Civil union or PACS

PACS Civil partnership in Luxembourg

The civil partnership or PACS has 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 do I need to do to form a PACS? Find out all you need to know here.

What is a civil partnership or PACS in Luxembourg?

PACS is a civil solidarity pact between two people. This form of civil union can be entered into by 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 partnerships in Luxembourg

PACS rights and duties

PACS partners enjoy the same rights as married couples.

The declaration of civil partnership creates rights and duties 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 :

Tax benefits of PACS

When filing their tax returns, partners can opt for collective taxation. In this case, they must apply to the tax authorities.

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

Note that to qualify for tax benefits, the partnership must have existed throughout the tax year, i.e. from January 1 to December 31.

Certain couples may also benefit from the extra-professional allowance. This deduction is generally granted automatically by the local tax authorities.

PACS without property agreement

In the absence of a conventional agreement, each partner retains ownership of the property he or she can prove belongs to him or her, as well as the fruits and income from his or her property. The other assets belong equally to each partner.

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 the event of inheritance, the surviving partner is not automatically an heir. In this case, the PACS is similar to a marriage contract with separation of property. In the absence of a will, the partner inherits nothing. He or she can only stay in the shared home for a maximum of one year.

Drawing up a PACS property agreement

The property agreement is a written agreement between the two partners. Its purpose is to regulate the patrimonial effects of the partnership. Its content is free.

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

The parties are free to determine the property consequences, provided that they do not contravene the rights and duties implied by 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. There's no need to go through a notary. It can even be drawn up 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 entry in the civil register.

Finally, the agreement is handed over to the partners, who are responsible for keeping it.

How do I enter into a civil union in Luxembourg?

Who can form a civil union?

Civil partnerships unite two people of the same or different sexes. Both partners must meet certain conditions:

  • Be a couple legally resident in the Grand Duchy,
  • Legal capacity to contract,
  • Not be bound by marriage or any other partnership,
  • They must not be related to each other or be related by marriage in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code. In other words, partnership is forbidden in the direct line and in the collateral line (legitimate or natural descendants, brothers and sisters, etc.).

Procedures for entering into a civil partnership in Luxembourg

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 their partnership, future partners must submit the following documents:

  • Valid identity card (European Union nationals) or passport (non-EU nationals),
  • A recent full copy of each person's birth certificate,
  • A 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 letter signed by both partners from:
    Cité judiciaire, parquet général, service du répertoire civil
    L-2080 Luxembourg
    They should also enclose with their letter, signed by both partners, a photocopy of their social security identification cards and their identity cards or passports.

Additional documents required for civil union :

In addition to these documents, we can also supply the following, as appropriate:

  • 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 agreement's existence.

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

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

Request for extraordinary 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 make a request to his or her employer and take the leave at the time of the event. However, if the event falls on a Sunday, public holiday or compensatory rest day, the leave may be postponed until the1st working day thereafter.

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

How do you break up a PACS in Luxembourg?

Unlike marriage, PACS can be terminated unilaterally by either partner.  

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. However, the latter must inform his or her 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 comes to an end on receipt of the various documents requested. However, this termination is only enforceable against third parties once it has been entered in the Civil Register. It takes a few days to send to the Public Prosecutor's Office for registration.

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.

Find out more about administrative procedures in Luxembourg in our administrative guide.


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