Couples in Spain


Posted and filed under Legal Issues in Spain.


At times people ask us about common law spouses. There is no “common law” marriage in Spain, that is, a couple may live together for many years as man and wife and have children together, but this establishes no legal rights for either the man or the woman.

If the man dies, the woman has no claim to inherit any share of his property or to collect his pension. In the eyes of the law, there is no legal relationship.

Unless the man formally recognises the children as his own, he is not required to bequeath his property to them. The law regards these children as offspring of a single mother. Their births must be registered as such and they take their mother’s two last names because she is their only legal parent.

This means that if you are Irish or British, unmarried and you wish your partner to receive your assets or part of your assets after you die, it is essential that you make a Spanish Will, as otherwise your assets will go to your next of kin. Other nationalities should take advice as they may have to follow the inheritance rules of their home country. Please contact us if we can help you with a Spanish Will or you require any legal assistance.

You should bear in mind that inheritance tax in Spain may be much more expensive.

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