Contentious Divorce in Colombia

divorcio contencioso en colombia

Contentious divorce in Colombia or divorce without mutual agreement, occurs because the parties do not reach an agreement, one of the spouses decides to divorce and the other says he/she does not want the divorce. In this case, a lawsuit is filed against the person who does not want to proceed with the divorce.

For this type of divorce, a lawyer is required and the grounds for divorce described in Article 154 of the Colombian Civil Code must be taken into account. As mentioned above, this judicial divorce proceeding demands the other spouse and has 8 grounds for divorce and can only be requested before a family judge.

Grounds for Divorce in Colombia

If you are going to initiate a contentious divorce proceeding in Colombia, in addition to filing a lawsuit before a judge, it is important to prove the cause of the divorce, for which there are 8 grounds for divorce, since ground 9 refers to divorce by mutual consent.

From grounds 1 to 8, it is necessary to have the evidentiary material, that is to say, the evidence that demonstrates to the judge the facts for which the divorce is requested. Among the legal grounds contemplated by law for filing for divorce are:

Cause 3a: Outrages, cruel treatment and mistreatment of work.

It consists of domestic, economic, physical or psychological violence. It is a subjective cause and alimony/sanctions can be requested in favor of the spouse who gave rise to the separation.

In the case of subjective grounds, it is determined that the guilty spouse must pay alimony to the innocent spouse. This type of sanction is determined according to the capacity of the feeder and the need of the fed.

Only the spouse who has been a victim within the marriage can file for divorce on this ground.

Cause 8a: judicial or de facto separation of bodies for more than 2 years.

It is the most common ground for divorce. In this case, the spouses decide to separate and live on their own, but after several years, one of the spouses decides to separate and initiate divorce proceedings. This type of cause is objective, no food/sanction can be requested, unless a judge deems it necessary, according to evidence.

Other grounds, on which one of the spouses may file for divorce, are the following:

1: extramarital sexual relations of one of the spouses.

2: the serious and unjustified breach by either spouse of the duties that the law imposes on them as spouses and as parents.

4: habitual drunkenness of one of the spouses.

5: the habitual use of hallucinogenic or narcotic substances, unless prescribed by a physician.

6: any serious and incurable illness or abnormality, physical or psychological, of one of the spouses, which endangers the mental or physical health of the other spouse and makes the marital community impossible.

7: any conduct of one of the spouses tending to corrupt or pervert the other, a descendant, or persons under his or her care and living under the same roof.

8: the separation of bodies, judicial or de facto, that has lasted for more than two years.

contentious divorce Colombia

Requirements to file for Contentious Divorce in Colombia

In order to initiate the divorce proceedings without mutual consent, a series of legal documents must be presented to initiate the divorce process.

  1. Civil registration of marriage
  2. Civil registration of births of children (if any)
  3. Power of attorney granted to an attorney to initiate proceedings in a court of law
  4. Proof documents supporting the grounds for divorce

If you have minor children, the following documents are required:

  1. Custody and care of minor(s)
  2. Food quotas, food, education, recreation, health and other requirements.
  3. Visiting arrangements for minors
  4. Grounds for filing for divorce
  5. Petition for contentious divorce
  6. Power of attorney

Contentious Divorce Process in Colombia

It should be noted that a contentious divorce can take from 6 months to 1 year or more. It depends on the agreements made by the couple and the timing of the judge handling the case.

The process is carried out as follows:

  1. Filing for divorce before a family court judge
  2. The judge admits the lawsuit and initiates the contentious divorce proceeding.
  3. Defendant spouse’s answer to the complaint
  4. If there are children, the response to the lawsuit is transferred to the competent body for the protection and defense of children and adolescents.
  5. Public hearings where spouses and attorneys present evidence and arguments before the judge.
  6. Finally, the family judge issues the divorce decree.

In the contentious divorce there is no judicial liquidation, once the divorce decree is issued and the process is finished, a liquidation proceeding can be made before a judge or by mutual agreement, before a notary.

You may also be interested in: Notarial process of divorce by mutual consent in Colombia

Are lawyers needed for a divorce action?

A contentious or uncontested divorce requires the representation of an attorney specialized in Divorce. At Servicio Legal, find the advice you need from a family lawyer.

I want to schedule a consultation