Atlas

Latvia

Latvian family and succession law recognise one model of couple's relationship:

  • MARRIAGE between persons of different sex.

Marriage is regulated under the Family Law. Unregistered cohabiting partnerships, civil unions between persons of the same sex, and de facto cohabiting partnerships between persons of opposite or same sex are not regulated.

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DISCRIMINATORY RULES

Under Latvian law, only marriage between persons of different sex is recognised. De facto cohabitation of persons of different or same sex, as well as civil unions or marriage between persons of same sex are not legally regulated.

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Links to applicable regulations

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MARRIAGE

  • Latvian law allows for several matrimonial property regimes (Arts. 89-113 of the Civil Law).

Unless otherwise agreed by the spouses, the property regime established by law in Latvia for marriage (Arts. 89-113 of the Civil Law) is the legal community of assets. All the assets that the spouses purchase, jointly or separately, after the marriage form part of the community. Such property needs to be acquired by the spouses together, or by one of them, but from the resources of both spouses, or with the assistance of the other spouse; only then it forms the joint property of both spouses. In case of uncertainty, it is presumed that such property belongs equally to both spouses. The law does not consider property to be part of the communion: (1) if the goods were already owned by the spouse before the marriage; (2) if the goods were acquired through inheritance or donation; (3) if the goods are strictly personal or used for the exercise of the spouse‚Äôs profession; (4) if the goods were obtained as compensation for damages or as indemnity; (5) if the goods were purchased from the sale price of other personal assets, and (6) if this is expressly declared. Spouses in a regime of legal communion of assets may act with disjointed powers for ordinary administration, while for the extraordinary administration they must act jointly. The dissolution of the communion of assets occurs in case of death of one of the spouses, divorce, bankruptcy of one of the spouse, marriage annulment, by means of an agreement to renounce the legal communion or by judicial separation of assets. With the cessation of communion, the spouses proceed with a consensual or judicial division of common goods.

As an alternative to the communion of assets, the law allows the spouses to opt for the separation of assets. This regime is based on an express declaration of the spouses during the celebration of the marriage, or subsequently in the presence of a notary. In case of legal separation of the assets, each spouse remains the exclusive owner of the assets acquired prior to marriage, as well as of those acquired subsequently. The spouse, as the sole owner of his assets, is also entitled to enjoy and administrate them alone.

Other forms of property regimes, which are permitted are: (1) the conventional community, in which the spouses constitute, by an agreement, a property regime which is intended to include additional personal asstes not included by law in the community of assets (regime of complete union of marital property), and (2) the patrimonial fund, constituted by an authentic instrument formally drawn up by a notary, and aimed to support the needs of the family, through a restriction on the destination of particular assets. Marriage contract can be concluded before or after the conclusion of the marriage and shall be registered in the public register.

  • In case of death of one spouse the other has sucession rights.

If a spouse dies intestate, the surviving spouse has the right to inheritance. If there is one, two or three children, the spouse receives equal share as a child (meaning not less than one fourth of inheritance). If there are more than three children, the spouse receives one-fourth of the inheritance. In the absence of children, the surviving spouse has the right to have one-half of the inheritance and the furnishings of the dwelling (in that case the surviving spouse inherits with legitimate ascendants or with brothers and sisters of the deceased spouse). In the absence of children, of ascendants, of brothers or sisters, the surviving spouse inherits the whole inheritance.

Prepared by Dana Rone