Getting married in Luxembourg requires a number of administrative steps. Which matrimonial regime to choose? Can we change our name? What changes in taxation? Do I have to have a previous marriage performed abroad recognized?
A number of steps must be taken in order to get married in Luxembourg. Here you can find more information about marriage in Luxembourg.
Civil marriage in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg, marriage is allowed between two people of different or same sex. Both future spouses must be at least 18 years old. A minor may marry provided he or she has the authorization of the guardianship judge. At least one of the spouses must have hisor her official residence in Luxembourg.
In Luxembourg, same-sex marriage has been allowed since the law of July 4, 2014. The rights and duties are similar for all homosexual and heterosexual couples.
Steps to get married in a civil ceremony
The preparation of the marriage must take place, at the latest, two months before the date of the marriage for residents of Luxembourg nationality, three months for non Luxembourg nationals.
The marriage must be celebrated in the municipality of one of the future spouses, provided that he or she is legally resident there. Since 2022, it is now possible to get married in a place other than the town hall “Gemeng”. These places will be defined by the municipalities, and will have to be solemn, public and non-religious places, located on the territory of the commune.
The file must be prepared in advance. One of the future spouses must go to the municipality of his or her place of residence to complete the various formalities.
Many documents are required for a civil marriage in Luxembourg. The future spouses must present a valid identity document, a recent birth certificate, a certificate of matrimonial capacity, the national identification numbers of the future spouses or a certificate of residence. At least one of the spouses must be resident in Luxembourg.
The application must be submitted in person, by appointment.
- German nationals
The Luxembourg civil registrar will ask for a certificate of matrimonial capacity called “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis”. This is issued by the municipality of birth of the citizen, by the municipality of the last residence in Germany, or by the Standesamt I Berlin if the groom has never lived in Germany.
- Italian nationals
Marriage publications are done at the Italian Consulate if the nationals were born and domiciled in Luxembourg since their birth. However, if the future spouses were born in Italy, the marriage is published in Italy.
- Portuguese nationals
Portuguese nationals must go together to the Consulate General of Portugal in Luxembourg. Several documents must be presented for the constitution of the file, such as an identity document, a birth certificate as well as a certificate of residence.
Once the file has been processed, the Consulate will send the certificate of matrimonial capacity – with the various documents attached – directly to the local administration of the city where the marriage will take place.
The Luxembourg Civil Code does not provide for the signing of marriage witnesses.
The celebration of the marriage is done after the completion of the formalities. It is therefore preferable to take action at least two to three months before the chosen date of celebration.
The date and time of the wedding are set at the time of submission of the complete file. Weddings can be celebrated any working day of the week. They must be celebrated inside the community house. However, a trip to the home may be required in the event of a serious impediment.
Please note that all marriages are preceded by a publication of the banns in the municipality of residence of both spouses. This is posted for 10 days. Once published, the marriage must be celebrated within 12 months. If not, a new publication will be necessary.
An extraordinary leave of three days is granted to each of the spouses, if they are bound by an employment contract.
Matrimonial regimes in Luxembourg
Married couples are subject to a matrimonial regime. This set of rules governs the pecuniary interests of the spouses. In the absence of a marriage contract, the matrimonial regime of legal community applies. However, the bride and groom are free to adopt another form of marriage contract.
The legal matrimonial regime
If the spouses decide not to sign a specific marriage contract, they are automatically subject to the legal regime. The latter is based on the principle of a community reduced to acquests.
With this matrimonial regime, property acquired after the marriage falls into the community. In other words, it means that the products of their work, the income from their property, the property acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses.
However, some property remains the property of one of the spouses if the person is able to prove ownership. This includes, for example, property acquired prior to the celebration of the marriage, property of a personal nature or property acquired by gift or inheritance.
In addition, debts contracted before the marriage remain personal. However, creditors can sue the indebted person out of his or her personal property, but also out of the property that has entered the community. Debts contracted by one of the spouses for the maintenance of the household or the education of the children can be pursued against all the common property.
When a debt has entered the community by the sole act of one of the spouses, it cannot be pursued against the other spouse’s own property.
The regime of universal community
Spouses who wish to do so may choose the regime of universal community. All of the couple’s assets – acquired before and after the marriage – belong to the community. Therefore, there is no such thing as personal property, except for personal clothing and family mementos.
All debts are also common. The spouses are therefore jointly and severally liable, even for debts contracted by one of them before the marriage.
Separation of property
By signing a separation of property regime, the spouses retain the administration, enjoyment and free disposal of their personal property. Therefore, there is no common property between the married couple.
In the same way, each person must assume his or her debts, whether they arose before or during the marriage. However, if the debts were incurred for the education of the children or the maintenance of the household, both spouses are liable for these debts.
In the event of death, the community property may be assigned to the surviving spouse. The latter will then inherit all the couple’s fortune. However, this possibility is subject to special conditions if there are children from a first marriage.
Change of marriage contract
After at least two years of marriage, spouses are free to make changes, by notarial act, to their existing matrimonial regime.
The liquidation of the community
The marriage can be dissolved in case of divorce or death of one of the spouses.
The liquidation of the community is done according to the respective rights of the spouses. However, in the case of separation of property, no property is common. So there is nothing to liquidate.
Last name of married couple
In Luxembourg, the law does not provide for the merger of names. Only the name that appears in the civil status register is recognized. A married woman may, however, borrow her husband’s family name and add her maiden name to it.
Please note that the law of March 18, 1982 allows you to change your surname. A written request with reasons must then be sent to the Ministry of Justice.
The religious marriage
The only religious marriage is strictly prohibited. A civil marriage must have taken place beforehand with thelocal administration.
For the organization of a religious wedding, the future spouses are invited to inquire directly in their place of worship, with the people in charge.
Taxation of married spouses
Married taxpayers benefit from tax class 2. The spouses are thus taxed collectively and benefit from tax deductions.
To have a marriage contracted abroad recognized
A couple married abroad can, if they wish, have their marriage recognized in Luxembourg. In principle, any marriage validly concluded under the law of the State of celebration can thus be recognized.
The recognition of a marriage offers many advantages to spouses who decide to settle in Luxembourg, whether for tax, social security or filiation reasons.
Who can apply?
The recognition of a marriage contracted abroad can be requested by all married couples. This is possible whether they are Luxembourg nationals or not, and provided that they are both legally resident in Luxembourg.
Note, same-sex individuals whose marriages were performed prior to January1, 2015, may also apply for marriage recognition. However, several conditions must be respected, such as the forms of use imposed in the foreign country, the Luxembourg law or the international conventions.
Several steps must be taken to have a marriage celebrated abroad recognized. The spouses must therefore go to the Commune of their residence. Several documents must be presented by the bride and groom to the registrar:
- A valid passport for foreigners or an identity card for Luxembourg nationals.
- The authenticated marriage certificate.
Once the file is validated, the marriage can be transcribed on the registers of the civil status of the couple’s residence.
Please note: The application may, however, be rejected if the validity of the marriage is questionable under Luxembourg law.
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