The Civil Union Agreement is a contract drawn up between two partners before a Lawyer & a Notary who formalises the partnership and the couple acquires rights and obligations that equate it with married couples. The Agreement acquires legal force from the moment that its copy is submitted to the registrar of the place of residence of the two partners and will be registered in the specific book of the competent Registry. After the activation of the Agreement, the two partners are able to take advantage of its benefits.
Why should a couple prefer the Civil Partnership Agreement instead of marriage (religious or civil)?
The main reason for a couple to choose the Civil Partnership Agreement is because it is easy to dissolve. It is chosen by people who want to feel free to "leave" the relationship without having to become involved in legal disputes (divorce).
The Agreement is relatively easy to dissolve, namely in one of the following ways:
a) by agreement of the contracted individuals in person with a notarised document!
b) with a unilateral notarised declaration served by a court enforcement officer!
This way you feel free, while at the same time there are several rights that are either provided by law or can be regulated between partners.
What are the similarities and, most importantly, what are the differences between an Agreement and a marriage?
The Civil Partnership Agreement is a cohabitation contract in which the parties have the right to regulate certain issues (rights and obligations) that in the case of marriage are provided by law.
In particular: in the case of simple cohabitation, the cohabitants are not provided in any way with rights for each other. In marriage, these rights are explicitly defined. In the case of the Agreement, individuals are free to determine the way they want their issues to be regulated, e.g. alimony issues, their property relations, the fate of the assets that will be acquired during the Agreement, and other issues that the law imposes on the marriage.
For example, it can be agreed that for each property acquired by one partner, the other will not have any right on this or be restricted in the alimony obligation, which cannot be done in the case of marriage. Also, as we said above, an important difference is the way the Agreement is dissolved without the interference of courts.
However, we must not forget that a married couple has more rights and obligations towards their spouse than the couple who has chosen the Civil Partnership Agreement. In other words, it should be understood that the Agreement does not come to replace the institution of marriage, it simply comes to fill a gap that existed before its establishment in terms of the rights and obligations of people who choose to live together without marriage, (eg. in case they were having children).
Does the Agreement have the same validity as marriage for both parties regarding the tax office or other public services (eg insurance, pension, etc.)?
These matters are not regulated by the law that determines the operation of the Civil Partnership Agreement. However, from the consultation of the Legal Council of the State, we know that the Agreement is not similar to marriage in these matters. In particular, the LCS has consulted that the provisions of social security law do not include individuals who have signed a Civil Partnership Agreement. However, we do not know how the case law (namely the decisions of the courts) will develop on this issue.
What happens in the event of death of one of the two partners, who have entered into an Agreement, in relation to inheritance rights? What percentage of the property is the surviving partner entitled to? Do partners who enter into an Agreement have the same inheritance rights as in marriage?
No, they do not have the same rights.
In marriage, the surviving spouse is considered an heir if there is no will and receives the ¼ of the inheritance if there are children and the ½ of the inheritance if there are no other relative heirs.
In the Agreement, respectively, the surviving partner is considered an heir and receives 1/6 of the inheritance if there are children and 1/3 if there are no other relative heirs.
Children born during the term of the Agreement have exactly the same rights as those born during a marriage.
Children born during the term of the Agreement or within three hundred days from the termination of the Agreement have the same rights as those born during the marriage!!
Specifically, the Law on the Civil Partnership Agreement stipulates that: “the child who was born during the Civil Partnership Agreement or within three hundred days from the termination or recognition of its invalidity, carries the surname chosen by his parents by their joint and irrevocable declaration contained in the Agreement or in a subsequent notarial document, before the birth of the first child”.
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