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Recently the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decided that no state can prohibit same sex marriages.  Puerto Rico is following this ruling and same sex marriages will soon be effective in Puerto Rico.  While some individuals question the applicability of the SCOTUS decision to Puerto Rico,  I believe the writing is on the wall.

While much of the attention is going to marriages which will be happening in the island very soon, I have my attention on two related subjects which I will present as questions.

Question #1 – What are the rights under Puerto Rico Law applicable to individuals who are in a same sex marriage that occured outside of Puerto Rico, and who had purchased real estate property in Puerto Rico as individuals (not as a married couple) before the SCOTUS decision?

Question #2 – As a notary, which are the notices I have to provide to individuals who were married outside of Puerto Rico (regardless of when the marriage ocurred), but who are now planning to purchase property in Puerto Rico as a married couple now that the SCOTUS decision allows them to do so?

Both items are challenging in many ways, and will be to those wanting to benefit from the SCOTUS decision.

On category #1, the application of Puerto Rico marital law would be automatic.  This means that the purchase would have to be performed by the married couple as if married under Puerto Rico Law. In this regards, absent a prenuptial agreement valid under Puerto Rico Law, the existence of the conjugal partership is compulsory in Puerto Rico.

Category #2 will be more challenging for me as a notary.  Throughout my years in practice, I have become aware that some states do not provide for an automatic creation of conjugal partnership which in Puerto Rico is compulsory.  My main challenge would be the amount of indoctrination I would have to provide parties acquiring a real estate property in Puerto Rico.  The answer to these questions continues to evolve as I handle more real estate transactions in Puerto Rico, and will certainly be revised in light of the recent SCOTUS decision.

And now, let your questions come trought.


Santiago F. Lampón