Spanish Couple Ordered To Split Apartment Down The Middle

The "highly unusual" ruling from a Seville judge reflects the times, as the divorcing couple cited various economic issues that prevented them from living separately.

What's the Latest Development?


Citing financial considerations and the well-being of their two children, a judge in the Spanish city of Seville has ruled that a couple currently in the midst of a divorce must physically divide their 2,700-square-foot apartment into two separate living spaces. The decision required the husband to pay for the divide, but didn't specify exact details on "whether he must erect walls or...simply put tape across the floor." The judge noted that the husband's parents, who own the apartment, hadn't taken any action to remove their daughter-in-law from the apartment, and that the children would benefit from their father's presence both in the apartment and his downstairs offices.

What's the Big Idea?

While this particular couple appear to have the means to afford the necessary renovations -- the judge also ordered them to cut down on other expenses, such as the children's sailing lessons -- Spain's economic crisis has made it nearly impossible for many other divorcing couples to afford a true split. Barcelona family law expert Josep Maria Torres says the Seville ruling is "an extraordinary decision that could encourage other judges to seek similarly extreme solutions."

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Read it at The New York Times

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