International Divorce & Family Law: Peru
It’s a common misconception that if you live in Peru you must get divorced there. Conversely some people incorrectly assume that if they have been married abroad they aren’t subject to Peruvian divorce law. As international family lawyers we advise UK nationals living in Peru about the possibility of divorcing in the UK and Peruvians based here in the UK who wish to divorce. We also act in cases where there is some other Peruvian aspect to the divorce.
The length of time it takes to divorce, the basis of the financial settlement and child arrangements can vary widely depending on whether you divorce through the courts in Peru or the courts in England and Wales. Here we describe some elements of family law in Peru that are important for those who have a connection to the country and who wish to divorce.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Peru?
A Peruvian divorce can be obtained in the following ways:
- Divorce by consent – a relatively recent introduction to the Civil Code, also known as ‘fast divorce’. It is available once a couple have been married for two years’ (four years if there are children)
- Divorce following two years’ separation – again a spouse can only apply when the marriage has lasted two years or four if there are minors
- Fault-based divorce (or when both spouses don’t agree to divorce) – with the requirement to prove one of the fault-based grounds, including adultery and domestic abuse
Property Division In Peru
Like many countries in South America the default property regime for married couples is the community property regime. This means that on divorce it will generally only be property acquired during the marriage that will be divided equally. Couples may elect a different regime to govern their property – the so-called ‘separation of property’ regime. If they do, even property acquired during the marriage will not be viewed as joint property on divorce. For separation of property to apply couples must execute a formal deed.
Peruvian law states that property division should be done in accordance with the laws of the country where the couple first established a common domicile. This rule has on occasion led the Peruvian courts to intervene in foreign divorce settlements that are perceived to have been finalised in contravention of this domicile rule.
Advice On Divorce In Peru
As specialist international family and divorce lawyers we represent clients based in the UK who are Peruvian and those in Peru who are UK nationals. If there is a choice between jurisdictions it’s important to make the right decision on which venue to use for your divorce. That’s because once divorce proceedings start in one country it’s very likely all decisions regarding finances, property and children will be made by the courts in that country.
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