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There are three different types of “partnership” in France, all regulated by the code civil. 

Concubinage (article 515-8): “The Concubinage is an union in fact, characterized by a life in common offering a character of stability and continuity, between two persons, of different sexes or of the same sex, who live as a couple”. Both partners are taxed separately for income purposes, do not have any legal right after death (without a will) and there is no formality to break up the relationship. 

Registered Partnership (PACTE CIVIL DE SOLIDARITE known as PACS) articles 515-1 to 515-7: It is a contract in which both partners owe each other mutual and material assistance. There are two different regimes of PACS, the separation of ownership (applicable regime by default) or the joint ownership. Both partners are jointly taxed for income purposes from the second year. The PACS can also provide legal right to the registered partner after death, in the presence of a Will and will provide the surviving partner with an exemption of inheritance tax. The PACS is terminated by a simple declaration but both partners may need to distribute any joint assets. 

Marriage : Finally, the marriage is a solemn union (union solennelle) which provides rights and duties for each spouse. There are several marriage regimes in France, legal or conventional. The marriage is terminated by divorce, which can be judicial or amicable. Spouses will also benefit from legal rights after death and an exemption of Inheritance tax. 

Whether you wish to enter into any kind of legal union, it is important for each partner to assess their own estate, personal situation before deciding with union to choose for the future.

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