Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS)

Who is the PACS for?

The Pacs is a contract agreed between two adults, of either different or same gender, to organise their life as a couple. It is designed for couples who do not wish to marry and who are seeking a legal framework and security that living together does not provide.
The Pacs creates rights and obligations between the partners. Aside from committing to a life together, partners are duty bound to assist and provide material assistance to each other. Excluding exceptions, they also have a joint liability in relation to a third of debts contracted by one party for the needs of everyday life. The Pacs also confers a certain number of non-negligible patrimonial benefits such as, notably, the possibility of placing certain assets in common, temporary right to accommodation for the surviving partner as well as tax benefits in the event of asset transfers due to death.

Is the Pacs restricted to a particular format?

The Pacs agreement can either be drafted as a notarised or private agreement.

If the partners choose to draft a private agreement, the document must be prepared in at least two copies, as it creates shared obligations between said partners. Once the agreement has been signed, the partners must, excluding exceptions, physically present themselves together to the Clerk's Office in the magistrate's court of their common place of residence to declare the Pacs agreement. The Clerk registers the common declaration. The Pacs takes effect between the partners from this date onwards, as the registration confers certain date. The Pacs is, on the other hand, effective for third parties as from the mention of the Pacs registration in the margin of each party's birth certificate.

If the partners choose a notarised agreement, the notary, who the couple has freely chosen, receives their common declaration, drafts the notarised agreement and delivers the notarised copies.
Once the agreement has been signed, the drafting notary registers the Pacs, notably using the computerised tool, Pacsen. The Pacs takes effect between the partners from the date of registration. And as previously, the Pacs is effective for third parties as from the mention of the Pacs registration in the margin of each party's birth certificate.

What benefits does a notarised Pacs agreement confer?

Aside from the usual benefits of the notarised agreement, there are multiple advantages conferred by the notarised Pacs.

Firstly, and unlike the registration of the private Pacs agreement for which the Clerk in the magistrate's court must control their territorial jurisdiction in relation to the common residence of both parties, the notarised agreement is registered by the acting notary freely chosen by the couple.

Secondly, when the deed is drafted, each party benefits from the presence of a notary, who advises them on the scope of their agreement and the suitability of certain clauses relative to the respective obligations of the partners. As such, the notary can advise them to include in the deed a clause specifying the financial and practical conditions of mutual assistance (contribution, supporting the work of the other partner, etc.), or even advise them to adopt a specific regime for their assets (either the legal separation of property or joint ownership). It is clear that such advice cannot be provided to partners who choose to draft their agreement by themselves.

Thirdly, a notarised Pacs agreement prevents any risk of loss, destruction or forgery, as the original agreement is conserved by the notary.

Lastly, the couple does not have to go to the magistrate's court as the drafting notary ensures the registration of the agreement and its publication.

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