Civil union ('PACS')

The civil union (PACS) is a relatively recent institution in the Grand Duchy; it was introduced by the law of 9 July 2004. It provides legal security in civil, fiscal and social security matters for two people, of the same or different gender, who have decided to live together without getting married. It is legal recognition to communities of life other than marriage.

A partnership – or common-law union – is a domestic community of two people of the same or different gender, called "partners".The partners must appear before the Registrar of the municipality in which they live to declare their partnership personally and jointly.

Some figures to start with

According to the population census in 2011, 45.2% of the Grand Duchy's residents live together as a couple. Among these people, 2.7% have chosen to enter into a registered partnership ('PACS'), compared with 88.1% who are married and 9.1% who live together in a consensual union.

Civil union and children

People in a civil union are more likely to have fewer children than people who are married or living together in a consensual union. 38.5% of people in a civil union have children living in the same family, compared with 61.5% of married people and 53.2% of people who are living together in a consensual union.

At what age do Luxembourgers enter into a civil union?

In the Grand Duchy it is mainly people under 30 who opt for civil union (12.3% for the 20-24 years age group and 10.8% for the 25-30 years age group).

Civil union and nationality

Although the number of civil unions is relatively low, it is more common among Luxembourgers than among nationals of other countries. Luxembourgers are over-represented in every age group.

Declaring a civil union ('PACS')

Anyone, regardless of nationality, may enter into a civil union in the Grand Duchy, on condition that:
  • they are legally resident in the Grand Duchy;
  • they have legal capacity to enter into a contract;
  • they are not bound by any other marriage or civil union;
  • they are not within a certain degree of relationship.
The future partners must appear before the Registrar of the municipality in which they live to declare their partnership personally and jointly. The declaration is passed on to the Public Prosecutor's Office within three days, to be kept in the civil records registry.
You will find full information on the procedure for 'Declaring a civil union (PACS)' on the Citizens' portal.

What type of paid leave applies?

Anyone bound by an employment contract is entitled to special paid leave for personal reasons when he/she declares a civil union. The leave is 6 days for civil servants and 1 day for employees of the private sector.

For details of the procedure for 'Applying for special leave for personal reasons', please consult the Citizens' portal.

Understanding the legal effects of living in a civil union (PACS)

Declaring a civil union creates rights and duties between the partners.

You will find full information on the legal effects of living in a civil union (PACS) on the Citizens' portal.

What changes in terms of tax?

Taxpayers in a civil union may opt to be taxed collectively on all their income, in tax category 2. If the partners do not opt for collective assessment, they are taxed individually on their income.

You will find more details on tax and civil union on the Citizens' portal.

Ending a civil union

A civil union may be ended:

  • by mutual agreement, with a joint declaration by both partners;
  • by a unilateral declaration by one of the partners;
  • by the marriage of one of the partners;
  • by the death of one of the partners.
You will find more details on the procedure for 'Ending a civil union (PACS)' on the Citizens' portal.

  • Updated 06-03-2018