First of all, it is necessary to clarify the concept of Pareja de hecho (that would be the equivalent to Domestic partnership in the USA and the civil partnership in the UK). In this article we will refer as domestic partnership to the pareja de hecho.
A pareja de hecho or pareja estable (domestic partnership or stable couple) in Catalonia is understood as the civil union of two people who are in a relationship to live as married even though they are not. The law gives room for legal co-habiting of people in relationship.
The applicable legislation to this matter are Law 25/2010, of July 29, of the second book of the Civil Code of Catalonia, relating to the person and the family. This issue is specifically found in Chapter IV of Title III of the aforementioned law, which is entitled “Stable coexistence in a couple”.
However, this law has been recently modified due to the creation of a Public Registry of Domestic Partnership in Catalonia.
THE DECREE LAW 3/2015, of October 6, amending Law 25/2010, of July 29, of the second book of the Civil Code of Catalonia, relating to the creation of the Registry of Domestic Partnership. – Official Journal of Catalonia of 08-10-2015
“Article 1. Creation of the Registry of Domestic Partnership. An additional provision is added to Law 25/2010, of July 29, of the second book of the Civil Code of Catalonia, relating to the person and the family, with the following content: Registry of Domestic Partnership:
1. The Registry of Domestic Partnership is created, for the purposes of publicity, attached to the competent department in matters of civil law, through the directive center that is in charge of it.
1. The Registry of Domestic Partnership keeps the records of the public deeds of constitution of Domestic Partnership, their modifications and, where appropriate, their extinction, as well as the statutory declarations related to the cases regulated by the article 234-1,a) y b).
Article 2. Organization and management in the Registry of Domestic Partnership
The ORDER JUS / 44/2017, of March 28, is the regulation by which the Regulations of the Registry of stable couples of Catalonia is approved. – Published in the Official Gazette of Catalonia on 31.03.2017
Creation of a Unique Registry of Domestic Partnertship in Catalonia.
The registry was created with the intention of gathering all the information about domestic partnership as well as to grant some rights, such as in the case of obtaining residence as a family member of a European Union citizen; as in the case of widow’s pensions.
It is an administrative registry where domestic partnership constituted in accordance with the Civil Code of Catalonia can be enrolled, voluntarily and with the consent of the two cohabitants. The extinction of the couple may also be registered.
The corresponding Certificate may be requested for the purposes of certifying against third parties, the existence not only of the domestic partnership but also that the same is specifically registered in a Public Registry.
What is considered a domestic partnership in Catalonia? Who could be registered in the Registry of Domestic Partnership in Catalonia?
The article 231-1 of the Civil Code of Catalonia establishes that two people who are in a relationship to live as married even though they are not, Will be considered as a stable couple in the following cases:
- a) If the coexistence lasts more than two consecutive years in Catalonia.
- b) If during the coexistence, the couple has a child.
- c) If they formalize the relationship in a public deed.
All couples residing in Catalonia who wish to do so and can prove that they meet some of the requirements indicated can register in this Registry. Those people who are already constituted as domestic partnership (stable couples) can request to the Municipal Registries or Notaries to forward the information about the constitution of their partner to the new Registry of domestic partnership, where you will be able to request the corresponding certificate.
Exceptions: for all those situations where it is not possible to constitute a domestic partnership, there are the following legal dispositions:
- Non emancipated minors
- People related by kinship in a straight line or in a colateral line within the second degree.
- People married and without the dissolution of the domestic partnership.
- People living in couple with a third person.
Rights and effects of the domestic partnership in Catalonia
- As for the economical aspect: if one the partners has worked for the house substantially more than the other, or has worked for the other without pay or with insufficient pay, he is entitled to financial compensation for this dedication, provided that at the time of cessation of cohabitation, the other has obtained a higher equity increase.
- Regarding the nourishment: if the domestic partnersship is dissouted while both the partners are alive, any of them cas ask the other for an alimony if he or she needs it for her os his own sustenance. If one of the partners dies within one year after the termination of the stable couple, the other, in the three months after the death, can claim from the heirs their right to an alimony.
- Regarding the dwelling: the cohabitant holder of the common dwelling or of the furniture cannot carry out any act of alienation, encumbrance or, in general, or exercise of his or her right that compromises its use without the consent of the other partner or, failing that, of the judicial authorization.
In case one of the members of the stable couple is declared disabled, the partner occupies the first place in the order of preference of the judicial decisión.
With the registration of a domestic partnership,it is posible to get the widohood pension in case one of the cohabitants dies.
FOREIGNERS: CAN I REGISTER AS A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP IN CATALONIA?
The answer is YES
Foreign people from third countries in a relationship with Spanish or European Union citizens that register the domestic partnerhip, will be able to apply for a residence authorization as a relative to a European Union citizen.
The registration of a domestic partnership in the Registry of domestic partnership in Catalonia is voluntary and requires the consent of both partners.
Documentation and place of submission: – it is posible to register a domestic partnership in this new Registry as it was opened on 1st April 2017.
Ways to submit the documentation:
- In person at:
- Departamento de Justicia
- Servicios Territoriales del Departamento de Justicia de Gerona
- Servicios Territoriales del Departamento de Justicia de Tarragona
- Servicios Territoriales del Departamento de Justicia de Lleida
- Servicios Territoriales del Departamento de Justicia de les Terres de l’Ebre
It is necessary to download the form, fill it, print it and sign it.
It is also posible to submit it through some ways as provided in the article 38.4 of the Law 30/1992 26th November on the legal regime of public administrations and the common administrative procedure, in accordance with the provisions established in the sole repealing provision of Law 39/2015, of October 1, on the common administrative procedure of public administrations.
To do the registration it is also posible to get an appointment.
- Electronically at the Departament de Justícia o Direcció General de Dret i d’Entitats Jurídiques.
The required documentation to ask for the registration of a domestic partnership in Catalonia.
- ID card of both the applicants.
- Birth certificate of the applicants requested no more than 6 months in advance.
- Certificate of Census Registration of coexitance which must prove coexistence for two consecutive and uninterrupted years in Catalonia. Requested no more than 6 months in advance.
If there is no express opposition, the Department of Justice will automatically verify the declared data and documents 1 and 3 should not be provided.
THERE ARE NO FEES
PROCEDURE FOR THE REGISTRATION: MODIFICATION OF THE STABLE COUPLE
It is posible to modify at any time.
- ID Card
- Document certifying the modification: domestic partnership constituted pursuant to the articles 234.1 and 234.2 of the Civil Code of Catalonia and registered in the Regisry of domestic partnership of Catalonia. It should be requested by the partner affected by this modification or any of them if the data are common.
THERE ARE NO FEES RELATED TO THIS PROCEDURE
TERMINATION OF THE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP AND CONSEQUENCES
As for the termination of domestic partnership, in Catalonia, this occurs for the following reasons:
- Cessation of cohabitation and life in common.
- Death or declaration of death of one of the partners.
- Marriage of any of the partners.
- Common agreement of the partners formalized in public deed.
- The wish of one of the partners formally notified to the other one.
The termination of the stable couple implies the revocation of the consents and powers that any of the partners have granted in favor of the other.
THERE ARE NO FEES RELATED TO THIS PROCEDURE
It is posible to do this procedure in person or elecronically.