In the face of the current coronavirus pandemic, another equally harmful plague flooding many households around the world, this is the marital disagreements often leading to violence.

In better times, that is before the current pandemic, life as a couple unfolded in a very different way, where each member of the family carried out their activities and coexistence was limited to one day a week, either on Sundays or Saturdays, and having it this way everything worked extraordinarily well; however, in the light of the current contingency, couples are forced to live together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which has exacerbated tensions within families and, as they say colloquially, this has brought out the best or the worst in each person and has undoubtedly revealed to us who we live with and behavior response in additional stressful situations due to loss of income or jobs, or fear of an uncertain future.

Having said that, the opinion of our Firm is that once we return to the “new normal”, that confinement measures are more  relaxed and once court authorities resume activities, i.e. that Courts on Family matters will be flooded with divorce petitions. Hence our Firm made the decision to write about this subject, informing citizens of available divorce proceedings in  Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum as well requirements thereto, so that by the time the decision to take the painful but necessary step is made, all may be properly informed.

Laws in effect in our State of Quintana Roo, provide the following types of divorce:

  1. Stating the resolve of not wanting to remain married, where it is not required to specify the reason why it has been applied for, or, as it is also called, no-fault or unilateral divorce.
  2. By spouses’ mutual consent or, as it is also called, uncontested divorce.
  3. Administrative proceedings divorce before the Vital Statistics Registrar or a Public Notary in the location of the marital address (within the Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum.)

Following, a brief explanation of what each of the above marriage dissolutions consists of and their requirements.

Unilateral Divorce

As the name suggests, this type of divorce petition is filed at the competent Court on Family matters in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum, regardless of whether the other spouse is in agreement or authorizes it.

Unilateral Divorce Requirements:

A written petition addressed to the competent Oral Court Judge on Family Matters asking for the marriage to be dissolved without having to disclose the grounds thereof, submitting the respective marriage certificate before the competent Judge in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum as well as birth certificates of marriage’s issue, as the case may be, and include the proposal of an agreement setting the rules that will be observed. These rules must incorporate:

  1. The designation of the person who will hold custody of the children;
  2. The arrangements under which the parent who does not hold custody will exercise his or her visitation rights, both during the divorce proceedings and after these have ended;
  3. The manner in which the needs of the children and, where appropriate, of the spouse entitled to maintenance will be met, specifying the manner, place and date of payment;
  4. Designation of the spouse who will use of the marital home and household goods;
  5. Designation of domiciles where the spouses will live, during as well as after the divorce (within Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum);
  6. The way the assets of the marital partnership will be managed during the proceedings and until these are settled, as well as the manner of liquidation;
  7. If spouses’ marriage was entered into under the separate property system, the compensation made available will be of up to 50% of the value of the assets acquired during the marriage, only if for as long as the marriage lasted the applicant devoted the length of the marriage relationship to perform household work.

The process is as follows:

Once all documents have been presented before the competent  Oral Court Judge on Family Matters of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum, the Judge will then analyze these and, if need be, accept the unilateral request for divorce for filing, ordering that the spouse served regarding tis petition. Once this has been done, that spouse will be ordered to separate from the marital home and appear before the competent Oral Court Judge on Family Matters submitting, within. The term of law, his/her proposed agreement. Having done this, the Judge will set a date and time for a hearing where the he/she will approve and formalize into the judgment those items of the agreement that coincide, and regarding those that do not will leave them to the parties who, as per their rights, may upon the conflicts in a new trial. Having done this, he/she will order the dissolution of the marriage or divorce of the spouses.

Uncontested Divorce

When spouses have agreed to divorce and have privately come to an understanding, this is the divorce petition to choose. Requirements are similar to those previously discussed in the Unilateral Divorce.

Uncontested Divorce requirements:

A written petition addressed to the competent Oral Court Judge on Family Matters of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum. This petition must be signed by both spouses requesting the Judge to dissolve the marriage, submitting the respective marriage certificate as well as birth certificates of marriage’s issue, as the case may be, and include the proposal of an agreement establishing the rules that will be observed. The items that must be included in the aforementioned agreement are exactly those mentioned in the Unilateral Divorce which I will not repeat here for obvious reasons.

In practice, the uncontested divorce develops as follows:

As the petition for uncontested divorce is filed together with the documents required by Law as mentioned above, these will be analyzed by the competent Oral Judge and if everything is in order he/she will admit the uncontested divorce petition, setting a date and time for a hearing to be held before the competent Oral Judge in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum. At this hearing the judge will urge the spouses not to get divorced and continue being married because, as the Judge will advise, marriage is the foundation of society. If he/she cannot convince the spouses, he/she will approve the uncontested divorce agreement and will render final judgment, provided that all requirements of the law have been met. Having done this, he/she will order the dissolution of the marriage or divorce of the spouses.

Administrative divorce before the vital statistics registrar or before a notary public

This type of divorce is chosen when the spouse is not pregnant, when spouses do not have children, or if they do have children that these are not minors and if they have mutually agreed to settle their marital partnership, if they did marry under this marital system.

Administrative Divorce requiremetns:

One of the main requirements in this type of divorce, as already mentioned, is that the spouses do not have any minor children and it is managed as follows:

The spouses must appear in person before the Vital Statistics Registrar or the Notary Public of the place where the marital home is located (Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum). With the respective Marriage Certificate, they will prove they are married, and if there are children, that they are of legal age. Spouses will verbally and explicitly express they willingly want to divorce; at that time, the respective divorce records will be drawn up. Whether done through the Notary or the Vital Statistics, the respective fees must be paid in advance.

It should be noted that settlement of the property to which we have referred, may be done before the Judge on Family Matters or The Public Notary who has knowledge of the divorce and, in this case, the Divorce Certificate that has been prepared must be forwarded ,for due record to be made, to the Vital Statistics Office of the city where spouses married.

The above is only a brief summary of the types of divorce proceedings within the legislation of the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico, specifically in the cities of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum, if you require a more detailed explanation or have a particular situation, call us to the contact phone or send a message to our email and we will gladly answer your questions.

Atty. Gustavo Anaya Villa

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