"Marriage is the contract celebrated between two people who want to constitute a family."

The marriage process begins with the manifestation of the intention to contract marriage, together with a civil registry office, (Any civil registry office is competent to organize the preliminary marriage process).

This intention is made through the declaration for marriage, which can be done in person or through the intermediary of the prosecutor who requires the instituting process of publications.

Ao proceder à declaração para casamento, é necessário indicar:

When making the declaration for marriage, you must indicate:

- The modality: civil, catholic or civil in the religious form;

- The place where they intend to get married;

- The regime of goods (regime of the communion of acquired, general communion or separation of goods).

Necessary documents:

- Identification documents / Title or residence permit, passport or equivalent document, in case the spouse is a foreigner;

- If the spouse is a foreigner, a birth certificate with the formal requirements required for the same purpose by the law of his / her country is required.

- Deed of marriage agreement if it has been celebrated.

NOTE: If the spouses do not enter into a prenuptial agreement, the marriage will be subordinated to the communion scheme of acquired.

To marry the law requires that the spouses have the capacity to contract marriage, that is, that none of the marital impediments is verified.

- Age less than 16 years;

- Dementia notorious, even during lucid intervals;

- Interdiction or disabling due to psychic anomaly;

- Previous non-dissolved marriage, Catholic or civil, even if performed abroad and not yet transcribed or integrated in Portugal;

- Relationship (bond that unites two people by virtue of one of them descended from another or both from a common parent) in the straight line or in the second degree of the collateral line (eg siblings);

- Previous relationship of parental responsibilities;

- Affinity in the straight line (bond that connects one of the spouses to the relatives of the other);

- Previous conviction of one of the spouses as author or accomplice, for intentional homicide, although not consummated, against the spouse of the other;

- Lack of parental or guardian consent in the case of persons over 16 but under 18 years of age, if not provided by the Registrar of Civil Registry;

- Internationalization time (180 days for men and 300 days for the woman that takes place between the previous marriage and the new nuptials);

- Relationship in the third degree of the collateral line (uncles and nephews);

- Bonding of guardianship, guardianship, or legal administration of assets;

- Pronunciation of the spouse for the crime of intentional homicide, even if not consummated, against the spouse of the other, as long as there is no dismissal or acquittal by a final decision.


"No one should remain married against their will."

Divorce in the Civil Registry Office:


In divorce by mutual consent both spouses require the dissolution of their marriage by mutual agreement.

The divorce by mutual consent is established in any civil registry office, by the spouses personally or represented by a lawyer.

The divorce application is accompanied by the following documents:

- Specified relationship of common goods, with indication of values, or, if the spouses choose to share those goods, agree on the sharing or request for the elaboration of the same;

- Agreement as to the destination of the family home;

- Agreement on the exercise of parental responsibilities (if not judicially regulated, otherwise a respective court certificate will be attached);

- Agreement on the provision of food to the spouse who needs them;

- Agreement on the fate of pet animals, if any;

- Certificate of the deed of the prenuptial agreement (if it was celebrated).

Procedure and decision in the civil registry office

After the application has been submitted, the conservator will summon the spouses to a conference in which he / she verifies the fulfillment of the legal conditions and appreciates the agreements, if everything is in conformity, then decrees the divorce, being registered accordingly.

Divorce Required in Court:

It occurs when the spouses agree to divorce but can not reach agreement on the regulation of the exercise of the parental responsibilities of the minor children, as to the allocation of the house of family dwelling, as to the establishment of the provision to feed the spouse who Of the common goods.

The spouse may terminate the marriage relationship, even against the will of the other spouse.

Divorce without the consent of one of the spouses is required by the party seeking divorce against the other spouse from the court, on the basis of the following grounds:

a) the de facto separation for a consecutive year (when there is no communion of life between the spouses and there is either of them, or one of them, the purpose of not re-establishing it);

b) the alteration of the mental faculties of the other spouse, when it lasts for more than one year and, by its seriousness, jeopardizes the possibility of living together;

c) absence, without the absence of news, for a period of not less than one year;

d) any other facts that, regardless of the guilt of the spouses, show the definitive breakdown of the couple.

In the process of divorce without the consent of one of the spouses there will always be an attempt to conciliate the spouses.

If the conciliation attempt does not result, the judge will seek agreement from the spouses to the divorce by mutual consent; Once the agreement has been reached or the spouses have, at any time during the procedure, opted for this type of divorce, the terms of the divorce procedure shall be followed by mutual consent, with the necessary adaptations.

If the agreement for divorce is not reached by mutual consent, the defendant will be summoned from the initial petition for challenge, following the further terms of the proceeding.


"Children are subject to parental responsibilities until they become adult or emancipated"

In case of divorce, judicial separation of persons and property, de facto separation, declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage, it is necessary to regulate the Exercise of Parental Responsibilities.

In the process of regulating Parental Responsibilities it is established with whom the minor will be living, the visitation regime and the amount of the maintenance pension. Other aspects that the parents consider important in order to protect the life of the minor may be fixed.

With the amendments to the Civil Code, the parental responsibilities relating to matters of particular importance to the child’s life are now exercised by both parents in accordance with the terms of maturity.

It is only in cases of manifest urgency that one of the parents may act alone and must inform the other as soon as possible.

The court must, by means of a reasoned decision, determine that parental responsibilities are exercised only by one of the parents when the joint exercise of parental responsibilities relating to matters of particular importance to the child’s life is deemed to be contrary to the interests.

- The exercise of parental responsibilities relating to the acts of the child’s current life is the parent with whom he is habitually resident, or the parent with whom he is temporarily present.

The parent who is responsible for the exercise of parental responsibilities related to the acts of everyday life may exercise them by himself or delegate his exercise.

- The minor’s residence as well as visitation rights will be determined by the court in the child’s interest (based on parental agreement and the willingness of each child to promote child-to-child relations).

- The parent who does not carry out all or part of the parental responsibilities has the right to be informed about the way in which he or she exercises (education and the child’s living conditions).



Bi-lingue (English and Portuguese).

Clara Isabel Leite



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