Supreme Court limits pension payments after divorce in Spain

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divorce in Spain
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Supreme Court limits “indefinite” pension payments after divorce in Spain. “You can do without the pension and earn your own income”.

The Supreme Court in Spain has set limits for granting an “indefinite” compensatory pension after a divorce. The court considers that it is necessary to look into whether the partner is capable of earning an income in the future and supporting themselves. The factors taken into account include age, health, education and whether there are children to take care of.

According to Conceptosjuridicos in Spain a compensatory pension: “is a benefit that one of the former spouses receives from the other, when the breakdown of the couple creates an economic imbalance with respect to the situation they had before the separation.”

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The new limits were set out in a ruling which was handed down in late November. The Supreme Court partially upheld an appeal from a man who had been ordered to pay a considerable compensatory pension by the Madrid Provincial Court. He had originally been ordered to pay 2,000 euros indefinitely. The Supreme Court has dropped this to a period of five years and to a payment of only 1,000 euros.

The man had agreed that his wife who had stopped working in order to look after the family should receive a compensatory pension. However, he disagreed that it should be an indefinite pension and that it should be for such a high sum. The Supreme Court partially agreed with him and limited the amount to be paid and the duration.


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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