Procedures and Requirements for divorce in Ecuador

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Divorce is the result of the decision of dissolve a marriage union. This measure is taken when there are irreconcilable differences in the couple and may depend on the will of one of the parties or it may be an agreed decision. Below we detail the procedures and requirements for divorce in Ecuador.

Requirements for divorce in Ecuador

To explain the procedures and requirements for divorce in Ecuador, it is important to understand that there are different types of divorces, according to whether or not there is consent by both parties, the most relevant are: by mutual agreement, administrative and uncaused.

By mutual agreement

This consists of the dissolution of the marriage bond obtained through a court ruling, which ends a procedure initiated by a request that had the agreement of both citizens and that complies with the legal requirements indicated by law.

When both parties agree to carry out this procedure, they appear before the competent authority and request the final judgment of the divorce. In summary, to be able to divorce by mutual agreement you must have:

  • Mutual will to divorce.
  • Petition for divorce.
  • Agreement regarding the maintenance of minor children.

Subsequently, the following requirements must be collected:

  • Marriage certificate issued by the Civil Registry.
  • Original birth certificate of the children.
  • Proof of payment of the property tax of the real estate acquired within the marriage.
  • Vehicle registration if you have them, and other supporting documents that prove that you are the owners of a certain asset.

Steps to divorce by mutual agreement

  • The divorce claim must be filed before a Civil Judge of the domicile of either spouse.
  • Then the judge performs the qualification of the claim made.
  • After a period of two months, the civil judge will call a conciliation hearing at the request of the spouses or their special attorneys, in which, if they do not manifest a contrary intention, they will express jointly and out loud their final resolution of to terminate the marriage bond.
  • Then, in the same hearing, the spouses or their special attorneys will agree on the economic situation in which the minor children must remain after the divorce, the way they must provide personal protection, education and support for them.

The children must be represented by one or more curators as the case may be., whose appointment will be made by the judge, preferring, as far as possible, the close relatives of the children.

  • In the case of not reaching an agreement on said points, the judge will grant the probationary term of six days, which will pronounce the sentence after said term.
  • Finally, the registration of the divorce decree is carried out in the Civil Registry.


In this case, judgments can only be handed down by a jurisdictional authorityHowever, in some cases, explicitly described by law, another authority is granted the power to declare a marriage bond dissolved.

In order for the authority to declare the divorce, the applicants must be of legal age, must not have children and by mutual agreement must have liquidated the conjugal partnership, if they had married under that regime.


In some parts of the world, such as Spain, Mexico or in this case Ecuador, there is another form of divorce that is unilateral, also called without cause, which does not require the consent of both spouses, or the expression of a specific cause that justifies it or has to be proven in court, for the family judge to order the dissolution of the marriage in the short term. It is also known as also express divorce.

Divorce without the consent of either party

It can only be carried out as long as it is supported by any of the causes that the legal system of the respective country or state mentions.

In general, this type of divorce consists of the dissolution of the marriage bond.

It is obtained thanks to a court ruling that ends a procedure.

It was initiated by the petition or demand of one of the spouses, in which said petitioning spouse, without the consent of the other, asks the Judge to terminate the marriage bond and the petition or demand is supported by facts that the law considers as sufficient to that the divorce is granted, known as grounds for divorce.

In some countries or localities of different countries this is known as necessary divorce.

To request the Judge to order the necessary divorce, it is a requirement that the requesting spouse prove that his or her husband or wife has carried out or incurred in acts that the law marks as sufficient for the divorce to operate.

In turn, the grounds for divorce in each country vary depending on their own legal system, being able to find:

  • Adultery.
  • Bigamy.
  • Domestic violence, such as injuries, injuries, psychological or physical violence.
  • Addictions that affect the family nucleus or any of its members, such as drug addiction, games, among others.
  • To be sentenced to corporal punishment for a serious crime that does not reach the benefit of release on bail or bail.
  • Inciting or compelling any member to commit a crime.
  • Behaviors that endanger the physical or psychological integrity of any of the family members.
  • Unjustified abandonment of home.
  • Incurable sexually transmitted infections.
  • Intentional failure to comply with maintenance obligations.
  • Crime committed against one of the spouses or children.
  • Cessation of coexistence.

How to reach an agreement

When it is agreed to process a divorce by mutual agreement, a document must be made which must have certain guidelines.

Marriages can end for different reasons, which is why it is preferred to do it by mutual agreement at times. This is easier, but it is not exempt from a judicial process for the separation to be legal.

Tips for reaching an agreement

It is important to clarify that it is always advisable to consult with your respective lawyer, who is a specialist in the subject. With this in mind, the following basic tips are presented below:

  • Divorce processes can be very difficult and even more so if you have children in common, that is why it is important to manage the procedures calmly and calmly.
  • Divorce processes can vary greatly depending on the country of residence, it is always important to seek advice.
  • Making a regulatory agreement is the best at the time of divorce, as it will facilitate coexistence between the family after the dissolution of the marriage bond; it will always be better than the surprise of a sentence.

Divorce cost in Ecuador

It is important to clarify that this procedure has changed over the years. Before, the interested parties had to pay a basic fee, which in this case was USD 376. Currently, notaries charge USD 213,77 for each divorce procedure. To this amount, approximately USD 30 must be added, for the recognition of the signatures of the interested individuals, since after presenting the petition form, the notary must formally verify the rubrics.

How long does a divorce take?

Currently in Ecuador divorce procedures are fast. In cases of mutual agreement, couples request a divorce easily, since they do not have minor children or with disability. In such cases, the marriage is dissolved in a maximum of 10 days.

This has influenced the same society, The Council of the Judiciary warned that between 2016 2017, the country’s notaries approved 3 629 divorcesWhile, in the six months prior to the entry into force of the new reform, there were only 1,984 cases.

What is a divorce?

Divorce itself is the dissolution of the marriage, while in a broad sense, it refers to the process that is intended to end a conjugal union. In modern legal terms, divorce was established for the first time in the Civil Code French 1804, following Those individuals who saw marriage as a true free union, this means that the free agreement of the spouses was enough to contract it, divorce being a natural necessity.

Divorce dissolves the marriage bond and leaves the spouses fit to remarry, taking into account the limitations established by law.

The institution of divorce is almost as old as that of marriage itself, although many cultures did not accept it for social, economic or even religious reasons.

Most of the ancient civilizations that regulated the institution of marriage never considered it inseparable, and its breakdown was generally requested by men more than women. Certainly in some of these civilizations the birth of a child gave the marriage bond the indissoluble character.

Causes for ending a marriage

When speaking of the termination of the marriage, we refer to the causes for which a marriage can end; and, according to what the Ecuadorian Civil Code establishes.

The marriage ends:

  • Due to the death of one of the spouses;
  • By final judgment that declares the nullity of the marriage;
  • By final judgment that grants the definitive possession of the assets of the disappeared person; and,
  • By divorce.

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