Brazilian Divorce Law

Updated November 21, 2016

Brazilian divorces are administered by the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (the only authority able to declare a divorce). When the divorce paperwork is filed with the court, a one year separation begins that converts to a divorce upon completion. In order to finalise the divorce, the plaintiff must have the final decree certified by the Civil Registry Office.

Marriages Performed Outside of Brazil

Generally, divorces of marriages performed out of the country are sought in Brazil if one of the parties is Brazilian. To do so, the marriage must first be registered with the Brazilian Embassy, and the original marriage certificate must be sent to the Brazilian Consulate located within the plaintiff's home district

Recognition of Brazilian Divorce

American courts generally recognise Brazilian divorces provided that both parties were given adequate notice (properly served) and that at least one of the parties was living in Brazil during the divorce proceedings.

Brazilian Recognition of Non-Brazilian divorces.

A couple who was married in Brazil but divorced elsewhere must take steps to have their divorce recognised in Brazil. At least one of the parties must be Brazilian and at least one year of legal separation (from the time of the filing) must take place before the Brazilian court will recognise the divorce, even if the couple is legally divorced in their country of residence.

Brazilian Divorce of Common Law Marriage

Brazil recognises a marriage as common law if the couple have been living together for over 2 to 3 years and are deemed a stable union by the Brazilian Court (particularly if the couple has children). Under Brazilian law, a couple considered to be in a common law marriage is legally accountable and must file for divorce even if they have never been legally married.

Requirements and Fees

The requirements and fees involved with a Brazilian divorce are subject to change and should be investigated before applying for a divorce. Those seeking a Brazilian divorce should contact the Brazilian Civil Registry to learn of any updates to the system.

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About the Author

Peter Timm has been writing since 2002 for both print and online publications. Timm earned a Bachelor of Arts from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008 and emerged a technically astute writer.