Real Estate & Legal Topics

Love, Marriage and Real Estate in Mexico

Marriage and buying real estate are exciting events in one's life, however we have to play devil's advocate and suggest some legal considerations for couples in Mexico

  • Marriage to a Mexican citizen will enable the foreign spouse to obtain a temporary visa and eventually permanent residence. The marriage will grant a foreigner one-year temporary residency, which may be renewed for a total of two years. Once the two years as a temporary resident is complete, they may apply for permanent residency.
  • The couple must specify whether they wish to marry under the system of Joint Ownership Property (sociedad conjugal) or a Non-Joint Ownership Property (separación de bienes).
  • When it comes to purchasing real estate as a couple, the foreign spouse should take specific measures to protect themselves. A foreigner spouse cannot purchase property in the restricted zone without a trust. However, a Mexican citizen may buy within in this area with direct title. During the honeymoon stage, it may seem like a great idea to purchase the property in the Mexican spouse’s name to avoid bank trust fees and hold a free title on the property. But, in the event the marriage dissolves, either due to divorce or if the Mexican spouse passes away, the foreign spouse will not be able to claim the property without first transferring the property to a fideicomiso. The safest solution would be for the couple to form a Mexican corporation in both names in order to purchase property in the restricted zone.
  • Same-sex couples living in a common-law arrangement may consider purchasing real estate through a corporation since some Mexican courts still consider common-law marriage a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico, but same-sex common-law unions may face challenges when it comes to property, separation or the death of a partner. As owners of a corporation, a will should be in place since the statutes state you cannot inherit your shares; a will is required to designate the shares to your partner.
  • If the couple’s home is built on Ejido land, the foreign spouse is not able to claim the property; only Mexican citizens are entitled to this property, and Ejido property cannot be purchased by a corporation.

For more information regarding forming a corporation, estate planning and real estate purchases Full article

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