4 differences between common-law couples and marriage
Dealing with Non-Compliance of Visitation Regime in Divorces or Separations
Although the de facto couple is a figure similar to that of marriage and has similarities, it is important to know that there are also important differences between the two .
If you are thinking about living with your partner, in this article we will show you the main 4 differences between a de facto couple and marriage .
1. Economic regime
In marriage , the spouses have their marital economic regime legally determined : marital property , separation of assets or partition.
However, in the case of a de facto couple there is no matrimonial property regime regulated in the Family Code .
Now, you can adopt the agreements that you consider appropriate in order to regulate the economic effects of your union.
2. Income Tax
As you know, the Income Tax return can be submitted:
- Individually, it is the most common.
- Jointly, when the members of the family unit are taxpayers for personal income tax.
Many common-law couples consider whether or not they can file the tax return jointly.
Who can file the Income Tax jointly?
To answer this question, you must first know who makes up the family unit in a de facto couple and in a marriage :
In case of de facto couples:
- The members of the common-law couple do not constitute a family unit and, therefore, will not be able to file a joint return.
- Now, one of the members of the couple (father or mother), minor common children and those of legal age but with disabilities, can form a family unit and opt for joint taxation.
- The other parent must submit the individual declaration.
This criterion will be followed in the case of legal separation , non-existence of marital bond and separation or divorce with shared custody .
In case of marriage:
- Non-separated spouses and minor children, as well as adults with disabilities, form the family unit and may opt for the joint declaration .
- Minor children who, with parental consent, live independently of the family unit, are not part of the family unit.
3. Widow’s pension
There are also differences between common-law couples and marriage when it comes to accessing the widow’s pension .
Widow’s pension for the surviving spouse (marriage)
In the case of marriage, the surviving spouse will have the right to a widow’s pension for life, provided that the deceased:
- You are registered with Social Security or a situation similar to registration on the date of your death and have contributed 500 days within the 5 years prior to death.
- If the deceased was not registered, a contribution period of 15 years is required.
In the event of separation or divorce from the marriage, the surviving spouse must also meet a series of requirements. You can consult all the information about the requirements to collect the widow’s pension in the event of divorce here .
Widow’s pension for common-law couples
Once the above requirements are met, the surviving cohabitant will be entitled to the widow’s pension:
- When you prove that your income during the calendar year prior to death does not reach 50% of the sum of the income of the surviving member and the income of the deceased in the same period. In the case of no common children, the percentage is 25%.
- When the survivor’s income is less than 1.5 times the minimum inter professional wage (SMI) in force at the time of death. For each common child entitled to an orphan’s pension, this limit will increase by 0.5% times the amount of the SMI.
In addition, the surviving member will have to prove other aspects of cohabitation.
4. Succession law (inheritances)
There are also no state regulations for common-law couples regarding inheritance . The Family Code only regulates the inheritance rights of the surviving spouse.
Therefore, at the state level there is no regulation on the rights of the common-law couple in the event of the death of the cohabitant .
At the regional level, it will depend on the place of residence of each de facto couple:
- Some Communities equate common-law couples with widowed spouses, such as the Basque Country or the Balearic Islands.
- There are Communities that lack hereditary regulations for de facto couples, such as Madrid.
In short, it is advisable for common-law couples to grant a will to guarantee the couple’s inheritance rights.