Civil union or PACS in Luxembourg

Civil partnerships, or PACS, have existed 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 ?

PACS is a civil solidarity pact between two people. This form of civil union can be concluded between two people of the same or different sexes.

It offers unmarried couples legal recognition, as well as civil, fiscal and social security.

Rights, duties and benefits of civil partnership

Rights and duties related to PACS

PACS partners have similar rights to those of married couples.

The declaration of civil partnership creates rights and obligations between the two 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 commitment 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.

People in civil partnerships enjoy the same tax treatment as married couples. As a result, they are collectively taxed under tax class 2, and benefit from tax deductions. In certain cases, they can also benefit from a tax deduction.

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 without 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 receives the product of his or her work, such as wages or profits from a business activity.

Both partners can make gifts to each other, by donation or will. However, without an agreement or will, one partner cannot become the heir of the other. Find out more about inheritance tax in Luxembourg.

Please note that in case of succession, the surviving partner will not automatically be an heir. In this case, the PACS is similar to a marriage contract with 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.

Drawing up a PACS 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.

There is no deadline for concluding this agreement. It can be drawn up at the same time as the civil partnership, or at a later date. It can also be modified at any time.

The parties are free to determine their property rights, provided they do not contravene the rights and duties implicit in the Pacs.

The agreement is concluded without any particular formalities, except for the date and signature. The agreement should be drawn up in duplicate, so that each partner has an original copy. It is not necessary to go through a notary. It can even be written on plain paper, dated and signed.

The agreement, and any subsequent amendments, take effect only on 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. Both partners must meet certain conditions:

  • 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 in accordance with the marriage provisions of the Civil Code. 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 present themselves, personally and jointly, to the commune of their place of residence.

Documents required to contract a PACS

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

  • Valid identity card (European Union citizens) or passport (non-EU citizens),
  • A recent full copy of each person’s birth certificate,
  • Sworn statement that there are no family or marriage ties between the partners. The future partners must sign this acknowledgement either before a civil registrar or a notary,
  • Certificate stating that neither partner has registered another partnership. Partners can request this document by mail signed by both partners from :
    Cité judiciaire, General Prosecutor’s Office, Civil Registry Department
    L-2080 Luxembourg
    They must also enclose with their letter, signed by both of them, a photocopy of their social security identification card and their identity card or passport.

Special cases

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

  • Divorced persons: a copy of the marriage annulment certificate
  • Widows or widowers: spouse’s death certificate
  • For people who have already entered into a partnership before November1, 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: common legal residence will also be verified in the National Register of Natural Persons.

Leave related to the PACS

A young couple who have recently entered into a partnership can benefit from an extraordinary day off as part of their employment.

Each partner must apply to his or her employer for such leave at the time of the event. However, the leave can be postponed to thefirst working day following if it falls on a Sunday, a public holiday or a day of compensatory rest.

if the partners do not take PACS leave, they cannot claim compensation.

How do I break up a PACS?

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

A PACS systematically lapses in the following cases:

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

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

The PACS contract ends on 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 registered.

If requested within 3 months of the declaration of cessation, the Justice of the Peace can order the consequent measures, such as occupancy of the joint home, division of the partners’ assets and any legal and contractual obligations.

Learn more about inheritance tax in Luxembourg