Today, couples have the choice between several unions: marriage, cohabitation and the Pacs. Each status has its own characteristics, to study carefully before embarking on a life of two.
Marriage, Pacs, cohabitation : comparison
Roleplay: Zoe and Joan have decided to live together. Their goal is to make the legal basis of their union coincide with their current and future situation. The notary explains the legal, financial, and fiscal consequences of each status to them.
If Joan and Zoe get married
They round off an act which is both legal and solemn, the latter entails extended duties and rights between spouses, established by the Civil Code and jurisprudence. If one or both of them ever decide to end the marriage, they will need to initiate amicable or contentious divorce proceedings.
If they opt for a Civil Union
They sign a contract under which they owe each other mutual and material assistance. If they decide to end the Civil union, one-sidedly by bailiff's act or jointly, the disbanding will be registered either at the town hall of the partners' place of residence on the date of the Civil Union’s registration, or at the notary who registered the Civil Union. (If the Civil Union was rounded off before November 1, 2017 with the District Court registry, the disbanding will be carried out with the civil status officer of the District municipality registry, who registered the Civil Union).
Last but not least, cohabitation is a de facto situation. There is no duty or obligation and no procedure is required to end the latter.