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Puerto Rico Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Puerto Rico on
Q: If I have a court ordered visitation with my son he lives in New York state and I'm in Puerto Rico can my ex deny me
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 15, 2024

In general, if you have a court-ordered visitation schedule, your ex-partner is obligated to follow that order, even if you live in Puerto Rico and your son lives in New York. However, there are a few important considerations:

1. Jurisdiction: Ensure that the court order is valid and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How do I file charges against my husband for adultery if I live in CA but he moved to Puerto Rico with his mistress

My husband moved to Puerto Rico with his mistress, she is now pregnant. I live in California with our 4 year old child. He has refused to pay child support and evaded all financial responsibility for our baby. We are still legally married, currently going through a divorce. He has spend all our... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 3, 2024

I'm so sorry you're going through this incredibly difficult situation. What your husband has done is awful and unfair to you and your child. Unfortunately, California law does not allow for criminal charges to be filed against a spouse for adultery. California is a "no-fault"... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Does alimony get paid in Puerto Rico?? We've been divorced 20 years. Can she file?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 11, 2024

Yes, alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance) can be ordered in Puerto Rico following a divorce, just as it can in U.S. states. However, there are a few important points to consider in your situation:

1. Time since divorce: In most cases, if alimony was not originally ordered...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Is credit card inherited under the Puerto Rico law? I know some debt is but I am interested to know about credit cards.

My greataunt passed a few months ago. We notified the creditors and tried to cancel all cards. She left a will but the money she had was used for funeral and medical expenses in the months she was sick. She did leave some land though. Can the heirs in the will inherit the credit card debt? I know... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 28, 2024

According to Puerto Rico law, credit card debt is generally not inherited by heirs named in a will.

Specifically, Article 584 of the Puerto Rico Civil Code states that heirs are only responsible for a deceased person's debts up to the value of the property they inherit.

So if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How does PR verify or confirm if there are additional heirs entitled to inheritance? is the heir process a civil process

I was raised by my grandparents and potentially found out through ancestry.com that my grandma may have had children from a previous marriage. If she did, they were not born or raised in PR, but neither was I. Do I need to disclose potential/alleged children if I don't have legal confirmation... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 24, 2024

In Puerto Rico, the process of verifying heirs and confirming entitlement to inheritance typically involves a civil procedure overseen by the courts. If you suspect that there may be additional heirs entitled to inheritance, it's important to disclose any information or evidence you have, even... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Is the law different in Puerto Rico on leaving a 16 yr child home alone after school while I’m at work

He is a mature teenager

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 1, 2024

The laws regarding leaving a 16-year-old child home alone after school can vary by jurisdiction, and Puerto Rico may have its own specific regulations or guidelines. It's important to check with local authorities or consult an attorney in Puerto Rico who is knowledgeable about family and child... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Our parents are deceased and they left us a house. There was 8 of us but one of our brothers passed.

We are all on agreement to sell the house except my deceased bothers’s kids. They never lived in PR, they live in the states. Can we sell the house without their consent? We are definitely giving them my brother’s portion of the sale.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jan 4, 2024

You cannot sell an hereditary estate when one or more heirs are against the sale. It has to be a unanimous consent; or else, you'll need to go before the Puerto Rico Courts. This would be the legitimate way to anull your nephews' and/or nieces' lack of consent. Living in the states,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father passed. I soon found out he owed CREM. Am I responsible for paying it?
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Dec 28, 2023

The Puerto Rico rule of law defines a deceased person's estate as made up of the deceased's assets and liabilities. As such, any and all debts owed by the deceased person and/or by his (her) estate must be assumed by his (her) heirs up to the amount inherited. Thus, the to answer your... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Puerto Rico on
Q: Pension alimentaria a joven de 18 que no estudia.

Bajo las leyes de Puerto Rico, un joven de 18 años, graduado hace un año (2022) de esc superior, no continuó estudios universitarios, no trabaja, tiene derecho a recibir pensión alimentaria hasta los 21 años?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 27, 2023

En Puerto Rico, todo joven menor de 21 años se considera menor de edad; y, por lo tanto, acreedor a pensión alimentaria. Si la pensión es a través de ASUME o fue establecida por orden del tribunal, aún si llega a los 21 años, la suspensión de la pensión no es automática; y requiere que... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Currently trying to figure out how to update my name and gender marker on my PR Birth Certificate. Any advice?

Trying to get passport and the only document that doesn’t reflect my name change and gender marker is my birth certificate which I been told I have to get fixed in PR by a lawyer but not sure where to go from there as I’m having a hard time finding a lawyer who does this kind of thing.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Sep 28, 2023

An attorney in Puerto Rico should advise, but you await a response for two weeks. At this point, you could reach out to attorneys. You could supplement your own searches with the "Find a Lawyer" tab above, and with bar association attorney referral services. Those resources are outside... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do I need to follow ASUME rules or signed court agreement?

