The de facto marital union is a figure recognized in Colombia that establishes a form of cohabitation similar to marriage, but without the legal formality.
In Colombia, the law states that in order to form a common-law marital union there must be:
- A permanent, exclusive and singular coexistence, which means that there cannot be a plurality of relationships.
- It must be monogamous, whether between couples of the same or different sex, but only between two people.
- They cannot be married to each other, but they can be married to other people.
- There can be no blood relationship between them.
Effects: The de facto marital union grants couples a series of rights and duties similar to those of marriage. Some of the most important effects are:
- Rights in pension substitution.
- Application of the rules of domestic violence.
- Civil liability rights.
- Inheritance rights.
- Right to alimony during the duration of the marital union, and at the end of the same when there is mistreatment.
- Presumption of paternity.
- Exemption from the duty of reporting and declaration.
- It is possible to conclusion of marital contracts.
- There is a change in marital status to permanent partners.
It is important to mention that with respect to the assets, in the common-law marital union it is possible that the patrimonial partnership arises either by way of presumption once the couple has been living together in a stable and uninterrupted manner for two years without any impediment to form a marriage or the existence of the same can also be declared before a notary public by means of a public deed, in a conciliation center or before a judge.
According to the Ministry of Justice and Law, the request for the constitution of the de facto patrimonial partnership must contain:
- Description of the notary to whom it is addressed (if filed with a notary), description of the conciliation center to whom it is addressed (if filed with a conciliation center) or description of the court to whom it is addressed (if filed with a judge).
- The names, identification and place of residence of the permanent partners (must be the same for both).
- Contact telephone number of each of the members of the couple.
- An email if available.
- Manifestation of the facts that the couple has cohabited uninterruptedly for at least two years (existence of the de facto marital union), indicating the date on which the cohabitation began.
- Declaration that none of the permanent partners has a (legal) impediment to marry.
- If one or both of the partners is unable to marry, the marital partnership resulting from the marriage must have been dissolved prior to the commencement of uninterrupted cohabitation.
- Documents and evidence that prove the existence of the common-law marriage and the patrimonial partnership.
Finally, the de facto marital union arises from the beginning of the cohabitation and the patrimonial partnership after two years of cohabitation. Therefore, a common-law marriage can exist without a property partnership.