Altea Attorney

Recognition in Belgium of a common law relationship registered abroad


Throughout the world, there are common law relationships that are recorded by a public authority but do not have the same effects as marriage. In Belgium, these are known as “legal cohabitation”.

The types of relationship registered can be very different from one country to another. Some do not have an equivalent under Belgian law (for example PACS [civil solidarity pact] in France, civil union in Luxembourg and some partnerships in Spain).

How do you register these common law relationships in Belgium ?

What law applies to these registered relationships with regard to the effects between the partners as well as the causes and conditions for dissolving the common law relationship ?

Under certain conditions, a Belgian judge may recognise a form of foreign common law relationship which does not have an equivalent in Belgium, for example in order to dissolve it, providing that the foreign law provides for the possibility of a legal dissolution of the relationship. The judge will then apply the said foreign law.

Under what conditions may a de facto or registered common law relationship justify a right to family reunification in Belgium ?

Altea offers advice by expert lawyers, adapted to your personal situation.

Contact Céline Verbrouck or Catherine de Bouyalski, specialist lawyers in immigration law and international family law, certified by the Order of Lawyers of the Bar of Brussels.