MP: passing Cohabitation Act implementation act would clear up confusion

People demonstrating against the cohabitation bill in front of the Parliament in 2014 (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)
10/9/2015 3:07 PM
Category: Politics

A number of Parliament members want to begin a debate over bills needed to implement the Cohabitation Act, which was passed a year ago, but needs another vote to enter force.

Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Heljo Pikhof said that passing the bill would avert a situation where the Cohabitation Act as such has been passed, but its implementation is difficult, if not impossible.

The Cohabitation Act is due to enter force on January 1, 2016, but without an implementing act a number of loose ends would remain, such as the lack of a central register for cohabitation agreements, meaning people will be able to sign more than one agreement.

The initial bill does not give power to public notaries to check whether foreigners wanting to enter into cohabitation, have already done so abroad. There are also no rules on how to end a cohabitation.

Pikhof said that without the implementing act, a couple would remain in legal cohabitation if one side does not want an annulment, adding that with the Cohabitation Act, a cohabitation divorce is only possible if both sides agree, and if one does not, the pair remain legally joined until death.

The implementing act would also clear up subjects like inheritance and alimony.

The act would need the backing of 51 MPs. The initial Cohabitation Act, which caused heated protests and debate, as it gives equal rights to same-sex couples, passed by 40 votes for and 38 against (10 abstained and 13 MPs were absent).

J.M. Laats

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