Settlement Agreement

Costa Rica Settlement Agreement / Separation Agreement / Prenuptial Agreement

Everything You Need to Know before Drafting a Settlement Agreement

Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries when it comes to destination weddings. Each year, thousands of people from all over the world travel to this Latin American country to have their dream wedding. But unfortunately, approximately 47 percent of these marriages end in divorce or separation, based on 2021 statistics.

There are several reasons why a marriage might not work out. But regardless of the reason, there is no doubt that going through a divorce can be one of the most traumatic experiences that one will have to go through. Not only is it emotionally draining but it can also involve a considerable amount of financial loss.

In order to protect their interests in the event of a failed marriage, a lot of people these days who get married in Costa Rica come prepared with settlement agreements, prenuptial agreements or separation agreements. These are documents that ensure the protection of your interests, your properties and your rights in case you find yourself in the middle of divorce once the joy of wedded bliss is over.

Reasons for Having a Settlement Agreement

A lot of people have the impression that settlement agreements or prenuptial agreements are only applicable to celebrities or other high-profile couples, particularly those who have a considerable fortune to their names. But any couple can actually sign a settlement agreement prior to getting married. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to consider doing the same thing.


While it seems highly unromantic and in direct contrast to the dreamy ambiance of a Costa Rican wedding, now is the time where being practical must sometimes take precedence over all notions of romance. If you have a settlement agreement, you can avoid a lot of the mess that typically comes with a nasty divorce. Of course, signing a settlement agreement doesn't automatically mean that you expect your marriage to end up in divorce, but it's never a bad idea to be prepared for all possibilities.


It is an unfortunate fact that in Costa Rica, cases of fraudulent marriages have been rising in the past few years. Many individuals use marriage for a variety of vested interests. Some simply want to acquire citizenship while others are purposely going after a hefty alimony. In order to protect yourself from the clutches of these deceitful persons, you can draft a thorough settlement agreement that will cover all your bases and keep your rights protected.

Protection for the Children

Whether children are already part of the family or if the couple plans on having children in the future, the settlement agreement can include a section that addresses child custody and support matters in case of a divorce. The exact details need not be listed in the agreement, like the amount of support or the schedule of visitation, as these are to be determined by a judge. However, having the couple's intentions for the future in black and white might make the divorce proceedings go on more smoothly.

Why Hire a Lawyer

A settlement agreement is a legal and binding document that is not to be taken lightly. Drafting such an agreement is not meant to take away from the love and romance in a relationship but at the same time, you have to make sure that such a contract is legally sound and valid, just in case you do have to use it in the event of a divorce.

In order to protect the rights of the couple, only a qualified lawyer should be hired to draw up a settlement agreement. To be more precise, you should find an attorney that is well-versed in Costa Rican law and that is extensively familiar with the Costa Rican Family Code and all its nuances. The slightest mistake or omission in a settlement agreement can cost you millions in property losses and traumatic emotional stress if the marriage does dwindle down to a separation.

It is even more important that you hire a lawyer to draft a settlement agreement for you if you are living in Costa Rica or are married to a Costa Rican resident but are yourself not an official resident. Not having the appropriate content in your settlement agreement can have dire consequences and might negatively affect your stay in the country.

Drawing up a Settlement Agreement

The main purpose of a settlement agreement is the avoidance of messy disputes during a divorce. Thus, this document should primarily contain the terms and conditions for the distribution of assets, alimony, and custody, among a few other things. The wording should be very precise and in accordance with the intricacies of Costa Rican Law.

Thus, the lawyer drafting your settlement agreement should have both a thorough understanding of your wishes as well as complete comprehension of the law. They should also take time in drawing up the agreement instead of doing it hastily. The documents should also be reviewed meticulously multiple times before the signing of the parties concerned. It should also be duly registered with the Costa Rican Civil Registry.

Unlike in the United States where a prenuptial agreement is prepared and signed prior to the marriage, Costa Rican settlement agreements can be drafted even after the marriage has already commenced. Furthermore, both spouses can modify the agreement at any time if they wish, provided that the revised version is witnessed by a lawyer and once again registered with the Civil Registry.

We Secure Your Future While You Enjoy Your Present

Our law firm has had several years of experience drafting settlement agreements for couples who are married in Costa Rica, from basic contracts with just the standard inclusions to those that have conditions and stipulations that are out of this world. We guarantee that all documents we provide for you are legally sound and will give complete protection to your rights and interests as a couple and as individuals.

Legalities and documentation are a part of getting married but you don't have to stress yourself about these matters. You can leave us to do all the contracts and paperwork for future possibilities while you just enjoy living in the present with your spouse in a love-filled marriage.

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