Family Law


Family Lawyers in Costa Brava and Barcelona

At Dr. Höhne, we have extensive experience in family law at a national and international level representing our clients out of court and in court in Spanish or Catalan law. We treat each family case with the sensitivity that these difficult situations require, and we make sure that the process runs as smoothly as possible for every client.

If you need expert guidance and assistance to solve your family case, as English speaking lawyers in Costa Brava and Barcelona, we can take care of it.

  • Separation | Divorce | Financial and property issues: In case of divorce or separation, an agreement that specifies the rights and obligations of each party, and regulates financial and property issues is necessary. For example, matters regarding alimony, division of assets, awarding of marital property, distribution of household items, and regulation of marriage-related liabilities (loans, etc.) have to be agreed upon. If there are children, custody, visitation rights, and child support, among other aspects, must be regulated.
  • Child custody: It is common in Spain that guardianship and custody fall on both parents. Depending on your case, we agree on aspects related to the care, primary household, visitation rights, and child support.
  • Child support | Alimony: In a separation or divorce, we need to establish how parents must contribute to their child’s support according to their income and financial means. Besides, an alimony can be agreed in favor of the spouse to whom the separation or divorce has caused an economic imbalance compared to their financial situation prior to the breakup.
  • Modifications: If there were any substantial changes, we can request the modification of the sentence that the spouses or a judge agreed at the time of a divorce or marital separation.
  • Provisional measures: After a breakup, if there is no agreement between the parties or if one of the spouses or parents causes an incident that affects one of the family members, we process provisional or urgent measures until a final resolution.
  • Paternity | Incapacity | Legal guardianship: We take care of other types of procedures, such as incapacity, guardianships, and parent-child claims.

International Family Law

At Dr. Höhne, we are aware that the language barrier may be a concern. For your peace of mind and to avoid misunderstandings, our experienced family lawyers will guide you through the implications of your case in a straightforward and intelligible way. Our team  speaks Spanish, English, German, French, and Catalan.

No matter what your circumstance is, our expertise in international family law allows us to take on legal proceedings abroad. We advise our clients on the applicable law in each particular situation and carry out negotiations with the counterpart if one of the spouses is out of the country. 

International divorce

The question of whether foreign, Spanish, or Catalan family law is applied to relationships between spouses is a complex matter.  It will depend on national and European regulations as well as relevant international agreements. Criteria such as the citizenship of the parties involved, their habitual residence and, if pertinent, an agreement on the applicable law are decisive factors. However, even if it has been clarified that, for example, no foreign law is applicable, it can be disputed which regional law applies (e.g. Catalan family law) if the parties live in different regions in Spain.

Where and under what jurisdiction the divorce takes place can have significant financial consequences. If your marriage was celebrated abroad or one of the spouses is outside the country and you want to divorce in Spain, we study the relevant foreign law for your case and apply the appropriate and most convenient one.

It is also necessary to regulate the consequences of the divorce, which must relate to the following points, among other things:

  • Child custody and visitation rights
  • Matrimonial property regime
  • Alimony

Child support

In Spain, children are entitled to child support until the age of 18 or until the end of their education. Calculating child support, according to Spanish legislation, is complex. The determination of the applicable law depends on, among other things, nationality and habitual residence of the person responsible for child support.


Following a separation or divorce, one of the spouses may be entitled to alimony. Usually, the place of habitual residence is decisive for the question of the applicable law regarding this spousal support. Habitual residence is determined according to subjective and objective criteria. This can mean that the type and extent of the maintenance claim may also depend on the intention to return.

Matrimonial Regime

The choice of a matrimonial regime other than the legal one is made through a prenuptial agreement/marriage contract. If the spouses have not signed a marriage contract, it has to be determined which matrimonial property regime applies in the event of separation or divorce. It will depend on, among other things, the habitual residence of the couple and their nationality. If Spanish law (Civil Code) applies, the statutory property regime is the community property. In Catalonia, on the other hand, the legal regime is the separation of property.

Besides the matrimonial regime, the applicable law should also be regulated in a prenuptial agreement. For example, anyone who lives permanently in Spain and wants to marry can choose through a marriage contract that his personal law (law of his nationality) is to govern the matrimonial property regime.

Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement establishes how assets and property will be divided in the event of separation or divorce as well as the choice of a marital property regime other than the statutory default one. For mixed-national and foreign married couples whose habitual residence is in Spain, it might, therefore, advisable to specify in a prenuptial agreement or marriage contract which law is to be applied in the event of a divorce: Spanish, regional-Spanish, or e.g. German family law.

International Child Custody

If Spanish law applies, the parents usually have joint legal custody after the divorce, but do not always share the physical custody. However, we analyze the claim of child custody, as well as the legal and physical custody of minors with parents who live in different countries, or one of the parties is in Spain and another abroad.

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