Slovakian family and sucession law recognise one form of couple's relationship:
MARRIAGE between persons of opposite sex
The marriage is regulated by the Civil Code.
Marriage is confined only to opposite-sex couples. People of the same sex do not have an option to formalise their communion. De facto cohabitation is not regulated by law, only sporadically by the Civil Code resulting in far less property and sucession rights than spouses, while the de facto cohabitation between persons of the same sex has no recognition whatsoever.
Links to applicable regulations
MARRIAGE, SUCCESION: Family Act No. 36/2005 Coll.; Name and Surname Act No. 300/1993 Coll.; Civil Registries Act No. 154/1994 Coll.; Civil Non-Contentious Procedure Code No. 161/2015 Coll.
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: Regulation 650/2012, Slovakian Private International Law Act No. 97/1963 Coll.
The default matrimonial property regime is the ‘undivided co-ownership of spouses’. The spouses may contractually extend or restrict the scope of this regime as well as the administration of the property. Matrimonial property agreement is otherwise not allowed.
Property rights and duties of the spouses (undivided co-ownership and common lease of flat) are regulated by the Civil Code. The undivided co-ownership is stipulated in §§ 143–150 and the common lease of flat in §§ 703–711 of the Civil Code. Statutory regime called ‘undivided co-ownership of spouses’ arises by operation of law by celebration of a marriage. It cannot be excluded before the wedding, neither by contract nor by decision of any state authority. This regime may however be changed on contractual bases during the marriage.
An agreement of the spouses to that effect requires a form of a notarized protocol. The content of marital agreement is limited by law. Spouses are entitled to extend or restrict the scope of undivided co-ownership determined by a statute; to change the rules of property administration; and to postpone establishment of undivided co-ownership until the moment when the marriage terminates.
During the marriage the exclusive property of each spouse and the joint property of spouses simultaneously exist. Joint property is the “undivided co-ownership” which includes property acquired by any of the spouses or by both of them during the marriage, starting from its celebration. Assets excluded from this regime are: property acquired by succession, property acquired by donation, property intended for personal use or profession of only one spouse, property acquired by restitution, unless the property was given back to both spouses as to the original owners. Earnings of the exclusive property (interest of money, rent for the apartment) belong to the common property.
Both spouses are entitled to use all property in undivided co-ownership. Equally, they are both obliged to cover the costs related to the use and maintenance of their common property. Usual Juridical Acts related to common property may be made by any of the spouses. In other cases, the consent of both spouses is required, otherwise the juridical act is void. Juridical Acts related to common property create solidary obligations of both spouses. Undivided co-ownership can be settled by: a) an agreement; b) decision of the court; c) statutory presumption.
In the event of death of the spouse, dissolution of communion of property takes place prior to successions procedure.
Intestate succession takes place when there is no testament. Succession in intestacy is based on the kinship with the deceased. The Civil Code enlists the legal heirs of the deceased in classes. In the first group, the testator’s children and spouse inherit, each an equal share. If there are no descendants of the decedent, spouse can not inherit alone and inheriting does not occur according to the first inheritance group. The second inheritance group is applied, where the heirs are: spouse of the decedent; father of the decedent; mother of the decedent; persons who lived with the deceased in the same household for at least one year before his death, and who for that reason, took care of the common household or were depended on the decedent. The spouse inherits at least half of the inheritance, but if there are no other heirs in this group, he/she is entitled to inherit the entire amount of inheritance. Other heirs in this group have equal shares (distributed from the second half). In the third inheritance group, the siblings of the decedent and his cohabitants inherit on equal shares.
In case of testate sucession, the provisions of the Civil Code on compulsory heirship protect the descendant of the testator as “forced heirs”. Minor heirs must acquire at least what their legal share is; adult heirs must acquire at least half of what their legal share is. If the will violates this rule, it shall be ignored in parts colliding with this rule unless the forced heirs were disinherited. A will in this section is considered voidable and may be challenged by the descendants.
DE FACTO COHABITATION
De facto cohabitation is not legally regulated as a form of family union in Slovak law, but some family rights are extended to them as well. Property rights of de facto cohabitatants are sporadically governed by the Civil Code.
Cohabitating persons have some rights in the area of succession and transition of the tenancy of the flat. Adjustment of their legal relations is left to the will of the parties (e.g., adjustment of the Civil Code about innominate contracts or the will by succession). When proxy for each other, no legal proxy is possible, they need delegation of powers. They are not allowed to information about the health condition of their partner in the event of medical care. They have no access to state benefits and allowances either. In the event of death of the cohabitant there is a possibility of succession only if the legator did not have any children.