de hecho). This entitles you to the same tax allowances as married couples. To register, you need attend your Ayuntamiento with much the same documentation as required above. Those embarking on same-sex marriage or registering as a couple of fact, follow much the same procedure as above and can avail themselves to the exact same tax allowances as offered to heterosexual couples.
If you wish more information on this particular topic or would like to discuss any matter raised therein, contact Myles Jackson or Reyes Gomez Llorente, De Cotta McKenna y Santafe, on 952 527 014. Offices in Mijas Costa, Coín, Nerja, Granada and Tenerife.
De Cotta McKenna y Santafé
Calle Diputación, 6-2º-A
29780 Nerja
Tel.: (+34) 952 52 70 14 – Fax: (+34) 952 52 34 28