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Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

Old Feb 22nd 2018, 4:22 pm
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Default Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

I hope i am posting in the right place, I have read the instructions from the Moderators - Rosemary.


I was living near Barcelona for the last twelve years, but last year my Catalan wife decided she wanted a divorce, left and took our three year old daughter.

I didn't consent to the divorce and wanted mediation or counselling, but she wanted divorce.

I attended the first hearing about custody last year, but I was not represented, didn't speak Spanish (we spoke Catalan) and didn't have a translator.

The Judge got very angry, left her chair and started to scream at me in Spanish and i had no idea what was going on.

Since then, I have moved back to the UK, as it was impossible to stay.

I am due to appear in court again in April for the finalisation of the divorce, but I will not be going. I understand that I will get a fine from the court of up to €1000, which i will not pay.

I have no intentions of paying any money into a corrupt system that did not allow me to speak, but heard my wife.

I have asked various people about the possible outcomes and have received many conflicting answers.

1) What happens if I don't pay the non-attendance fine?

2) If an arrest warrant is issued against my name, will I be arrested at the airport?

I am now fifty years old, and I am now unemployed, my wife has everything including my car and she can't drive!

I must state I will not pay any fines issued by the court, not under any circumstances.

Also my wife's "lawyer" isn't a real lawyer but a friend from school who is a mediator and family law practitioner. She says I won't get a fine and will be able to travel to Spain freely. Yet speaking to other people they tell me for sure I will be fined, and non-payment of that fine could land me in jail for a few days at least while things go to court again.

I need to clear this up very soon.

kindest regards
Mark.
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Old Feb 22nd 2018, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst myself and BEVS moderate Europe. Please read the Site Rules Site Rules | British Expatriate Community adhere to them so that the site runs smoothly. Moderators are there to ensure that the rules of BE are maintained. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

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Old Feb 22nd 2018, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

Question is, are you happy that everything will be heard in your absence in April and everything sorted without you having a chance to make any representations ESPECIALLY in relation to your daughter, that's very important. If you can't see that now, I can understand that as everything is so raw and you are angry, but in the future?


I can see that you have been 'rinsed' here, but can't understand why during the initial hearing you didn't get representation or even a translator. Basically, you were 'asking for it' there in the Spanish system, but I guess you can see that now as well.


Okay, you are obviously really peeved with the way things have gone so far and I can see why, BUT, would you consider attending the April hearing with a representative and getting a clear handle on whats happening to you, your daughter and your finances / property. Your daughter is the most important, obviously, and any fine for non attendance will not be the issue, access and your future with your daughter will be.


Unpaid fines, Criminal or civil, follow the same pattern. Fine imposed, non payment creates a demand, non payment of the demand creates a warrant for non payment, non appearance as regards that warrant creates a warrant for imprisonment in default. (Info from my legal amigo.)


So by not going, its a win /win for your Ex. Your daughter, finances and even the fact that all this has caused you to not want to return to Spain again. What if in the future your daughter contacts you and wants to see you? Its another win for your Ex. and a heartbreaking situation for you. Your daughter is likely to be swept into your Ex's Spanish family and everything possibly twisted up, and you will feed this by not turning up.


You are angry now, but just think about it, you will only get one chance to make into your unknowns into knowns, and that's in April.


NOT in Spain, but been there, done that. Good luck to you in what is a bad time.
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Old Feb 22nd 2018, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

I guess you missed the bit about she has everything, I am sleeping on an old mates sofa, no money in the bank, so I can't afford the lawyer, a translator, hotel, food and flights.

I need a translator because there are no English speaking lawyers in that town, if the hearings was in Barcelona it would be different ..however Igualada is one of, if not the most, radically Catalan towns in Catalonia. I was forced to learn Catalan to be able to speak with my wife's friends and i was chastised if I used a Spanish word. Unfortunately for me the courts will not accept Catalan and only deal in Spanish. Plus my Catalan isn't great and I often have to ask people to slow down and repeat what they have said.

The reason I was unrepresented in the last hearing is simple, the lawyer and translator didn't bother to show up, but the court went ahead anyway.

I don't want my daughter be brought up hating the Spanish for no reason, but that's the way it will be, my wife does what she wants, disregarding anything I or anyone else has to say, including the courts. She believes (as do many in that town) that the Spanish laws don't apply to her.

I have no way of raising an estimated £1000 to go to court, and I just need to know (i think i already know) what will happen if i don't go.

I appreciate, the "just find the money it's in your interest, & your daughter is more important", but other than selling drugs or prostitution there's no way it's going to happen. I don't even qualify for dole yet ..

Employment opportunities for an almost 51 year old with a twelve year skills gap are few and far between ...i am casting my net over the length and breadth of the UK hoping to find something, but i'm either too old, or don't have enough recent experience. Catch 22.

thanks
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Old Feb 23rd 2018, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

Firstly, I respect the fact that's its totally your business and I am personally very sorry for your plight and that's not just words, I have been in a similar situation, but again NOT in Spain which has added a further dimension to your problems.


Total nightmare and I did not mean to cause any offence or upset I can assure you. The additional info you put on your last post makes things clearer and explains a lot.


I did contact my Spanish 'Legal eagle' who lives nearby, when I saw your post and answered the question regarding the escalation of any fine. I don't know if this would be different in Catalonia, my friend could not tell me.


I can only wish you all the best, and hope you can 'regroup' given time.
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Old Feb 23rd 2018, 9:36 am
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Default Re: Legal advice about not appearing in court for a divorce

Thank you. I guess I just have to forget I gave a daughter. Until she (hopefully) comes looking for me, but by that time I'll be an old man.
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