Rights of civil union spouses

Civil union (not to be confused with civil marriage) is an institution in existence since 24 June 2002. It is intended both for couples of the same sex or the opposite sex.

Civil union spouses have the same rights as married spouses (family patrimony, matrimonial regime). However, there are a few differences, particularly concerning the procedure for dissolution of a civil union.

The breakdown of an union

If the spouses do not have any dependent children and they agree on the consequences of the breakdown, particularly concerning the partition of their property, the breakdown may be recorded in 2 notarial acts (without a court judgment): the transaction contract and the declaration.

In such a case, the valuation of the property may be carried out on a date chosen by the spouses. That date must be between the date of joint procedure for the dissolution of the civil union or the date on which the spouses ceased living together, and the date of the notarized transaction contract.

Furthermore, if the spouses marry, the civil union will automatically be dissolved, but without partition of property. If there is a subsequent divorce, separation from bed and board or annulment of the marriage, the period of civil union is taken into account as if it were a period of marriage.


Spouses were civilly united in 2016 and married in 2018. They filed for divorce in 2020. For the purpose of the calculation of the family patrimony, which includes certain assets accumulated during the marriage, such as pension plan benefits, what was accrued between 2016 and 2020 must be considered.


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