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Puerto Rico Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: In Puerto Rico, is it considered kidnapping if a married spouse refuses to return to the island with their child?

Address Loiza, PR. I am married & when traveling back to Florida, I chose to leave my husband, he new of the trip to visit my adult son & he purchased our tickets. Due to years of emotional abuse & an irreconcilable relationship. I have our 9yr old daughter with me, she is homeschooled... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 23, 2022

Under normal circumstances, the illegal deprivation of custody is considered a misdemeanor (Article 121 of the Puerto Rico Penal Code); and occurs when a parent is denied the custody of a child. However, it is considered a felony with a fixed jail term of eight (8) years when the minor is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do I need to retain a lawyer to go before a court to address the matter of affiliation? before confirming a declaration

of heirs? Or is it as simple as just walking in? Can you recommend a lawyer in Isabela?

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Sep 14, 2022

Greetings:

It depends on whether the matter turns adversarial, if there are discrepancies or concerns the court might recommend it.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father only recognized my apparent sister verbally. Would her participation even

be relevant during the declaration of heirs? Thank you for your reply. Greatly appreciate it.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 6, 2022

The Puerto Rico Civil Code stipulates that a parent may recognize a child by any means; and, should the parent die, his/her heirs may recognize the sibling.

I’m assuming that your late father expressed his recognition of your sister to you. If so, even in the existence of a Will, I would...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: i need my fathers will from arecibo puerto rico
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 15, 2022

In order to procure your father's will, you first need to procure or provide his death certificate. With the certificate, we request a certification of will from the Office of Notary Inspections. Said certification will identify whether your father was testate upon his death, the will's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: how do I get a copy of my grandfather's will in puerto rico

he died and everyone said he left money for all his grand children, but my mother wont share a copy of the will. People are saying she stole my inheritence.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 25, 2022

I'm assuming that your grandfather died in Puerto Rico and that he granted his Last Will & Testament in Puerto Rico. As such, the first step would be to procure a copy of his death certificate from the Demographics Registry. With the certificate in hand, a request for certification would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can you remove someone from an inherited property that's been living there without paying rent.

The party living there is the son of 1 of the 5 inherited people. They also have a son who is autistic and lives there as well. Will that affect any decision made by a judge in a court of law

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 20, 2022

First off, in an estate where the heirs have been registered as the new owners of the real estate property, the other co-owners may require the heir (or son of the heir) to pay rent to the community. This, however, would be prospective, as of the date on which a formal letter is sent to the party... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Puerto Rico on
Q: Which order to follow & school expenses?

My husband’s original child support order only mentioned he is to pay the basic support amount and that he was to cover 50% of gastos escolares. His most recent modified order includes the basic support plus a supplementary monthly education expense (believes it’s for tutoring) and he is to... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

The answer to both of your questions is "Yes". Your child's father is responsible for paying half of any and all expenses associated to your child's education, including books, materials, clothing, and extracurricular activities.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I live in Puerto Rico with my daughter. I received a Family Court Summons from Bronx, NY.

I live in Puerto Rico. I was summoned to the Family Court in Bronx, NY, for custody/visitation. My main concern is why this case is going to be examined in NY if my daughter and I lived in PR for almost a year (since March 2021), and before that, she was born and we live in NJ. As per my limited... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 23, 2022

Although you're residing in Puerto Rico for a year does grant Puerto Rico courts jurisdiction over your child, you should not ignore the summons from a New York court. I recommend that you contact an attorney authorized the practice of law in New York and have him or her counsel you regarding... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Civil Litigation for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can the sale of a house in Puerto Rico be accomplished when one of four inheritors refuses to sell the house.

The probation of the inheritance has been completed. The house was the only property in the inheritance. There were no assets, liabilities or money in the inheritance. Each inheritor receive a different percentage of the house as inheritance. One inheritor received a majority percentage of the... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 21, 2022

When you state that inheritance probation has been accomplished, does this include updating the public registry to reflect the participation and percentages of all heirs? Assuming that this is the case, given the refusal of one of the heirs, your best recourse would be to go before the Puerto Rico... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Wrongful Death for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father died in Puerto Rico he build a home for us but he has people living inside what can I do to get the home
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 9, 2022

The first step to taking possession of the real estate property is by establishing whether your late father had granted his Last Will and Testament before dying. Else, I would recommend going before the Puerto Rico courts to petition a declaration of heirs. Once either the Will or the court's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father had his last will & testament notarized in Massachusetts. He lived in MA at the time of his death.

