PACS vs MARRIAGE? Pros and cons

I am just after a bit of advice - can anybody help?
My partner and I are planning to get PACSed (or married) this year. I am English, he is French. I moved from the UK 5 years ago, into his house in France, with my daughter and his son from a previous relationship, and we are planning to get married in Sicily at some point in the future - big do, lots of family etc etc. Anyway, earlier this year, we were talking with friends who were in a similar situation, and she mentioned that she has no rights if she goes to live in her future husbands country (italy), and that if anything happens to him, she will be in trouble - this got us thinking - same applies to me. If anything (god forbid) happens to Oli, his ex will be entitled to the house (son not old enough yet), and I will be in the poo! Ok, we will get PACSed we thought - straightforward enough - I would have rights, and then we can get married in Italy later on, as we planned. Having looked into it now, we are now wondering if we should just have a small marriage (can't afford a big one atm) now and be done with it? According the lady at the tribunal, being PACSed doesn't give automatic rights, so we would have to see a notaire too? Sorry this is so long - basically, I am after some up to date info on the pros and cons of PACS v Marriage. The internet is (as always) full of conflicting articles, so not much use at all! Hope someone is able to shed some light!

If you do get married, have a PRE-NUP! It will make it all so much easier if you do end it. Don’t look at it as a negative view of your marriage. If you go into business with someone you think it will be a success, right? A smart business person will have a transparent and fair exit strategy. I know from experience…I did not have a pre-nup.

Also in regards to MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE, please refer to Brussels II and Rome III for mutual EU member obligations on recognition. The Hague Convention would address this in a global version. This is only about recognition, not inheritance.

That has to do with wills. The woman originally was discussing marital property. In Catalonia, you must have a will to pass the property along to your spouse. Madrid is another matter. Yes, a will drafted in one member state is acknowledged in another. For any issues such as this go to the EU Commission website. They have all the info and if you can’t find the answer, ask them! They reply within a few days to a week. Great service!

I am no expert but summer 2015 appears to be the time- but it needs to be monitored as these things have a habit of changing

Any idea of exactly when this will happen David ?

Inheritance laws going to change in the EU as from 2015 and nationals born in one EU state but living in another may chose to write a will in the law of their birth state. Proper advice needs to be taken.

Good point. You need to know the inheritance laws of where you live as well. In Spain, Catalonia has different laws. A widow will not inherit her wife’s share of the home …the spouse’s family will inherit her half. (Yes I used a female couple.) the only way to ensure your spouse gets your half in Catalonia is to have a will OR a little know use of “right of survivorship” I used that but it is tne customary form in the US when you want your part of something to pass directly to your partner in the property. Always check local customs as well. I’m not sure if France allows for local customs and laws in certain family matters. It’s something we take for granted.

My friends (him French, her British divorced, no children) visited a couple of notaires about this as they had several properties and wanted to make sure the other would be able to keep the properties in the event. Conclusion, in France they had to be married, they didn't want to but have done that in the end as it was the simplest way to keep the status quo in the event either of them died.

If you had not been two Euro citizens, the easiest answer would be …get married! PACS really does not do much for the non EU partner. Even with marriage I would have to wait ONE YEAR to work! How crazy is that? The best answer is speak to a lawyer and in each case draw up a pre-nup…it may not sound romantic but you will use it. I hope you never will have to rely on it but the stats about marriage / PACS say it won’t be forever.

I was told in 75 that that in Scotland the minister can act as registrar but not in England. The reason being that the C of S is not the established Church in England. We were married at St Columba's, Pont Street by the Revd J Fraser McCluskey who i think later returned to Scotland and became the Moderator. We had to prove to the Chelsea Registrar where we lived and provide some proof of ID. Obviously the English did not trust the Scots in those days and now it's a big issue for many in the "north".

I got married in the Church of Scotland and the minister acted as registrar. But it was in Scotland - and also some 15 years after you did so perhaps things had changed.

Not always correct in the UK. My first marriage in London was in the Church of Scotland and ministers in that Church are not recognised as registrars in England so the local registrar came to the Church for the ceremony. That was back in 75 but may be different now. However if Scotland goes independent it might change back again! I certainly agree that the expense of any wedding need not have any direct relationship with its significance. It's not just about expense on receptions, but huge sums of money are also now spent on the actual Church service through lavish floral displays, large numbers of bridesmaids, pages, sailor suits, choirs, professional photographers and video teams actually in the Church and grossly interfering with the essentially simple service, not to mention huge expenditure on clothes and other fripperies. It's got out of hand- like the EU! That's before the happy couple get in a vintage Bentley, carriage or somesuch and off to a large marquee with live band, dance floor and fireworks (not to mention the fireworks between the various family members). I had to threaten to whack a family member at my first wedding for making inappropriate remarks! I once saw an very unseemly brawl in a wedding at the Claremont Club in London's Berkeley Square. The protagonists are now both deceased but I will not reveal names.

Oh well I will carry on as cha and chow lady for a few more

and see how everything goes....before it all goes.

Old in this case Barbara means chronologically older than most people starting out in my job (whose mother I could easily be, physiologically)! But it is also shorthand for the accretions that age entails ;-).

Yes, if I want to retire with a full pension I'll have to work another 30-odd years. Probably by then I'll even be allowed to ;-) anything to keep the aged off the streets eh.

You have Vero just declared that you are old.

Just as I did many days ago when you asked about my work.

However you have mentioned many days ago that you have 30 working

years left...

Wow are you superwoman?

PS If you aren't planning to live in Italy, get married where you ARE intending to live - it saves a lot, and I mean a LOT of trouble. Have your party wherever you like.

In France marriage is precisely that, a business contract - if you want a sacrament as well you have to go to a church but it won't be legally valid on its own. The situation is different in the UK because recognised ministers of religion are also registrars. When you go & sign the register in church it is a civil register, not just a book belonging to that parish (like baptismal records).

As for parties you can organise what you like when you like - that has nothing to do with the actual pacs or marriage, any more than what you wear etc

Hi, you can get all the info you need about a pacs from the tribunal in your nearest town. It tells you what you need document-wise and explains the difference between pacs & marriage. But the best advice is go & see a notaire!

I am PACSed - my pacsé & I each own our own house, but we live in mine. I have several children, he has one adult child, we don't have any children together. The advantage from our point of view is that property inheritance is much easier in the event of one or the other dying - if you are pacsed what's yours remains yours. My pacsé, should I die, has the right to continue living in my house for a year while things are being sorted out, even if my children were to object - longer obviously if not.

If you acquire things after pacs they are jointly owned but what you had before remains your own, this corresponds to communauté universelle réduite aux acquêts.

It is quicker, procedurally, to make a pacs than marry - if you wish to dissolve the pacs it is also very quick and easy. You can get pacsed and then marry your pacsé & the marriage cancels out the pacs, so it is sometimes a quick half-way house solution for people planning marriage but not sorted out administratively. It boils down to official living & being taxed as a unit in admin terms, & if you have children together I think either of you can declare them & their filiation is clear.

There are particular situations as well: I'm a civil servant and can be sent anywhere in France if the Ministry feels like it. I'm also old and have lots of children but if I don't want to find myself sent to some hellhole at the other end of France I have to be pacsed or married otherwise I count as a single person with no family ties or responsibilities, no matter what my personal situation is.

Yes better to have tried! My second marriage BTW was great but very short due to an illness which my wife discovered within a year of our marriage- not at all sorry about the marriage itself which was "ab fab"!