From an attorney’s office to a Legal Firm

When reading Charles Darwin as a young man, the way he referred to the theory of evolution and what this implied for human beings all round, attracted the full spectrum of my attention.

Once I graduated as a professional in law I followed a certain course, influenced perhaps by family inheritance, which was to maintain a traditional office organizational system. Clients came to our offices to ask questions regarding various branches law, and we saw to all this with a minimum of human or technological equipment.

It is understandable that in those times resources were rudimentary and very different to those available today. In addition to this, the demands of customers were different, they characterized themselves as passive customers.

There was an attitude on behalf of both the lawyer and the client, which we could describe as “sedentary”; the professional limited himself to the service of the user, to the search of a legal solution and the completion of the procedure that corresponded as requested by each particular case.

Now-a-days, the advances of human beings in all fields, the development of different technologies, new ways of doing business and the conditions and requirements of highly competitive environments, have led the way to accelerated changes in the way professionals in the field of law work.

Resources and society have been changing, transforming our professional environment and expanding our field of legal action, forcing us to engage and provide a wider range of professional and business services, so we can provide a more dynamic and higher quality service characterized by proactivity for and with the client.

In lieu of this new panorama of services and in accordance with the current requirements and demands of the market, we have taken the decision to create AVANTE LEGAL NETWORKING: a firm that is born from the hand of lawyers of vast experience, recognition and an impeccable trajectory, all blended with the thrust of new generations filled with fresh ideas and an updated perspective of the modern business world and the field of legal services.

Under the premise of a greater commitment to our clients needs, we have changed the traditional way of servicing and no longer wait for our clients to knock on our office doors in request of certain documents or advice. As professional advisors it is our duty to offer you an integral service by making all our work team available to you, and providing the added value of more comprehensive advice along with solutions to other interests and businesses in which you are immersed.

All this contact, proactivity and interest in the activities of our clients, translates into a growth in the commercial turnover of their businesses, which will be reinforced by our specialized high quality advice and therefore entail acts comprised of legal certainty, thus providing greater tranquility, and confidence to all parts.

The experience of this evolution has not only led to a modernization of our offices, equipment and technologies, but it has also triggered radical personal changes that have proven to be very positive and enriching: an alignment with current needs coupled with evolving hand in hand with society, all the while allowing me not only to be prepared for the demands of today, but also positioning me ONE STEP AHEAD.

NETWORKING: a modern business tool.

It is said that whoever has a friend has a treasure. In a broad sense, this is the essence of Networking.

A literal definition of NETWORKING would make reference to working with your network of contacts, that is: focusing time and resources on establishing a professional agenda with people who want to do business with you, or those who will want to do business with you in the future.

All people, regardless of their age or profession have a “Network” or a “Network of Contacts” that they have been acquiring naturally through the social relations that are implicit to the life of any human being. The size of this network of contacts may vary depending on each person, and the use given to this network depends only on the specific objectives mapped out and the ability to link contacts for a specific function.

Networking in the legal sector

The competitiveness of the sector has given rise to the establishment of new relations and cooperation between professionals of the sector who, far from promoting competition, seek collaboration and mutual aid.

At present it is extremely important to know how to establish and increase professional trust relationships with potential clients and references. In the legal sector, it is the trust between people that leads a client to handle a matter via a lawyer.

Advante Legal Networking

In Avante, our Network of Contacts is extremely important; our Networking is focused on the improvement of our services and provides our clients with greater possibilities of growth.

It is a reality that two heads think better than one, and in a world where business is increasingly complex, clients seek specialized advice in different fields. This is why we make our network of contacts available to both our customers and our collaborators.

In our case, networking works both in the legal domain and in the business domain. We value the needs of our clients, either on a personal level or taking into account the environment of their company, and we search for the best team of specialists that are required to attend to each specific case.

• Legal Networking

In Avante we have specialists in different areas of law and we understand that there is a specialist for every need, so we analyze each specific case to determine which professionals we can assign to provide the best solutions whilst presenting opportunities to our clients. These professionals, within the legal field, are part of our Network of contacts that has been previously valued, tested, and approved by both our clients and ourselves.

We believe in the co-growth of all Avante collaborators, so we promote joint learning and group analysis of cases. Today it is not valid think it is a threat to resort to other professionals for advice or collaboration; on the contrary, it is extremely enriching and positive to feed on the wisdom of other colleagues.

• Business Networking

Our network is not only limited to legal services. Through our years of experience and working in different fields we have realized that our most valuable network is made up of our own clients. In Avante we are interested in the growth of people’s businesses, so we seek to proactively engage in the commercial turn of events of each company, providing you with ideas and ways of growth in conjunction with other members of our network.

