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.
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:
Living together as husband and wife will be prohibited by law in the following cases:
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.
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:
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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Le & Tran Building – Headquarters: Area No. 284 (Bld 9), Nguyen Trong Tuyen Street, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon Tower – City Center Office: Unit 8, Level 16, 29 Le Duan Blvd, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Daeha Business Center – Ha Noi Office: No.1606, 16th Floor, 360 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi City