Maintenance, custody or medical emergencies: What people should pay attention to who live in a partnership without a marriage certificate.
If you live together as a couple, you don’t have to get married. Around 3.3 million couples live in Germany unmarried in a community together. Ascending trend. But with a marriage certificate, couples are legally better protected in many situations, and some things become much easier. Because the non-marital cohabitation is legally recognized as a possible way of life for couples, but not comprehensively regulated.
Unmarried couples with children
One thing is clear: couples do not have to get married to be good parents. You do have a few though formalities to do, the married parents are spared. If they both want to take care of the child together, the father must acknowledge paternity so that the child is legally related to him. The child is then entitled to maintenance and is entitled to inherit.
In addition, unmarried parents should provide a declaration of joint care for the child – to the youth welfare office. Otherwise, the mother alone decides in all matters affecting the child – including the place of residence.
Relationship: Getting married because of taxes
Marriage is particularly protected by the Basic Law, also from a tax point of view: Married couples can have a joint marriage tax declaration hand over. If one earns a lot and the other less, married couples can save on taxes because they benefit from so-called spouse splitting.
This is different for unmarried couples. Everyone is assessed individually, at income tax deduction tax class 1 is to be applied – with the highest deductions. Marriage can therefore be financially worthwhile for couples who earn different amounts.
Think about power of attorney
And also all things related to care and health can be taken care of by unmarried couples Emergency become a problem. The employees in the hospital and the nursing staff are subject to medical confidentiality. That means – no information to the partner, even if the couple has been living together for years.
The new Spousal emergency representation right in health matters does not apply to unmarried couples. That is why the money guide Finanztip recommends a Power of Attorney and a living will to create. This ensures that no legal support is ordered in an emergency and that the partner can make important decisions in the interest of the other.
Protection beyond death
Non-marital partners are not included in the statutory succession. Anyone who has lived with their partner without a marriage certificate inherits nothing from the other. Through a Testament or with one contract of inheritance can that be changed. In the event of an inheritance, however, the inheritance tax will then apply. Instead of an allowance of 500,000 euros for married couples, unmarried heirs only have an allowance of 20,000 euros.
Particularly important financially: without being married, the person who has lived longer has no entitlement to widow’s or widower’s pension. That’s at least 55 percent of the interest of the deceased – an average of 700 euros per month. Unmarried couples are therefore much less secure after death than married couples.
When the couple separates
Those who are not married, however, save in the case of separation an expensive divorce. There are also no maintenance claims, neither an asset adjustment nor an adjustment for pension claims. Everyone gets back the things that belong to them or that they have acquired while living together – ownership is crucial. That may be fair.
However, this is often not the case when couples have lived together for a long time. Because the unmarried partner, who took care of the children together, worked less and therefore earned less and paid into the pension, is in a much worse position in the event of separation than the married partner. Finanztip therefore advises couples without a marriage certificate to deal with the so-called partnership contract to fix.
A partnership agreement can be useful
Couples should consider getting married at the latest when their first child is born or when they buy a property together. If marriage is not an option for a couple, a partnership agreement can make sense. This allows two unmarried people to live together self-determined and fair rules. You can also specify what should apply in the event of separation. In order for a partnership agreement to be legally secure, it should be notarized.
This article appears in cooperation with finanztip.de. The money guide for consumers is part of the Finanztip Foundation.
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