The vast world of couples is sometimes complicated, when it comes to simple processes and feelings. From courtship, through concubinage relationships and ending in a sacred marriage, in most cases.

Domestic partnerships, are one of the many ways in which two people decide to unite their lives, like marriage or a relationship such as concubinage, there are too many details to know, as well as advantages and disadvantages present in the law.

In this article we will know what de facto couples really are, as well as their advantages and disadvantages in a legal way. You or an acquaintance may be in a relationship of this style.

What are domestic partnerships?

De facto couples are a family structure, which unlike cohabitation couples, the couple lives together without having contracted marriage, being recognized with certain legal effects so that they meet pre-established legal requirements.

This type of couple is legally recognized, so they can enjoy the same rights that are offered to a marriage. They can live together, have children and start a family.

In fact there are websites such asEmigroo, where services are provided as residences for de facto couples, in a majority of countries such as Spain mentioning that “In Spain, 14 of the 17 autonomous communities have approved laws on de facto couples. With the same duties and rights.”

Characteristics of domestic partnerships

Domestic partners share many similarities to a formal couple within a marriage. Even of a concubinage relationship, however, it is important to know the characteristics that make domestic partners unique:

They constitute a public union

Domestic partnerships are a public union in the eyes of the law. Being recognized and accepted. In different communities it requires a public registry. Clearly without the need for marriage or another form of union. This in order to have the same rights and legal measures.

No marriage takes place

A common-law couple does not need to see the need to get married. It is not about insecurity, but it is a way that certain people see it, they do not believe marriage is necessary to live and build a family formally.

With this they can even have children, enjoying all their legal rights, without differences from a marriage. And they are also guided by a community property regime, separation of assets or participation.

They have legal obligations and rights

Domestic couples, when recognized within a legal system, have their obligations and rights, like those that are given to a marriage. The process can change, varying from the cases that are found.

They can exercise rights such as having children, widow’s pensions, compensatory pensions and medical care. They have specific obligations such as tax payments, labor and housing compliance.

Can occur in different-sex couples

Domestic partnerships have been opened in recent years, in autonomous towns of some countries such as Spain, for example, it is legal for people of the same sex to enjoy being domestic partnerships.

In this sense, they enjoy the same right that is offered to heterosexuals. As the law firmGaran Law mentions , “Catalonia was the pioneer community in Spain in regulating unmarried couples. From which today they continue to benefit, both heterosexual and homosexual unions”.

They usually have an autonomic regulation

The autonomous regulations on unmarried couples vary depending on the sectors and autonomous towns. Since in a state of the European Union like Spain, this type of civil union is not regulated at the state level, for this reason each autonomous community has regulated its own law on de facto unions.

In Andalusia, for example, according to the Iberly page page, “de facto unions are regulated by Law 5/2002 on Domestic Partnerships, which defines the de facto partnership as the union of two people, regardless of their sexual option, order to live together in a stable way.

How is a de facto couple constituted?

Domestic partnerships are not formed simply and without prior agreement. There are certain requirements (such as a civil code and civil registry), which must be met to form a common-law couple, which are well regarded by the population in which they surround themselves:

They must be of legal age or independent

A common-law couple is made up of people of legal age. They must be independent in the sense of enjoying their own job and home. In addition, they must prove through declarations of cohabitation, signed by witnesses, that they have been living together as a couple for one or two years.

They must not be disabled

A common-law couple must not be made up of people who are legally incapacitated. Legal incapacity is not approved nor does it have a good view. In the case of the situation of a natural person, who does not have the capacity to act due to his physical or psychological state. For this reason, he needs another person to govern his person or her property.

There must be no relationship

A common-law couple should not be governed by relatives who share ties and the same blood, referring to incest relationships. Because in several countries it is punishable and in many cases incest is considered a means of sexual violence. For this reason, common-law couples should not be related to each other.

They must not be married

It is a necessary requirement, a de facto couple can live with each other and share a deep affection. But what is necessary is not to be in a marriage, nor have plans to contract a marriage.

It is one of the necessary requirements to become a common-law couple, since the process will be different from what is done in a formal marriage.

They must have a certain time of coexistence

A domestic partnership requires statements, along with witnesses (such as relatives or friends of both parties), to confirm that the domestic partner has been living for one or two years.

