Entering into a civil partnership in Luxembourg

4 min / 5 chapters 20/05/2018
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PACS or civil partnership exists in Luxembourg since 2004. PACS grants civil partners similar rights to those given by marriage, including in case of same-sex union. What do you need to know about civil partnership in Luxembourg? What are the steps to be taken? Relodesk gives you useful information about it.

What is a civil partnership or PACS?

The civil partnership, or Pacs, is a civil union between 2 individuals of the same or opposite sex. The aim is to grant civil partners rights that are similar to those enjoyed by married couples. It provides legal recognition and security in civil, fiscal and social security matters for unmarried people.

Rights, obligations and tax implications

  • Rights and obligations

Declaring the partnership sets up rights and obligations between partners, whether or not the Pacs involves a specific written agreement:

  • Obligation to provide mutual and material assistance,
  • Settlement of debts,
  • Protection of the shared home.

The civil partnership grants civil partner rights that are similar to those enjoyed by married couples.

  • Tax implications 

Partners may request to be taxed jointly. As a result, they are treated in the same way as married couples. They are taxed jointly in tax class 2, can claim tax deductions. Depending on the situation, an allowance may be deducted from their taxable income. Otherwise, they can file an individual tax return to report their own income: each partner will be taxed in class 1 or 1A then.

Note: the civil partnership must have existed for an entire tax year, i.e. from January 1st to December 31st.

Some couples are also entitled to an extra-professional allowance, usually and automatically granted by the Administration des contributions directes (Luxembourg Inland Revenue).

In the absence of a property settlement agreement

In the absence of a property settlement agreement, each partner retains sole ownership of all property, fruits and revenues that can be proven as belonging to them alone. Any other property is co-owned.

Each partner also retains the proceeds accumulated from their employment, such as salaries or profits from a commercial activity.

Both civil partners may make gifts to each other whether by donation or will. Nevertheless, in the absence of a valid agreement or will, the surviving partner is not considered as a legal heir of the deceased partner.

With property settlement agreement

The property settlement agreement is a written agreement between both partners which aims at specifying property of the civil partnership. Partners are free to set its terms and conditions.

Who can get a civil partnership?

The civil partnership bounds 2 individuals of the same or opposite sex. They may enter into a civil union on condition that: 

  • They are a couple and legally reside in the Grand-Duchy,
  • They have the legal capacity to enter into a contract,
  • They are not bound by any other marriage or civil union,
  • They are not related by blood or marriage in accordance with the Civil Code on marriage. In other words, it is prohibited to enter into a civil partnership in direct and collateral lines of descent (legitimate or natural descendants, brothers and sisters, etc.). 

Administrative procedures

Couples must personally and jointly appear before the Civil Registrar of the commune of residence to declare their civil partnership.

Note that an appointment must be made with the civil register to sign the partnership declaration.

Required documents

Future partners must present the following documents to declare a civil partnership: 

  • A valid ID card (for Luxembourg and EU nationals) or passport (for third-country nationals),
  • A full copy of both partners’ birth certificates issued less than 3 months (Luxembourg and France) or 6 months (abroad) prior the application,
  • A sworn statement stating that there is no relationship by blood or marriage between partners. They must sign it in the presence of the civil register or a notary,
  • A certificate stating that future partners have not already registered a partnership in Luxembourg or abroad. Such a certificate may be requested by sending a letter specifying the first names, last names, marital status and address, with social security identification cards copies and ID cards or passport copies. It should be signed and sent to the following address: 

Cité judiciaire, parquet général, service du répertoire civil
L-2080 Luxembourg

In addition to those documents, where applicable: 

  • For divorced people: a full copy of the certificate of a dissolution of marriage;
  • For widowed people: the death certificate of the deceased spouse;
  • For people who have already been entered into a civil partnership before November 1, 2010: a recent certificate from the civil register mentioning the dissolution of the registered partnership;
  • For people who have signed property settlement agreement: a proof of the existence of such an agreement. 

Note: required documents may vary depending on the partners’ status. Those documents must be written in French, German or English. If not, a sworn translator must translate them. A list of sworn translators can be requested from the Ministry of Justice.

Note: the partners’ common legal domicile will be checked in the National Directory for the Identification of Natural Persons.

Special leave

Couples who have recently entered into a civil partnership are entitled to a one-day special leave.

Both partners request it from their employers. This special leave must be taken at the time the event takes place and may be postponed until the following working day if it falls on a Sunday, a non-business day, a public holiday or on a compensatory rest time.

However, a special leave cannot lead to compensation.

What is a property settlement agreement?

The property settlement agreement is a written agreement between both partners which aims at specifying property of the civil partnership.

Partners may choose to enter into this agreement when declaring their civil partnership or afterwards. It may be amended at any time.

Content

Partners are free to set the terms and conditions of the property settlement agreement, on condition that it does not contravene the rights and obligations that apply to civil partnerships.

Administrative procedures

Property settlement agreements are not subject to any specific requirements. They can be drawn up on normal paper, dated and signed, preferably in 2 original copies, so that both partners have their own copy. It is not necessary to call on a notary.

Property settlement agreements may be amended at any time. It is valid upon receipt of the declaration by the civil registrar who forwards it to the Luxembourg Public Prosecutor’s office, so that it may be added to the civil register.

Property settlement agreements are finally handed over to both partners. They must ensure it is safely stored.