Pareja de Hecho – what is it, how do you get one, what documents are required?
You may have heard of the term ‘Pareja de Hecho’ but have no idea what it means. It is the term used in Spain to describe a ‘de facto’ couple or more commonly known in English as a common law couple. This is a couple who live together, are partners but are not married. Some countries legally recognise de facto couples without the need to register the partnership and both partners have legal rights as a couple.
In Spain this is not the case, if you are a non married couple but live together you are legally considered as two separate individuals and one cannot be the beneficary of the other in matters such as healthcare or residence / visa applications, joint taxes and many other matters.
Many couples do not want to get married for a variety of reasons but they do want to still be legally recognised as a couple. Declaring you are ‘pareja de hecho’ can solve this. It can be declared in front of a public notary, at a townhall or in front of a justice of the peace (juzgado de paz). As with all legal matters there are certain documents that must be submitted to complete the process.
Once signed, the pareja de hecho document can be used for the benefits listed above however it is wise noting that this does not mean you are a civil couple and therefore it does not give you rights to inheritance nor for example does it allow you to make end of life decisions for your partner.
Unlike a marriage, it is a lot easier (and less costly) to dissolve a parjea de hecho. A trip to the notary by one or both partners is enough to cancel it. There is also no dissolution of assets with each partner maintaining the assets they had when they entered the partnership.
We are experts in dealing with these matters. If you think a pareja de hecho might be the right fit for you and your partner, come and talk to us, we can help.