We are a link that generates better results in negotiations between people and the objectives of companies. We seek not only to provide you with the best legal service, but also to promote joint, secure, and well-organized growth with professionals from different branches that we consider to be the best in their areas. Our selected contacts offer a specific fit in connection to the market, the Company, and the client´s requirements in relation to their needs, their projection and the environment in which they are immersed.

We are able to link needs with skills, we offer solutions and opportunities accompanied by security, tranquility and confidence.

For all of the above reasons we add the word “Networking” to our company, we see it as a tool that must be used and applied. In our specific case we apply it as a business model.


The idea of living as a couple comes prior to the institution of marriage. However, despite being an older figure than marriage itself, the need arose for the state to value it, and set limits at the same time, since principle led to considered that the correct way to live together as a couple was through the marriage. Even so, history has shown that couples have resisted this general model and maintain the interest of living together in a less formal manner.

Napoleon considered that these people were living on the fringes of the law, and therefore did not deserve law´s intervention and regulation; thus, these types of relationships remained invisible under the fallacy that what is not regulated by the law does not exist. Thus, social conception held that those who were not married were sinful or evil.

Nevertheless, a Human Rights perspective shows that there is a fair negative to each right. For example: the right to marry and the right to not marry.

Now-a-days the acknowledgement of common law relationships is a reality in our modern law, so long as such a figure is properly contained in our Family Code.

“Article 242: The public, notorious, unique and stable common law relationship, lasting more than three years, between a man and a woman that possess legal capacity to marry, will have all the patrimonial effects inherent to legally formalized marriage, upon termination due to any cause.”

This description clearly presents the existence of requisites in order to establish this new relationship model; as such it must be

  • Public
  • Notorious
  • Stable
  • Unique

In addition, for this figure to be recognized as such, it must occur between a man and a woman, and possess all the capacities for a marriage. From the reading above it follows that a couple of the same sex could not consolidate a common law relationship, or in a similar manner, nor could clandestine relationships where one of the two participants is not single.

Marriage is a civil status; the married person demonstrates their status by means of a civil certification, so the person is registered in a civil manner. The common law relationship is a condition; it is not a civil status, because the Registry does not have it registered as a civil status.

Two questions arise:

¿How, then, is it demonstrated?

¿How can the State distinguish if coexistence/cohabitation exists?

The answer tells us that only for inheritance purposes; on the other hand, the legislator held it had to be public, notorious, stable, male-female, for over three years.

Additionally, and not of less importance, in order to benefit from the effects that are to be derived from this figure, it must be legally acknowledged:

“Article 243: For the effects indicated in the previous article, any of the partners or their heirs may request the Court to recognize the cohabitation (common law relationship). This action will be processed by means of the abbreviated process, regulated by the Civil Procedure Code, and will expire two years after the rupture of cohabitation or death of the actor. “

It should be noted that the Family Code introduces the seventh title, article 242 of the Family Code, six years after the Civil Code already talked about cohabitation. However, Article 242 clearly states

“It will have all the patrimonial effects of a marriage.”

And Article 243 insists

“for the purposes indicated in the previous article”.

We can say that at the beginning it was difficult to imagine the legalization of any union that was not provided by the celebration of marriage, however, with the passage of time, we had to start looking for ways to recognize other types of relationships, and such is the case of the common law relationships. When this new model of coexistence was legalized, equality among people was sought, bearing in mind that it was unfair that the same effects of marriage were not available; nonetheless, this was always under the protection of the law and in compliance with the fundamental requirements for its legalization.

It is worth remembering, in honor to the truth, that it was not Family Law that motivated the first order of legalization of common law relations, but rather the Civil Code; since approval of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1984), in such a way that women in Costa Rican society, as bearers of rights, could not be discriminated against due to their condition or civil status; the Law on the Promotion of Social Equality of Women was therefore issued in order to develop the principles of the mentioned Convention and avoid discrimination within our country.

From this moment onwards, the Civil Code allows the possibility of inheriting in the presence of a common law relationship, between people of different sex, as long as the other conditions required by the law for this model of relationship are fulfilled.

The aforementioned directly motivated Family legislation initiatives to grant the recognition of patrimonial effects in common law relationships and thus pave the way for the recognition of such unions, along with requesting the recognition of effects related to inheritance. (Abbreviated process, it will expire in two years from the rupture or death of the actor, Civil Procedure Code).

With regards to personal effects, the Constitutional Chamber made it clear that common law couples may adopt, in the same way, if they comply with the provisions of family legislation, and when either of the partners already has children from a previous relationship, their current partner may adopt the other’s children.