Are you and your partner thinking of becoming a de facto couple? It is an official way of indicating to the State that you are a formal and stable couple, therefore, you can benefit from a series of advantages that married couples usually enjoy. In this OneHOWTO article we are going to explain in a generic way how to become a de facto couple , however, you should bear in mind that, depending on the Autonomous Community in which you reside, there may be some extra requirements that are not covered here. We offer you the most general information but it is important that, if you are sure of taking the step, you make an appointment with your town hall so that they can inform you in detail.

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What to do to be a de facto couple: what you should know

Before explaining in detail how to become a de facto couple, it is important that we know what this type of formality is all about. Basically, it is an alternative option to getting married , an official way of indicating to the State that you and your partner are committed and that you have a solid and stable relationship. For practical purposes, it is a type of documentation that, in the eyes of the State, considers you as a married couple, although with some differences.

When a de facto couple is established, what is being done is to officially indicate that these two people are united in a stable way and that their union is carried out freely and publicly. The bond that exists from that moment between the couple is very similar to that which exists in the case of marriages.

You have to know that becoming a de facto couple can be carried out in different ways :

  • Notary : through a notarial deed it can be attested that both people have an official and stable relationship
  • Registry of de facto couples : this is the other option that currently exists and consists of the members of the couple being registered in the registry. In order for this to be done officially, it is important that the couple has lived together for a certain time (this period is stipulated by each Autonomous Community)

As happens when two people get married, when a couple becomes a common-law couple, they immediately assume rights and obligations that are somewhat different from those of couples who marry conventionally.

Documentation needed to become a de facto couple

We are going to tell you now how to become a de facto couple so that you know everything you have to take into account. First of all, you should know that the main objective pursued by this type of union is to officially recognize that both members of the couple undertake to fulfill a series of certain duties and rights. However, these rights and obligations vary depending on the Autonomous Community in which we find ourselves since, even today, there is no de facto partnership law that works at the state level.

In order to take the step and become a de facto couple you have to know that there are a series of requirements to be able to register as such. The most generic are the following:

  • ID of each member of the couple
  • Accreditation of the marital status of each one
  • The family books of each of the members
  • Fill out an official form that they will give you at registration
  • Documentation that proves that the minimum coexistence required by the Autonomous Community is met
  • In the event that one of the members has been married, they must present the annulment or divorce

You should know that, optionally, the couple can also deliver a document specifying what happens in the event that the relationship breaks up. For example, indicate the economic regime that you want to follow, the steps to follow in the event of a breakup, family responsibilities, etc. Although this document is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that it be delivered so that, at a legal level, you have a prior agreement with the steps to follow in the event that something happens between you.

Where to register as a de facto couple?

To be able to register as a de facto couple you have to know that, the most common, is to go to the Registry that is enabled in each Autonomous Community. However, another legal way is to carry out this procedure through a public deed that is signed before a notary, as we have indicated in the previous section.

As soon as this deed or registration is registered, the de facto couple is already formalized in the eyes of the State and, therefore, the two members benefit from the rights but must also assume the responsibilities of this union.

Benefits of becoming a de facto couple

Now that you know how to become a de facto couple, it is important that you know what are the advantages that you can begin to feel thanks to your union. Next, we will indicate the topics that cause the most doubts and we will compare them with the marriage regime so that, in this way, you can also see the differences between getting married and being a de facto couple.

Children in case of separation

Whether you are married or a de facto couple, when the relationship breaks up, the measures taken in relation to the children are the same. Therefore, it will be the couple who will decide how to manage the custody of the minor and carry out the legal procedure that is required.

The compensatory pension

Some Autonomous Communities have the regulation of the compensatory pension in the event that the couple breaks up. But it is important that you know that not all communities have this regulation, therefore, it is important to know it beforehand to know what the situation may be in case of rupture. In the event that it is a de facto couple who requests this pension, you have to know that the method followed to reach the agreement is different: it is usually done through an ordinary trial.

Widow’s pension

In this case, there are big differences between people who get married and those who become common-law couples. In the case of the former, if one member of the couple dies, the other is entitled to a widow’s pension regardless of how long they have been married or the money received by the survivor. However, in the event that the couple is de facto, in order to collect this pension, they must prove the following:

  • That they have been a de facto couple for at least 2 years
  • That during the 5 years prior to death they lived together
  • That the income of the person who remains alive does not exceed a certain amount (set by each Community)

work permits

Unmarried couples can join work permits in the event that the other member of the couple is ill or dies. Similarly, they also have maternity or paternity leave, as is the case with married couples.

Inheritance in the de facto couple

It is important that you know that, being a de facto couple, you do not have any right of inheritance. For this reason it is essential that you always have a signed will specifying what to do in the event of death. Otherwise, your partner will not keep anything.

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