What penalties might be faced by the members of a marriage of convenience?

An international law firm’s services in the field of family law should cover everything from divorce cases involving a Spaniard and a foreigner in Spain to the issues that may arise from the marriage itself. In this context, marriages of convenience are a proven reality. What consequences might be faced by two people who marry so that one of them can legalize their situation or obtain nationality? The response may vary depending on the specific circumstances in which the agreement was made. However, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court in April 2017 once again put the legal consideration of this crime in the spotlight.
 
This verdict overturned the two-year prison sentence that the Provincial Court of Barcelona had imposed on a couple upon considering that they had married for convenience, committing crimes of fraud and against the rights of foreign workers. In their ruling, the Supreme Court indicated that the validity of the marriage must not be subject to criminal jurisdiction in any case. In addition, remember that case law rules out the idea that the crime of fraud could be applicable to marriage of convenience cases, even though the advantages sought by the union were known to both and agreed upon in advance. This applies as long as a profit motive, prior fraud or usurpation of civil status are not involved.
 
Thus, it is clear that a marriage of convenience in itself can only have civil and administrative consequences. Specifically, the administrative penalties provided range from 500 to 10,000 euros, but in no case is a prison sentence contemplated as long as the existence of the aforementioned crimes cannot be proven, as in the specific case in question.
 
In the event that you need specialized advice to address a problem of this nature, ICN LEGAL’s specialization in family law for Spaniards and foreigners makes us an option worthy of your trust. Furthermore, we regularly work on cases involving the recognition of foreign marriages or divorce between a Spaniard and a foreigner in Spain, as well as the consequences that arise from them.
 

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