Exequatur or Recognising a Foreign Judgement in Spain


Posted and filed under Legal Issues in Spain.


Recognising a foreign judgement in Spain or converting a foreign judgement in Spain is possibly one of the more unusual practices we do. It requires a barrister to be able to do this. It is not possible to have a Court Judgement from say the UK immediately recognised and enforced in Spain as how do the Spanish authorities know it is genuine?

Unfortunately there are several cases that this process called exequatar might be required. It could be to do with a divorce internationally, child support claims, enforcing a Judgement to collect a debt (say a Court Judgement was given in another country against a party, they have not paid and they have assets in Spain, so as a last resort these assets need to be seized).  Then this could be recognised and enforced in Spain.

Requirements for Recognising a Foreign Judgement in Spain

Generally that there are international treaties between the countries agreeing to this. Also, if there is no international treaty then the situation must be studied and a specialist lawyer will advise. Finally, the  sentence has to be legal in Spain.

It is not only Spaniards that can do this but also nationals of other foreign countries that can request that a Judgement from another country has effect in Spain. Also, nothing is going to change the original Judgement, this is merely a legal procedure to ensure that it can be enforced in Spain. For instance, that
if there is money owing and it has not been settled then assets in Spain could be embargoed in settlement of that debt, after the legal recognition of the Foreign Judgement is done.

How long does the Recognising of a Foreign Judgement take?

A barrister, after collecting documents, has to file the action into Courts. Then it depends on whether the party can be located to serve the paperwork on regarding the Judgement, as then a Hearing will be held. This can take some time in some cases.

We can advise the documents needed and quote when hearing the exact facts of the case. Contact us with the specific requirements of your case.

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