Recognition of foreign court decisions in Spain

If you or your relatives are faced with the need to protect your interests in Spain, when your claim was recognized by the Court as legal in Russia or any other country, but you failed to exercise your rights in Spain, we will ensure legal protection and compliance with international agreements based on the Treaty about exequatur.

The exequatur (from lat “exequi” – means “must be executed”) between Spain and Russia is regulated by the Agreement on legal assistance in civil matters of October 26, 1990, signed between the USSR and the Kingdom of Spain. Reconocimiento de dentencias extranjeras does not actually consider the case, but only studies it for compliance with the requirements of local legislation and then issues a decision on the recognition or non-recognition of a decision of a foreign court, and then issues a court order in the territory of its country.

So, what court decisions of the Russian Federation will be recognized in Spain:

– civil and commercial affairs;

– settlement agreements;

– sentences regarding compensation for damage caused by a crime.

The most common examples where an exequatur is necessary – in a divorce, so that its statement is recognized in Spain, the payment of alimony. Also, thanks to the Agreement on Legal Assistance in Civil Cases, a decision is made to pay fines and debts, and seizure of property of the debtor located in Spain.

* Bankruptcy decisions are not recognized under this Agreement. However, international conventions come into force in this matter, and decisions can also be recognized. But this is a separate procedure.


Article 18 of the Agreement states that for the implementation of the Exequatur, a court decision in the territory of the Russian Federation must enter into legal force; defendants who did not participate in the process – notified in accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation; nor was the case on the territory of Spain previously or in parallel initiated by the same parties.


A request for an exequatur must be filed with the court of first instance (Juzgado de 1ª Instancia) at the place of residence of the party against whom recognition or enforcement is sought, or of the person to whom the foreign judgment applies.

Firstly, only a lawyer has the right to submit documents for exequatur. Secondly, only a lawyer with a special license can represent interests in Spanish courts. Lawyers from the Russian Federation, even with international qualifications and excellent knowledge of the “subject,” cannot carry out this procedure.

The advantage of our company is that our lawyers speak Russian and Spanish, and have the right to represent the interests of the client in the Courts of Spain, plus our office is located in Spain, which also greatly simplifies the procedure and reduces the costs of the plaintiff.

The submitted package of documents is considered by the court secretary, and then the report is sent to the defendant so that he can file an objection challenging the decision of the foreign court within 30 days.

Also, in the process of studying the case, the court clerk can detect errors that can be eliminated in only 5 days, and in this case we also have an advantage – the absence of a language barrier, easier access to information and, therefore, saving the client’s time and, therefore, high chances of success.

– A notarized copy (apostille) of the decision with the translation of the sworn translator into Spanish
– Evidence that the court decision is final and not subject to appeal
– Confirmation of the defendant’s notification
– NIE or a foreign resident card

If we are talking about exequatur with regard to divorce, it is required to provide a marriage certificate, if there are children, their birth certificate, and in the case of divorce by mutual agreement, a regulatory agreement.

Of course, each individual case may require additional documents, just as there are some reasons for the refusal of exequatur. But we can discuss all these details with you during a consultation with a Russian, English, or Spanish-speaking lawyer.

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