What Are The Rights Of A Domestic Partner?

What is a domestic partnership?

The Spanish legal system understands a de facto couple as the stable union of coexistence between two people not united by marriage, although in a similar emotional relationship . The courts reject the analogy between marriage and extramarital coexistence, they consider that they are not equivalent realities, but rather different legal situations.

For a de facto couple to exist, a series of circumstances must be met:

  • The union between two people, whether heterosexual or homosexual.
  • A public and notorious relationship as if it were a marriage.
  • They must lead a stable and lasting life of coexistence.
  • They cannot be united by marriage.
  • The existence of common interests in the development of a family life.

Currently, the legislation does not establish a specific term by which it considers that the union in fact has stability, now, there must be the regulations of the autonomous community in question since this issue has not been regulated at the state level , but in each of the autonomous communities.

Rights of domestic partners

Widow’s pension

The right to a pension is granted to the stable couple when their partner dies when the following situations occur:

  • That the death is after January 1, 2008.
  • If the established contribution requirements are met and it has been proven that the income during the previous calendar year did not reach 50% of the sum of its own and that of the deceased’s income at the same time. In the case of not having common children, the percentage will be 25%.
  • If the survivor’s income is less than 1.5 times the amount of the interprofessional minimum wage in force at the time and during the period of receipt. The limit will be increased by 0.5 the amount for each common child, entitled to the orphan’s pension, who lives with the survivor.
  • The applicant for the pension must prove the status of a domestic partner by certifying the registration in one of the specific registers existing in the autonomous communities or town councils of the place of residence or by a public document stating the constitution of said couple. The registration or formalization of the document must have occurred at least two years in advance of the date of death.
  • That there has been a stable and notorious coexistence immediately after the deceased’s death, with an uninterrupted duration of not less than 5 years.
  • That, during the period of coexistence, no component of the couple was prevented from getting married or had a marriage relationship with another person.

Parent-child relationship

The rights and obligations as parents will be the same as in a marriage. In the event of breakdown of coexistence, the same rules of custody and custody, pension, visitation regime, and rights to inherit for your children apply.

Economic system

In de facto couples, a specific economic regime does not apply, although the members of the couple by mutual agreement may regulate their economic relations in a public deed issued before a Notary Public. In other words, they can agree on the economic model by which they wish to abide, but always respecting the law and not harming or discriminating against one of the parties. Agreements that violate these principles could be void.


In relation to the tax field, it is necessary to differentiate between the different taxes, in such a way that the people who form a common-law partner cannot be taxed in the joint taxation option of the Personal Income Tax (IRPF), for This, the members of said couple may only choose to make the statement individually.

However, for the purposes of the Inheritance and Gift Tax, in both modalities, in most Autonomous Communities, unmarried couples have been compared to spouses, thus enjoying the same tax advantages, but be careful, because it is not in all of them.


Inheritance is the point where the greatest differences exist between marriage and domestic partnership. Since the latter cannot inherit from his sentimental partner, he would not be a forced heir. Therefore, in these cases it is important to make the will if you want to leave the couple protected, although the legitimate ones of the forced heirs who would be mainly the children, and in their absence the parents, must always be respected.

Work permit

Affinity kinship is constituted with marriage, so, in the case of unmarried couples, as there is no marriage, there is no affinity kinship, therefore, there would be no right to permission for death, accident or serious illness, hospitalization or surgical intervention without hospitalization of relatives, unless recognized in the applicable collective agreement.

In the case of a de facto couple’s registration, the officials can request the permission of fifteen days. However, the Workers Statute does not contemplate this permission for unmarried couples, so you would only have the right if it were included in the collective agreement.


In order to enjoy health care for unmarried couples, a continuous relationship of one year must be accredited before enrollment in the registry.


In the event of the owner of the rental contract dying, the other member of the couple can in fact be subrogated if he proves two years of living with the inscription in the registry, unless they have had common descent, in which case the mere living together will suffice. .


Changes have been made in the legislation so that a common-law couple can adopt the same as a marriage.

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