Mexican Law/Separados


I have an elderly father who is planning on getting married in the state of Jalisco to a Mexican woman.  Many in the family are concerned about estate law and wondering how the bienes separados works and protects the estate in the U.S.  Is the law specific to divorce or also in the case of death?  If the marriage is only binding in Mexico, will she become u.s. citizen and then be able to collect his social security upon his passing?  In regards to his property in Mexico, will she have rights to it down the road?  As I mentioned he is elderly and determined to do this for "companionship"...

The marriage, if done properly will be recognized in both countries.  Being married under separate property should give him a certain level of protection but for better protection place the US assets in a trust so that under no circumstances will the US assets be at risk.  This will depend on how much control your father wants to give to the family to have less personal risk, please see a US trust attorney for ways to properly protect assets, think judgment proof.  

If your father is to get the lady pregnant she could get up to 40% of his assets so take affirmative steps to make sure that doesn't happen or risk the consequences.  Jalisco is being very liberal with regards to thwarting separate property and allowing spouses more options to collect from the wealthier one.

Becoming a US citizen takes certain steps and financial requirements as well as a physical presence in the US, please consult a US immigration attorney for more info.  

Being able to collect social security benefits as a non US citizen requires periodic stays in the US which would mean that the wife would need at the very least a tourist visa.  

Mexican Law

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Lic. Spencer Richard Mc Mullen


All general law questions regarding Mexico. Birth / Death / Marriage certificates / Apostilles as well as real estate documents from the State of Jalisco and dual nationality. Licenciado en Derecho (Mexican law degree) Cedula 7928026 / Estatal 114067), Postgraduate Specialty Degree and 8 postgraduate diploma degrees, official Jalisco State Court Translator (Perito Traductor), US Consulate and Guadalajara Municipal Translator


Law degree, specialty degree, postgraduate courses, intern for 3 years in State Civil Court in Chapala, Jalisco, interned 1 year in Jalisco State Supreme Court, extensive ongoing continuing education, past and present litigation in all types of courts (Federal, State, District, Agrarian, Criminal, Administrative, Tax, Business, Family, Civil, Unitarian, Appellate, Municipal), Internship in a Notary Public office

Barra Mexicana de Abogados, ANADE Colegio de Abogados, Mexican Translators Association, Colegio de Abogados de Derecho Fiscal y Administrativo del Estado de Jalisco, Colegio de Abogados de Chapala,

Yuculandia, Informador, Lake Chapala Reporter, Guadalajara Reporter,,, Good Morning America, ABC News Texas, Various online news sources,

Licenciado en Derecho (Law Degree) - Universidad America Latina, Especialidad en Derecho Procesal Civil y Mercantil (Specialty Postgraduate Degree) - Universidad Panamericana, Jalisco State Judicial Council Authorized Court Translator, Municipality of Guadalajara Authorized Translator, Federal Banking and Insurance Commission Arbitrator, Postgraduate diploma course in Condominium Administration, Postgraduate diploma course in Procedural Law, Postgraduate diploma course in Contractual Law, Postgraduate diploma course in Human Rights and Extraordinary Constitutional Writs, Postgraduate diploma course in Administrative Law, Postgraduate diploma course in Notarial Law, Postgraduate diploma course in Corporate Law, Postgraduate diploma course in Municipal Law, Certified Attorney ANADE Colegio de Abogados 2013, 2014, 2015 Mortgage Agent Certification - Mexican Association of Financial Intermediaries, California Real Estate Broker License US Federal Mortgage License Various courses in civil, business and tax law

Awards and Honors
Certified Attorney ANADE Colegio de Abogados 2013, 2014, 2015

Past/Present Clients
Large corporate clients as well as individuals and estates

©2017 All rights reserved.