We have never gone thru ASUME, but my Ex continues to tell me that I am obligated to cover all of the cost that I would have to as if we did go thru ASUME. She lived in PR with my daughters, and I live in NJ. I pay my monthly amount and then some when I can. My oldest daughter is 17 turning 18 in... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2023

The court order trumps ASUME. The Administration for the Sustenance of Minors (ASUME) is the Puerto Rico government agency by which Puerto Rico enacts the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act of February 9, 1993. There may be a benefit to paying through ASUME, in that they can certify that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support, Civil Litigation and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Husband is double charged with 2 different child support agency’s. PR and Massachusetts

My husband has a son who is 20 years old. He resides in Massachusetts since the age of 5. The mother had an order of child support through assume but when she moved to Massachusetts, she opened on there. We paid child support to her trough Massachusetts and once the child turn 18 it stopped. But... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 6, 2023

If you live in North Carolina, I suggest that your husband retain the services of a Puerto Rico attorney. So long as ASUME is not informed that the 20 year-old's case was transferred to Massachusetts, they'll continue recognizing the amounts owed and surcharges will continue to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Puerto Rico on
Q: can a grown up ward of a guardian leave said guardian?

Ive been living in Puerto Rico with my grandmother for the last 5 years, when i came down to pr my parents were in a bad spot and could not properly take care of me, i told her everything and she put me under a guardianship with her, the last time i was informed on what was going on with the... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jun 21, 2023

A person comes of age in Puerto Rico at 21. What your grandmother has told you is not correct nor is it legal. If you're already 21 years of age or older, you are legally capable of making your own decisions and leaving, if you wish to do so.

If you're studying in college, you do...
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can my ex-spouse re-request child support in PR after my child turns 18 - IF our custody order was created in a US state

We had a child custody order, and I maintain jursidiction in my state. She moved to PR with child. Based on my state, child support will end at 18. After it's completed, can she in turn file for child support in PR upon my child turning 18 as a new child support case?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on May 29, 2023

First off, she must reside in Puerto Rico with your child for a year, in order to demostrate residence. Once Puerto Rico is the state of residence, adulthood is achieved upon reaching 21. So long as you pay child support, you can present the case to the court or to ASUME (the Administration for... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can my mentally disabled sister transfer 75% of shares of the house and land willed to her by our deceased parents?

My father’s will gave my mentally disabled sister 75% of the house and surrounding land in Puerto Rico with the balance divided evenly between me, my other 2 sisters and my brother. However because she can’t live alone (my father was taking care of her on the property) she wants to give me her... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on May 22, 2023

The only way to achieve this would be through a court authorization. Puerto Rico Civil Code presumes that all adults are judicially capable to make their own decisions. In the case of mentally disabled adults, a lawsuit must be filed with the court to legally incapacitate your sister and assign her... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: En su testamento, mi padre me nombra albacea con expresión relevo de fianza y sin límite de tiempo con facultad para

Cobrar rentas, utilidades, administrar y tomar medidas de protección del caudal. También añade facultades extraordinarias para la ejecución del testamento de vender. ¿Con esa facultad extraordinaria de vender, puedo vender solo con la autorización verbal de los otros herederos forzosos sin... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on May 22, 2023

Buenas tardes. Antes que nada, una vez fallecido su padre, son dos pasos que debe llevar a cabo: Primero, debe levantar un inventario del caudal en los primeros 30 días siguientes al fallecimiento, para tener una idea de lo que dejó. Segundo, debe acudir al tribunal para solicitar cartas... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Puerto Rico on
Q: Para ley de Puerto Rico ¿Cómo puedo proceder a vender una casa (soy albacea y heredero del testamento) ... vea abajo:

¿Cómo puedo proceder a vender una casa (soy albacea y heredero del testamento) cuando uno de los herederos (total de 6 herederos directos) ha tomado posesión de la casa y se niega a aceptar cualquier venta de la propiedad?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 23, 2023

Primer paso (si ya no lo ha hecho) debe ser solicitar, mediante Petición al Tribunal, que se expida carta testamentaria a su favor como albacea. Para esto, debe otorgar declaración jurada aceptando usted el cargo de albacea. Esta declaración jurada se envía al notario que autorizó el... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do I have to keep paying child support if my 18 yo son joins the Coast Guard or any military branch?

I live in Florida and my son lives with his mother in PR. His mom gave him 2 options... (1) go to College and study whatever you want or (2) Join the Coast Guard. I know my obligations if he decides to go to college, but if he joins any branch of the military at 18 years of age, I can't... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 16, 2023

Your message does not state whether child support was assigned by the Puerto Rico courts. In any event, even if and when your son reaches the legal age of 21, release from child support payments is not automatic: you would have to submit a Motion before the Court for relief from child support.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can ownership of property be passed to a spouse when owner is deemed medically incompetent? (Puerto Rico Law)

Property filed under name of spouse who developed Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's. Can property be transferred to the healthy spouse? What rights, if any, do the children of the sick spouse have to the property in question? Do the children need to be considered in the transfer of property... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Mar 6, 2023

Under Puerto Rico law, an incapacitated individual's property may not be transferred to another person. Nevertheless, the administration and care of said property may be assigned to another. The healthy spouse would need to incapacitate the spouse suffering from dementia and/or alzheimer, and... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mother and father died leaving a house and one acre lot in Puerto Rico to 10 brothers and sisters. Emotionally toug

The place has great emotional value to all, We all grew up there, but one brother has taken over, made additions to the the house and now claims it to himself, restricting or downright prohibiting the entrance to all others against our mother’s wishes. He will not reason and broke contact with... View More

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Feb 23, 2023

When one of many heirs assumes control of an hereditary estate, the final recourse is to go before the courts in Puerto Rico. You may not want to sell, but your siblings have an equal right in the matter. Also, Puerto Rico Civil Code states that no commoner may be forced to remain in a property... View More

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