Two persons of legal age will have the opportunity to legally register their relationship by contacting a notary and entering into a partnership. This is provided for by amendments to several laws adopted by the Saeima in the second and final reading on Thursday, 9 November. The amendments will ensure the legal and social protection of these persons. The law also stipulates that partnership does not equate to marriage.
“Our Constitution guarantees the rights, protection and non-discrimination of every person. Three years ago, the Constitutional Court noted that there is a group of people who are discriminated against—people who live in partnership, but whose rights have not been respected. If a partnership actually exists, we must not ignore it. It is important that all people are protected in our country and that the state can help these people if such a need arises,” says Andrejs Judins, Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, which is responsible for the progress of the draft law in the Saeima, justifying the need for the partnership institution.
When starting a cohabitation or establishing a joint household, two adults can form close personal relationships based on mutual responsibility, care for each other, loyalty, understanding and respect, the authors of the draft law emphasise, pointing out that that the Constitution requires legal, economic and social protection of these relations.
The institution of partnership will be introduced from 1 July next year.
As per amendments to the Notariate Law, a sworn notary will make a notarial deed on partnership if two natural persons of legal age appear together in person and certify that they have a close personal relationship, a common household and an intention to take care of it, as well as to provide for and support each other. According to the amendments, people who are married, relatives in a direct line, brothers and sisters, step-brothers and step-sisters will not be able to form a partnership.
The partnership will be terminated by the death of a person or in the event that the court declares one of the persons dead, one or both persons’ marriage, a statement of the will of both persons to a notary or a court judgment. Information about the partnership will be included in the Register of Natural Persons by a sworn notary, thus state and local government institutions will be able to identify persons who have registered or terminated their partnership.
With amendments to the Law on the Rights of Patients, people in partnership will have the right to decide on consent to the partner’s medical treatment, treatment method, or refusal from it.
Amendments to the law On State Pensions provide that partners will have the right to receive social guarantees, including, in the event of the death of the other partner, the calculated amount of pension, which has not been paid up to the death of the relevant person. The law On Personal Income Tax also provides for tax relief from various property transactions, including gifts, as well as loans, if the transactions take place between people in partnership.
With amendments to the law On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials, it is stipulated that the official’s partner will be subject to the same restrictions already imposed on the relatives of the official. The partnership will have to be indicated in the public official’s declaration.
Saeima Press Service