Civil union or PACS in Luxembourg

The PACS or civil partnership exists in Luxembourg since 2004. It gives civil partners rights similar to those of marriage, including in the case of same-sex unions.

What do I need to know about PACS in Luxembourg? What are the steps to take to get married? Find here all the useful information.

What is a civil partnership or PACS ?

The civil partnership is also called PACS, civil pact of solidarity. The PACS is a form of civil union concluded between two persons of the same or different sex.

PACS partners have similar rights to those of married couples. The PACS offers unmarried couples legal recognition, as well as legal security in civil, fiscal and social terms.

Rights, duties and benefits of civil partnership

Rights and duties related to PACS

The partnership offers similar rights to those available to married couples.

The declaration of civil partnership creates rights and duties between the partners. The PACS may or may not be accompanied by an agreement between the two people. Nevertheless, even in the absence of an agreement, the partners benefit from :

  • The obligation of mutual and material assistance,
  • Mutual obligation to settle debts,
  • Housing protection.

Tax benefits of PACS

In their tax return, the partners can opt for collective taxation. They must then apply to the administration.

They benefit from the same tax treatment as married couples. Thus, they are collectively taxable under tax class 2. They benefit from tax deductions and can, in certain cases, benefit from a taxable income allowance. Otherwise, each partner is taxed individually on his or her income. They will then be taxed according to class 1 or 1A.

Careful! To benefit from the tax advantages, the partnership must have existed throughout the tax year, i.e. from January 1 to December 31.

Some couples can also benefit from the extra-professional deduction. This deduction is generally granted automatically by the tax authorities to the persons concerned.

PACS rules without a property agreement

In the absence of a conventional agreement, each partner remains the owner of the property that he or she can prove belongs to him or her, as well as of the fruits and revenues that his or her property provides. The other property belongs to each of them in equal parts.

Each partner also has the product of his or her work, such as salaries or profits from a commercial activity.

Both people can make gifts to each other, either by donation or by will. However, without an agreement or will, one partner cannot become the heir of the other.

Please note that in case of succession, the surviving partner will not automatically be an heir. The PACS is in this case similar to a marriage contract of separation of property. If there is no will, the partner inherits nothing. He can only stay in the apartment for a maximum of one year.

Rules of civil union with property agreement

The patrimonial agreement is an agreement concluded, in writing, between the two partners. It is intended to regulate the patrimonial effects of the partnership. Its content is free.

This agreement may be written at the time of the declaration of partnership or afterwards. However, it can be modified at any time.

The patrimonial effects can be freely fixed by the partners, provided that they do not contravene the rights and duties implied by the Pacs.

The agreement is concluded without any particular formalism. It can be written on plain paper, dated and signed. It is not necessary to go through a notary. However, it is advisable to draw up the agreement in duplicate so that each partner has an original.

The agreement – and any subsequent amendments – only take effect upon receipt of the declaration by the registrar. The declaration is then forwarded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office for registration in the civil register.

Finally, the agreement is given to the partners who must ensure its conservation.

How to enter into a civil union?

Who can enter into a pact?

A partnership is the union of two people of the same or different sexes. However, there are a few conditions to be met by both partners:

  • Be a couple and legally reside in the Grand Duchy,
  • Have the legal capacity to contract,
  • Not be in a marriage or other partnership,
  • Not be related or allied according to the provisions of the Civil Code on marriage. In other words, the partnership is prohibited in direct line and in collateral line (legitimate or natural descendants, brothers and sisters…).

Steps to get married

To declare their partnership, both partners must go – personally and jointly – to the municipality of their place of residence.

When declaring the partnership, the future partners must submit the following documents:

  • A valid identity card (Luxembourg and European Union nationals) or a passport (third country nationals),
  • A full copy of the birth certificate of each of them less than three months old (Luxembourg and France) or less than six months old (other foreign countries),
  • A statement that there is no family relationship or alliance between the partners. It must be signed either before the civil registrar or before a notary,
  • A certificate stating that neither partner has registered another partnership, in Luxembourg or abroad. This can be requested by mail, indicating the name, surname, marital status and address, enclosing a photocopy of the social security identification card and the identity card or passport. The whole signed by both partners and sent to the following address

Cité judiciaire, General Prosecutor’s Office, Civil Registry Department
L-2080 Luxembourg

To these documents are added, as the case may be:

  • Divorced persons: a copy of the marriage dissolution certificate;
  • Widows: the death certificate of the spouse;
  • For persons who have already entered into a partnership prior to 1 November, 2010: a recent certificate from the civil register recording the dissolution of the declared partnership. For those who have signed a patrimonial agreement: proof of the existence of this agreement.

Please note that the documents to be attached to the file may vary depending on the situation of the future partners. These must be in French, German or English. Documents can be translated by a sworn translator. A list is available from the Ministry of Justice.

Good to know: The common legal domicile will also be verified in the National Register of Natural Persons.

Leave related to the PACS

A couple who have recently entered into a partnership may be granted an extraordinary day off as part of their employment.

Each of the partners must apply to their employer. The leave must be taken at the time of the event. However, the leave can be postponed to the first working day following if it falls on a Sunday, a public holiday or a day of compensatory rest.

In no case can it give rise to a compensatory indemnity.

How to break a PACS ?

Unlike marriage, the PACS can be broken unilaterally by one of the partners.

In a systematic way, a PACS is broken in the following cases:

  • by the joint declaration of the 2 partners before the officer of the commune having pronounced the PACS
  • by the unilateral declaration of one of the 2 partners. The latter must however inform his partner by bailiff
  • by the marriage of one of the 2 partners
  • by the death of one of the 2 partners.

When terminating the PACS, the applicant must provide a copy of his or her identity document, as well as the PACS certificate.

The PACS ends upon receipt of the various documents requested. However, this end is only opposable to third parties after registration in the Civil Register. It takes a few days to be sent to the Public Prosecutor’s Office and to be registered.

The Justice of the Peace, requested within 3 months after the declaration of cessation, will be able to order the consequent measures of occupation of the common housing, of distribution of the goods of the partners as well as all legal and contractual obligations.

Learn more about inheritance tax in Luxembourg