An exequatur is a process that serves to secure recognition in Spain of a judgment obtained in another country. Its purpose is to verify that a judgment obtained in another country meets the requirements for it to be recognized and enforced in another. In other words, a Spanish court must certify that the judgment which is to be recognized in Spain is in fact in accordance with Spanish law.

The Spanish courts do not reconsider the case, but rather, in order to consider the foreign judgment valid, and therefore recognized and enforced in Spain, they verify that the requirements provided for by law are complied with.

The three most common practices are:

  • Requests for recognition of  divorce decrees of a marriage celebrated overseas, when at least one of the spouses is a Spanish national.
  • The enforcement in Spain of  child support recognized in a judgment obtained in a foreign country.
  • The enforcement in Spain of judgments which  involve the payment of a sum of money when the debtor resides or has permanent office in Spanish territory.

What documents must be submitted?

The following documents must be provided together with the exequatur request:

  • Certified copy of the approved judgment or one which has been issued with an Apostille, in accordance with the Hague Convention
  • Certificate of final judgment
  • Certificate stating that the defendant has been notified of the judgment or, where relevant, that it was rendered by default.
  • Sworn translation of the judgment if necessary
  • Photocopy of National Identity Card [DNI]/Foreign Residency Permit [NIE]
  • General power of attorney
  • In the case of  exequatur procedures involving divorce decrees, full certificates of marriage and births of children, if any, and the regulatory agreement, in the case of divorce by mutual agreement.

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