Brazilian Law firm specialized in Family Law, Divorce and Legal Separation
If you landed on this page, chances are that you are looking for a family lawyer in Brazil that speaks fluent English. If that’s the case, rest assured that we can help you. Mario Solimene, one of our senior family attorneys, has significant international experience, having lived and studied in the U.K. for many years. As you may have realized, the knowledge of English language is not something not very common in the Family and Probate Law business in Brazil.
If you are married in Brazil or have married a Brazilian abroad, it is likely that you will need a Brazilian Lawyer specialized in Family law to help you to navigate through a divorce.
In nearly four decades working with family law in Brazil, we have seen a bit of everything. Precisely because of this, we dare to sound counterintuitive to you: divorce is a new phase of your life that does not have to be painful. Yes, it is necessary to resolve emotional and practical problems, face the changes and start a new chapter in your life, but divorce and legal separation does not necessarily mean the end of the family or the good memories. It could be seen as a transformation – and often for the better. Family lawyers aren’t magicians, but to have an experienced professional helping you through this transition is a great start.
Our work as divorce lawyers is done in a humanized and efficient way, focusing on conflict resolution and problem solving. This attitude is important to try to preserve good coexistence between the parties, in addition to creating conditions to transform a litigious divorce into an amicable divorce – which is the cheapest and fastest way to overcome the problems of the breakup in Brazil. Only when this strategy is unfeasible due to the circumstances of the family relationship, our action becomes adversarial – and in this regard, we are strong and combative.
The great differential of the Specialist Lawyer in Divorce and Separation , in addition to competence and experience, is the consistent adoption of family mediation practices. The mission of the divorce lawyer is to solve problems and, for this, we use all the tools we have at our disposal. In this sense, alternative conflict resolution techniques can help to overcome unnecessary obstacles for the couple and act positively in resolving any differences.
This is crucial not only for the speed, tranquility and economy of this process, but also to somehow preserve the couple’s relationship, which, despite not being the same as before, can change in a positive way. The perspective would not be one of disruption, but of evolution. A new beginning.
1) How to file for divorce in Brazil: do you need a lawyer?
In Brazil, in order to file for divorce papers, all you need to do is look for a Brazilian family lawyer you trust, as his work is essential, whatever the type of divorce chosen – judicial or extrajudicial. This is not just a recommendation, but a mandatory step: in the Brazilian Judicial system, a lawyer must accompany and sign the divorce application, otherwise it will not be accepted.
It will be this lawyer who will carry out all the work and bridge the gap between you and the Judge (or the notary, in the case of extrajudicial divorce), while you will only provide the necessary documentation, the details your story, supporting evidence (if any), and so on.
2) What is the difference between Divorce and Legal Separation?
When a couple decides to follow parallel paths, the issue must also be resolved in the bureaucratic area. The legal remedies for this situation in Brazil are legal separation and divorce.
The difference is simple: separation suspends the duties arising from the marriage, while divorce ends the marriage itself. This distinction does not seem very convincing at first sight, but it is very important in technical-legal terms. Here is a practical example to illustrate this difference: the couple that is separated can be reconciled at any time and move on with life as nothing had happened, since the separation only ceases the rights and duties of one in relation to the other. Once the problem is overcome and the bond is resumed, everything goes back to the way it was before. In divorce, things take on a more definitive character. If the parties decide to resume their relationship and continue their life as husband and wife, they must enter into a new marriage.
It must be said that, nowadays, separation has fallen into disuse. Until 2009, the Law required a certain period of time (one or two years, depending on the case) between the couple’s separation and final divorce. But since the entry into force of Constitutional Amendment nº 28/2009 , the so-called “PEC do Amor”, this requirement has fallen to the ground. On the one hand, the process has gained agility, reducing the psychological distress of couples who decide to divorce. On the other, it complicated the lives of those who regret it the next day and decide for reconciliation. In that case, as said, they must start from scratch with a new wedding celebration.
3) Divorce at the Registry (Extrajudicial) and Divorce at the Court (Judicial)
In Brazil, the law provides for two types of specific procedures for divorce – judicial and extrajudicial – and both must be carried out through a lawyer.
In order for the divorce process to be possible at the Registry Office – which is much faster and involves less costs for the parties involved – it is necessary to fulfill some basic conditions:
the divorce must be amicable (consensual)
must have no conflicts in relation to the sharing of assets;
the couple cannot have children under 18 years-old.
In this case, the acts can be carried out at the Notary’s Office, by public deed, with no need for intervention by the Judiciary. It is a much leaner, faster and cheaper procedure, but the intervention of a lawyer is still mandatory.
If the requirements for extrajudicial divorce are not fulfilled, we fall into the judicial modality (court), which is more time consuming and potentially more expensive . When the couple has small children, there is no other remedy: the judicial divorce process is mandatory. But if the obstacle is the lack of an agreement – the so-called litigious divorce – there is still hope. The path to extrajudicial divorce could still be an option IF the couple manages to resolve their disputes themselves. For this, the best remedy is family mediation .
4) How much does a divorce cost in Brazil
This is a crucial point. To answer the question, first check the type of divorce to be carried out (Divorce at the notary or at the judge) , and then whether or not there is a dispute.
As mentioned above, extrajudicial divorce is cheaper and faster, as it requires less effort on the part of lawyers and less bureaucracy. Judicial divorce, on the other hand, is more laborious and can take much longer – therefore more expensive. If there is a dispute between the parties, the Judicial route is the only path available – and it will be even more costly, as it will demand much more from the hired lawyer.
In general terms, these are the expenses to consider:
Notary fees for extrajudicial divorce deed OR costs for judicial divorce proceedings;
Taxes related to the sharing of goods;
Notary fees for registering transfers of real estate and companies;
Attorney’s fees – Check out our page on Attorney’s Fees for more information on the fees set by the Brazilian Bar Association for such services (Portuguese only).
We operate in the metropolitan area of São Paulo, with strong presence in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, e Brasília. If you would like to learn more about our ethical values and principles, please visit our Advocacy profile page.
Divorce Attorney in Brazil – email: [email protected] – telefones (11) 3079-1837 ou (11) 98389-2403 – horário de atendimento: de Segunda à Sexta, das 10:00 às 19:00 horas.
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