However, My father has 4 homes on one plot of land in PR. His last will & testament states that one child receives 70% of his estate and the other receives 30%. What is legally required next for the heirs to do?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 28, 2022

Before addressing the matter of the estate left in Puerto Rico by your late father, a certified copy of your father's will, issued by a Massachusetts probate court, needs to be protocolized via a poll deed by a Notary authorized to practice Notary Law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Puerto Rico on
Q: I live in the states but have a child support case in Puerto Rico. I can never get in contact with anyone.

My balance is outrageous and based off incorrect information. I never got to see the child. Just looking for information on how to go about this situation.

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Jan 12, 2022

Greetings

If your child support payment is based on false information you can always file for review and provide the proper information so the agency can correct the calculations.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Good Morning! This question is concerning property in Puerto Rico. My father past away and stepmom lives in the house.

The land was transfered under my name and the small two bedroom home is divded in between stepmom and myself since im the only child. It has been 7 years my father has passed. Do i lose my privillages since i have not done anything with the property in Puerto Rico. My stepmom is stating that she is... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 5, 2021

First off, my condolences on your loss. Second, I’d need to know whether your father granted his Last Will & Testament before his passing. Assuming that he left his Will, we’d need to determine whether he left your stepmom the right to inhabit the house for life. Even under those... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Health Care Law and Public Benefits for Puerto Rico on
Q: my grandmother is elderly she's in a wheel chair barely moves do to her conditions and weight.my grandfather was her

caretaker. He just passed now my uncle has her but is not taking care of her properly. What can I do? I am located in CT and she is located in PR

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 29, 2021

As part of the process to legally incapacitate an elderly citizen who can no longer care for him/herself, the Puerto Rico Civil Code requires that the candidate guardian reside in Puerto Rico. During the court process, any and all close relatives who can be considered for the guardianship must... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My sister passed away in Puerto Rico. I want to assume custody of my youngest nephew. His Dad has is not part of his lif

How can I get custody and how long does it take? My wife and I can take great care of him but we need to get back to FL in aprox 10 days.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 22, 2021

Good afternoon. As a general rule, Puerto Rico courts procure that guardians of orphaned minors reside within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; unless no other alternative guardians are available to care for the minor. A custody case requires that close kin be present at the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Family Law and Health Care Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Im currently taking care of my Grandmother 95 and her brother 91. How do I go about becoming their legal guardian in pr

To be able to deal with their insurance, bills and bank I have been asked several times if I have any documents that deemed me responsible legally for them. I'm not sure what the process is to do so and the responsibilities that come with the title of legal guardian.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 2, 2021

The Puerto Rico Civil Codes has a presumption that every adult is legally capable of managing his/her own affairs. Thus, getting to be designated as a tutor before Puerto Rico courts entails legally incapacitating your grandmother and grand-uncle. Doing so must be achieved in separate cases.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Health Care Law and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Hi my name is Peter. I moved to Puerto Rico from Chicago to care for my mother who had cancer and was living by herself.

My mother is 78 years old and cannot care for herself. I pay for all the bills and expenses. My question is, is there any financial assistance available, through guardianship that I can apply for and how do I get this financial asistance in order to be able to pay the bills and all other expenses?... Read more »

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Jul 21, 2021

Greetings:

Your mother can request government assistance to get food, try to qualify for medical assistance through medicaid and other services for the elderly through the local ombudsman offices as well as other government agencies that help the elderly.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: I have a court order video call visitation for my daughter(5yo) How can I modify it to physical visitations in Utuado
Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Jul 21, 2021

Greetings:

You will have to file a modification of visitation rights and regime.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: My younger sister was removed from my mothers home. I Only have 1 bedroom in my sm apt. I am employed will they give her

Does she need to have her own room? I have a pull out bed for her in my room.

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Apr 13, 2021

Greetings

As her legal guardian the state can try to make sure that the minor has her own space and that she-he is provided with everything required for her/his well being taking in consideration the economic means and capability of the legal guardian to be able to take care of the minor.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I ordered a new Puerto Rico birth certificate about 3 months. Is there a way to for someone to go pick one up personally

I have ordered directly and through their recommended site. It’s been over 90 days

Jose M. Rivera Santos
Jose M. Rivera Santos PRO label
answered on Feb 23, 2021

Greetings

The registry is working strictly on appointments and orders. Due to a large demand the request of birth certificates has piled up overwhelmingly during the pandemic situation we currently have.

I understand that you might have and urgent matter to attend, and while there...
Read more »

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