Legal Insight

Living Together Without Marriage Registration

Living together with a partner without being married or in a civil partnership is also called Cohabitation. In some areas of law you may not have the same rights as you would if you registered a civil partnership, although in other areas of law you will.

 

1. What are provisions on living together without marriage registration?

 

A marriage without registration in accordance with the law is not legal validity. Thus, the fact that a man and a woman living together as husband and wife without registering their marriage will not be recognized by the law as a legal husband and wife.

 

However, the marriage relationship could be recognized by law in some specific cases as follows:

 

  • A man and woman lived together as husband and wife before 03/01/1987;
  • In case a man and woman lived together as husband and wife from 03/01/1987 to 01/01/2001, they are obliged to register their marriage within two years from 01/01/2001 to 01/01/2003. If they registered their marriage before 01/01/2003, such marriage relationship shall be recognized from the beginning of living together as husband and wife. If they registered after 01/01/2003, such marriage relationship shall be recognized from the time of marriage registration.

 

Living together as husband and wife will be prohibited by law in the following cases:

 

  • A married person living together as husband and wife with another person or an unmarried or married person living as husband and wife with a married person; or
  • Living together as husband and wife between people of the same direct blood line; between people with surnames within three generations, between adoptive parents and adopted children; between a person who used to be an adoptive father or mother and an adopted child; father-in-law with daughter-in-law, mother-in-law with son-in-law, stepfather with stepchild of wife, stepmother with stepchild of husband.

 

2. Consequences of living together without marriage registration

 

A man and a woman who cohabiting without marriage registration shall have no rights and obligations between legally husband and wife.

 

In case children enter the picture in this situation, rights and obligations between a man and woman cohabiting as husband and wife and their children are still recognized and shall comply with the provisions on rights and obligations between parents and children prescribed in Law on Marriage and Family.

 

In case a couple who has not gone through a marriage registration but requests a divorce, the Court shall accept such request and declare non-recognition of their spousal relationship.

 

3. Principles of settlement of property relations, obligations and contracts

 

Another common concern cohabiting as husband and wife without marriage registration is the  settlement of property relations, obligations and contracts. In this circumstance, property relations, obligations and contracts shall be settled according to the agreement between the parties (if any) or according to the provisions of Civil Code. However, this settlement must ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the woman and the children.

 

If you want to set down clear legal rights in certain areas of your relationship with your partner, you can make an official agreement. This could be known as a cohabitation agreement – a civil agreement. This agreement should cover the following crucial points:

 

  1. Banking and debts
  2. Housing
  3. Death and inheritance
  4. Responsibility for children
  5. Ending a relationship

 

This agreement is the basis for the Court to divide the assets of the parties in the event of they do not want to live together anymore. If such agreement does not exist, the Court will base on the provisions of the Civil Code on common property and other factors such as the origin of the property, efforts to contribute, to settle property relations between the couple.

 

It is advisable to prepare this agreement in the early stage of the cohabitation process to fully understand the legal rights and issues affecting unmarried partners who are living together. You will need the help of an experienced family attorney to do this for you.

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