International Divorce & Family Law: Argentina
We represent Argentinians in the UK who need advice on divorce as well as UK nationals resident or domiciled in Argentina. The key questions our clients want answers to are:
- Whether the UK courts or the courts in Argentina will determine issues around where and when they can divorce
- How family finances will be affected by divorce
- Who will decide where any children of the marriage will live after divorce
Argentinian family and divorce law is governed by the Civil Code. But there is a degree of flexibility available to family judges that’s not always present in countries where the law is codified. Argentinian courts rely heavily on previously decided cases in the way English judges do, helping to ensure that divorce settlements are appropriate in each individual case.
Here are some elements of Argentinian family law that may be relevant to your circumstances:
Grounds For Divorce In Argentina
Reforms to the Civil Code in 2015 have made the divorce process in Argentina simpler and more straightforward. Changes included removal of fault-based divorce leaving just two grounds for divorce. These are:
- Unilateral divorce – where either party can file a petition for divorce
- Joint divorce – Both parties jointly file the petition
In 2010 Argentina became the first Latin American country to recognize same-sex marriage, giving same-sex spouses equal rights in relation to marriage and divorce as their heterosexual counterparts.
Financial Settlements And Argentinian Divorce
The Civil Code reforms mentioned above extended to the recognition of pre and postnuptial agreements. Before marriage couples can choose what property is joint and what is separate and decide which of two property regimes will apply to the marriage. The increasing use of these agreements has had a significant impact on how property and finances are distributed following divorce.
Where here is no pre or postnuptial agreement, ‘marital estate’ – as defined by the Civil Code – will be divided equally. Following the removal of no-fault divorce, spousal maintenance is only granted in exceptional circumstances and for a limited period.
Children And Argentinian Divorce
Argentinian ‘parental rights and duties’ is a concept similar to our parental responsibility. It is shared equally between parents until divorce. Then it is acquired by the parent with whom the child resides (the non custodial parent will still have rights to supervise matters such as education).
When a child is under five the mother will always get custody – unless this is not in the child’s best interests. Child contact is almost always agreed without the court intervening. Parents are given several opportunities to agree visitation schedules before a judge gets involved.
Advice On Divorce In Argentina
The Argentinian Civil Code recognises that divorce petitions can be brought in the courts of the country where the couple or one of the spouses last resided. The potential for two jurisdictions to have oversight of your divorce – and the possibility of a significantly different outcome depending on where your divorce is heard – means you should always seek legal advice on your divorce if you have a connection with or are a resident or national of Argentina.
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