Acting as a civil registry, this validates the process of a de facto couple since the affection and commitment that both have is confirmed, this works for common-law relationships.

They usually register with a public notary

Domestic partnerships are usually registered and approved in public notaries, these are in charge of preparing and processing public deeds for the facts and acts provided by law or when the parties wish to do so.

For these reasons, the union of a common-law couple can be legally validated, which is important for this process.

Advantages of unmarried couples

Domestic partnerships have a wide network of advantages, where they benefit from rights just like a marriage process. It has its most notorious advantages within this civil union. Therefore, these advantages will be summarized in the following:

They can have a widow’s pension

Common-law couples can enjoy different pensions, the widow’s pension is one of the most virtuous for couples in more fragile moments.

In the event of the death of one of the spouses, the other will be entitled to receive a pension (receive money) regardless of their income or the time they have been married. Needless to say, the domestic partnership is dissolved with the death of one of the spouses.

They can have work permits just like a marriage

A common-law couple may have work permits (that is, authorization to carry out a job), as happens in a couple within a marriage.

In addition, unlike a marriage where 15 days of leave is recognized for that union, it does not contemplate it in the same way for the common-law couple, unless a collective agreement to which the worker is attached provides for it.

In case of rupture, the economic regime is voluntary

In de facto couples there is no economic regime (a set of regulations that regulates how the spouses administer and manage their assets), it is voluntary from the beginning of the union.

This prevails the will, that the couple in fact establish specific agreements between them, in the sense of heritage and economic situation. In the event of abreakup , they are not required to owe each other any assets, except by mutual agreement.

With respect to children, they have the same obligations and rights

Domestic couples have the freedom to procreate children and even adopt them. These children will benefit from the same rights and duties with which they are born, this being a form of social security, using the right to education or medical care.

The parents of a common-law couple have the duty to ensure the well-being of the children, being part of the family that is formed in the common-law couple.

They can enjoy health care

The common-law couple can enjoy health care for both spouses, this type of care is based on access to medicines and medical services such as pharmaceuticals or other complementary ones, in order to preserve, protect and restore the health of the beneficiaries.

They can access financial aid

A domestic partner has the right to apply for financial assistance, whatever their case or the state and community they are in.

You can apply for financial aid or loan from a bank, you can apply to the same government of your state and all in order to cover expenses, whether hospital or otherwise. It is an established right that can be given to the couple when recognized in law.

Disadvantages of domestic partnerships

Domestic partnerships are not entirely perfect, when it comes to a Commitment, there are certain disadvantages that should be known before joining someone in a domestic partnership. It is important to be informed about this, which is recommended for stable couples:

There is no fixed economic regime in case of rupture

As stated above, in the event of a breakup there is no obligation for the couple to owe each other money or division of specific assets (such as housing and other physical materials).

Unlike a marriage, where the law establishes that in the event of divorce each of the spouses may participate in the profits that their partner has obtained, in a domestic partnership this is not reflected in any act. It would rather be a mutual commitment between the two people, at best.

They do not have the right to inheritance as forced heirs

As there is no economic regime in a common-law couple, neither is the right to inheritance reflected, in the event of death or separation of the spouses. Therefore, it will not be necessary to attend a supreme court.

It can also vary from each state or community, normally and as mentioned by the magazine Lawyers and InheritancesIn the Canary Islands there is regulation on common-law couples but it does not have jurisdiction over Inheritance Law, having to abide by Civil Law. The will must be made if you want to leave the couple protected, the legitimate heirs of the forced heirs who would be the children must always be respected, and in default the parents in said Inheritance. ”

Cannot file taxes jointly

Taxes are declared jointly in marriage. In a common-law relationship, this is not usual. The members of said common-law couple may only choose to file the tax declaration individually.

Must meet requirements for widow’s pension

To obtain the widow’s pension, the domestic partner must meet certain pre-established requirements in the law. One of them is to be in a relationship of two or more years, this must be registered and embodied by the public notary.

It is important to emphasize that in each community an income limit is set for the surviving spouse. If you pass it, even though you can prove everything else, you will not be entitled to receive the widow’s pension.

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