Two people who live together may make a joint statement of written legal cohabitation to the civil status officer for the joint place of residence: they then become legal cohabiting partners (articles 1475 and 1476 of the Code Civil [Civil Code]).
The legal cohabitation declaration confers certain legal protection on these two people (article 1477Code Civil).
The building benefiting from the protection is the one used as a shared home, and the furniture which furnishes it is also protected.
This means that a legal cohabiting partner cannot solely dispose of this building as he or she pleases: he/she may not sell, give away or establish a mortgage on the property without the prior consent of the other.
If one of the cohabiting partners refuses his or her consent for no reason or without a valid reason, the matter may be brought before a competent judge who can authorise the other cohabiting partner to act alone.
Just like married couples, cohabiting partners must contribute toward the expenses of conjugal life, in proportion to their respective financial capabilities.
This obligation shall also apply to the costs of maintenance, and of the education and training of children forming part of the household, whether these be joint children or not.
Each time that one of the cohabiting partners contracts a debt essential for the needs of conjugal life or for the children that they are raising together, the other will also be bound by this debt.
If the agreement between the cohabiting partners is seriously disrupted, the matter may be brought before the justice of the peace who may order urgent interim measures (article 1479 Code Civil [Civil Code]) which may relate in particular to: