A de facto union of an unmarried couple can be defined as that sentimental relationship between two persons of legal age or two emancipated minors and is similar to marriage, in the sense that there is a marital coexistence and intention to remain, but the relationship has not been confirmed by complying with the legal and registration formalities required for the marriage.
Such unions are not expressly defined in Spanish national law, but some administrative regions of the country have passed regulations with different legal observations in order to try to legally assimilate some of the marriage rights into de facto unions.
How can such a union be formalised or registered?
In the case of the Valencian Community, only de facto unions registered in the appropriate Administrative Registry of the Valencian Community are considered valid and can only be entered into by two persons of legal age or emancipated minors, who are not married to another person or maintain a sentimental bond with another person and are not relatives in a straight line, or related by second grade (such as siblings).
In addition, at least one of the two must have the status of being a resident of any municipality within the Valencian Community.
To access the registry, a registration application must be submitted, which will be accompanied by the padron certificates of the applicants together with other appropriate documents.
If the documentation submitted is correct, the official responsible will confirm a day and time in which the interested parties must appear personally before the Administration in order to formalise and record the union.
The administration has a period of three months following the interview to either accept the application or reject it.
Assuming that it is accepted the union will be recorded in the Registry and those so recognised will be able to enjoy the rights granted by the law in this regard.
What rights do the members of de facto unions have?
As mentioned above, each Autonomous Community recognises de facto unions, according to its own criteria and in the Valencian Community, the effects of the union are regulated in article 15 of Law 5/2012, which tries to ensure that de facto unions enjoy similar conditions to those granted to married couples in certain areas, with one of the most important being the right to obtain public aid
It also should be similar for tax purposes which fall within the competence of the Autonomous Community. For example, in the case of Inheritance Tax, the deceased’s partner could enjoy the same tax benefit as a widowed spouse, which is currently €100,000 before tax is levied.
The law also speaks of the right to receive widows’ pensions, although in this case it depends upon the specific pension regulations of the State.
If you wish to obtain such tax benefits (or for any other reason) and want to register as an unmarried couple and de facto union, contact us and we will help you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
White & Baos
Tel: +34 966 426 185
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