Atlas

Slovenia

Slovenian family and sucession law recognise four models of couple's relationships: 

  • MARRIAGE between persons of oposite sex

  • COHABITATION between persons of oposite sex

  • FORMAL CIVIL UNION between persons of same sex

  • NON-FORMAL CIVIL UNION between persons of same sex

The Family code (Družinski zakonik) was adopted on the 21 March 2017 and is in use since the 15 April 2019. It replaced the Marriage and Family Relations Act. The marriage and the Cohabitation are regulated under the Family Code, while the “formal” and “non-formal” civil unions are regulated under the Civil Union Act (Zakon o partnerski zvezi), in use since the 24 February 2017. 

_________________________________________________

DISCRIMINATORY RULES

Same-sex marriages are not allowed in Slovenia. Civil unions, which are envisaged for registered and de facto same-sex couples offer the majority of rights and duties that are foreseen for spouses and partners in cohabitation.

_________________________________________________

Links to applicable regulations

_________________________________________________

MARRIAGE

  • The marriage is a domestic community between one man and one woman, the formalization, legal consequences and termination of which is regulated by the Family Code. It also regulates the matrimonial property regime. The spouses are free to regulate their property relations by a matrimonial property agreement (contractual matrimonial property regime). In case spouses do not conclude a matrimonial property agreement, the statutory matrimonial property regime is applicable (presumption of statutory marital property regime).

The statutory matrimonial property regime envisages a community property regime for the co-owned property (skupno premoženje) of spouses and a separate property regime for the for the separate property (posebno premoženje) of each spouse. Co-owned property of spouses includes all property, which was acquired by work or against payment during the marriage or domestic community of the spouses. It also includes the property, which is acquired on the basis and by means of co-owned property and which arises form co-owned property. The shares on the co-owned property are not specified and it belongs jointly to both spouses. The shares are specified in the event of termination of marriage or if spouses conclude an agreement on the division of co-owned property. Separate property regime applies to separate property of each spouse, which is the property that was acquired before marriage or received by a spouse without consideration during marriage – e.g. inheritance and gifts. Separate property also includes items of small value, which are intended for exclusively personal use, regardless of the manner of acquisition. Separate property is exclusively owned by the spouse, who has acquired it.

In case spouses opt for a contractual matrimonial property regime, they are free to decide about the content of their matrimonial property agreement. In the agreement they determine a property regime that differs from the statutory property regime and may regulate other property affairs among them during marriage and in case of a divorce. Spouses are not limited to any models that would be envisaged by law. The spouses are, however, not allowed to circumvent the provisions on accommodation protection of a co-owned accommodation in which they live with their children. The agreement must be concluded in the form of notarial deed, it needs to be entered into the register of matrimonial property agreements and the notary public, which assists during the conclusion of the agreement also needs to make sure that the content of the agreement does not contravene the Constitution, mandatory rules and moral principles. A matrimonial property agreement may be concluded before marriage or after the marriage was concluded. In the matrimonial property agreement spouses may also include an agreement on mutual spousal maintenance and an agreement on maintenance in the event of divorce.

  • Co-owned property of spouses is divided either (1) in the case of termination of marriage or already during marriage by (2) an agreement or (3) on proposal of either of the spouses.

In case of division of property, the shares of spouses on co-owned property are deemed to be equal, however, the spouses may prove that they have contributed to the co-owned property in a different proportion (a negligible difference in contribution to the co-owned property is not taken into consideration). Spouses may also agree about the sizes of their shares. If spouses conclude an agreement on division of co-owned property, such agreement also needs to include an agreement on the sizes of their shares. After establishing the shares of co-owned property, spouses may agree on the manner of dividing the property. If there is no agreement on division of property, a court shall divide the property in accordance with the rules applying to the division of co-owned property.

  • In case of death of a spouse his share on the co-owned property and his separate property may be inherited. Shares of both spouses on the co-owned property are deemed to be equal, but it may also be proven that one spouse contributed in different proportion. The other spouse may inherit on the basis of the law (intestate succession) or a will (testate succession).

In case of intestate succession, the law stipulates that the spouse inherits with the deceased’s children in equal shares (first order of succession). If the deceased left no children, the spouse will inherit with the deceased’s parents (and/or brothers and sisters) – in that case he/she is entitled to half of the inheritance (second order of succession). The share of a spouse may, on his request, be enlarged if his/her subsistence would be endangered.

In case of testate succession, a spouse is entitled to a compulsory share, which amounts to one half of the share, to which he/she would be entitled had there come to intestate succession. The position of a spouse is further protected with the provision, which entitles him to household items (e.g. furniture, kitchen appliances, bedding etc.). These items are not calculated in the compulsory share.


COHABITATION

  • The cohabitation is a long-term domestic community of a man and a woman, who are not married, provided that there would be no grounds for a marriage between them to be invalid (the Family Code). Between the partners, cohabitation has the same legal consequences as those of marriage, which are provided for by the Family Code. In other areas (not regulated by the Family Code), cohabitation has the same legal consequences if so is provided by the law. Cohabitation, therefore, has the same legal consequences as marriage on personal level as well as on the property level, thus the matrimonial property regimes applicable to marriage are also applicable to cohabitation. Furthermore, although the Family code explicitly prescribes that cohabitation has the same legal consequences as marriage only between the partners, cohabitation also has the same legal consequences as marriage regarding the matrimonial property in respect of third parties. In legal areas other than Family Law, cohabitation creates legal consequences only if the relevant laws stipulate so. This is the case in the field of succession law, law of obligations, tax law, social security law, health insurance, housing legislation etc.). As cohabitation creates the same legal effects as marriage in so many fields, people often believe that the legal effects of marriage and cohabitation are exactly the same. 

  • The Inheritance Act provides that in case of succession its provisions relating to rights, obligations, limits and position of spouses are equally valid for cohabitation.


FORMAL CIVIL UNION

  • A formal civil union is a domestic community between two women or two men, the formalisation, legal consequences and termination of which is regulated by the Civil Union Act. A formal civil union has the same legal consequences as marriage in all legal spheres, unless otherwise provided by the Civil Union Act. The two exceptions to the abovementioned rule are that civil union partners are not allowed to adopt children together and that they do not have the right to biomedically assisted procreation. Therefore, the rules describe above that relate to property regimes of spouses are also applicable to partners in formal civil union.

  • Since a formal civil union has the same legal consequences as marriage in all legal spheres, a partner in a formal civil union is in the same position as a spouse (see above), when it comes to succession.


NON FORMAL CIVIL UNION

  • Non-formal civil union is a long term domestic community between two women or two men, who have not concluded a civil union, provided that there are no reasons for a civil union between them to be invalid (the Civil Union Act). A non-formal civil union has the same legal consequences, including as regards their property, between the partners as if the partners have formalised their civil union.

This means that in the field of family law, partners enjoy same rights and obligations as partners of formal (concluded) civil union, namely same rights as spouses. In legal areas outside of family law, a non-formal civil union has the same legal consequences as cohabitation, unless otherwise provided by the Civil Union Act (civil union partners are not allowed to adopt children together and they do not have the right to biomedically assisted procreation). This means that a non-formal civil union will have legal consequences in other legal areas only if cohabitation also creates legal consequences in those areas. Examples of such legal areas are: succession law, law of obligations, tax law, social security law, health insurance, housing legislation etc.

  • In case of succession, a partner in a non-formal civil union is in the same legal position as a spouse (see above).

Based on national report provided by Filip Dougan