PACS Vs Marriage

I wanted to ask some advise on the main differences between getting PACSed and getting married? Are there any tax differences? How does it affect children of the relationship, inheritance etc?

My situation is that my partner and I have been together for 20 years but we are not married. We also have a 9 year old daughter together. We are thinking that it may be sensible to either get PACSed or married as we do own a house and other assets so it would be sensible and easier if there was a legal contract between us, aside from the fact that after 20 years it's probably about time we did one or the other!

In the UK before coming to France we did go to the Magistrates court and applied for parental responsibility for my partner as even though he is my daughters father and on her birth certificate he had no legal rights at all in the UK, even down to decisions on medical treatment. I think that this would be invalid in France so it is best to do something here to protect our family.

Does anyone have any advise from either side? Thanks!

Since its creation in 1999, the PACS’s rules are ever closer to the ones applied to marriage. In other words, there are now more similarities than differences between the two. Nevertheless, the differences may make a difference depending on the situation of the couple.

From an inheritance perspective, it is possible to attain the same estate planning objectives but the strategy adopted may be different depending on your situation. In any case, the surviving (married) spouse will have more “automatic” rights on the deceased spouse’s estate than the surviving (PACSed) partner.

The choice of a marriage or a PACS is one to consider carefully and it would be relevant to clearly determine your objectives (from a tax, legal, inheritance, social, religious, symbolic, etc. perspective) before making a decision.

As regards to couples, an old French legal saying mentions: “Live the way you want but die married”. Nowadays, “or PACSed” should be added to the latter sentence.

I would encourage everyone to think now… about their future… laws change … situations change…don’t leave it too late. In many cases PACS is NOT sufficient.