Approaches to divorce vary widely from country to country. This means if you and your spouse have a connection to the UK and another country, international legal issues could arise when it comes to deciding on a financial settlement and the arrangements for your children following your divorce. Ecuador’s legal system for example is a civil system, based on binding laws collected in the Civil Code (the Code). The country also has a constitution.
In contrast in England and Wales many laws, including divorce law, are based on a combination of previous court decisions and legislation. If you or your spouse have a legal connection to Ecuador and are seeking divorce in England it’s important to understand how diverging legal priorities in different countries could affect your divorce settlement. Some aspects of Ecuadorian divorce and family law are outlined below.
The Approach To Divorce In Ecuador
The Code gives men and women equal rights to issue divorce petitions on the basis of mutual consent or for cause. When a divorce is based on cause (or the fault) of one spouse the spouse not at fault is permitted to recoup any financial contributions made to the other during the marriage.
If the parties are unable to agree to child arrangements the court will decide matters, however minor children are usually considered to be the primary responsibility of the mother and will live with her. As a result the mother normally retains the right to remain in the family home following divorce – at least until the children reach the age of 18.
It’s generally accepted in Ecuador that marital property is held jointly and so women can expect to receive a half share of assets on divorce. There are however some reported issues that women may want to be aware of before divorce:
- In some cases, women don’t possess the legal knowledge of their property rights.
- Instances of ‘patrimonial violence’ have previously been documented (for example where a husband pressurises his wife to sell the family home even though she is entitled to stay there because of her custody of children).
- More traditional couples in a marriage may adopt the approach that the wife should trust the husband regarding what is due to them on divorce. A wife in this situation may find it more difficult to challenge the financial proposals presented to her.
Getting Advice On Ecuadorian Family Law
If there’s a possibility that the divorce laws of Ecuador could determine the outcome of your advice you should seek immediate legal advice to see if you could benefit from issuing a divorce petition or divorce application in another jurisdiction such as England and Wales. Here at Brookman we understand the cross-border issues that could affect the outcome of your divorce. Even if we do not have direct experience of the laws of Ecuador our experience of dealing with multiple international jurisdictions means we are able to provide expert advice when you require it.
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