Marriage in Luxembourg

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?

Find out more about civil and religious marriage in Luxembourg.

Civil marriage in Luxembourg

Who can marry in Luxembourg?

In Luxembourg, marriage is allowed between two people of different or same sex. In fact, same-sex marriage became law on July 4, 2014 . Rights and duties are similar for all homosexual and heterosexual couples.

To marry in Luxembourg, both spouses must be at least 18 years old. In addition, at least one of the spouses must be officially resident in the Grand Duchy.

A minor may marry provided he or she has the authorization of the guardianship judge.

Civil marriage procedures in Luxembourg

How long does it take to get married?

For residents of Luxembourg nationality, wedding preparations must take place at least two months before the wedding date. Non-Luxembourg residents should allow a minimum of three months.

Where can I get married?

The marriage must be celebrated in the commune of one of the future spouses, provided he or she is legally resident there. Since 2022, it has been possible to get married in a venue other than the town hall or “Gemeng”. Municipalities define authorized locations. In all cases, these are solemn, public and non-religious places located in the commune.

File creation

Husbands and wives must prepare their file in advance. One of the future spouses must go to the municipality of his or her place of residence to complete the various formalities.

Several 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,
  • national identification numbers of future spouses
  • a certificate of residence. At least one of the spouses must be resident in Luxembourg.

The application must be submitted in person, by appointment.

Special cases by nationality

  • 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 and present several documents to set up the file: identity papers, birth certificate, 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.

Wedding witnesses

The Luxembourg Civil Code does not provide for the signing of marriage witnesses.

Wedding celebration

The marriage ceremony takes place after the formalities have been completed. So it’s best to get started at least two to three months before the chosen date.

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.

Marriage leave

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

When they marry, the bride and groom can choose a specific matrimonial property regime by means of a contract drawn up before a notary. 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.

The legal matrimonial regime

If the spouses decide not to sign a specific marriage contract, they are automatically subject to the legal regime. This 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, this means that the products of their work, the income from their property and the assets 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 only one of the spouses incurs a debt within the community, the other spouse cannot be sued.

The regime of universal community

Spouses who so wish may opt for the universal community regime. 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, spouses retain the administration, enjoyment and free disposal of their personal property. There is therefore no common property between the spouses.

Everyone must assume their 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 based on the respective rights of the spouses under their marriage contract. However, in the case of a contract for the separation of property, there is no joint property to liquidate.

Learn more about inheritance tax in Luxembourg

Last name of married couple

In Luxembourg, the law does not provide for patronymic mergers. 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 be registered with thelocal authorities before the celebration of a religious marriage.

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.

Learn more about taxation

To have a marriage contracted abroad recognized

Why 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 that same-sex couples married before January1, 2015 can also apply to have their marriages recognized. However, a number of conditions must be met, such as the customary forms imposed in the foreign country, Luxembourg law and international conventions.

Marriage recognition procedures

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.

More information on civil partnership or PACS