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To marry or not to marry?

Recently, there has been a trend where young people are not exactly rushing into marriage. Therefore, it is worth knowing when it is advantageous to be in a so-called chomout and when and for whom it is more suitable to live on a dog book.

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Spouse tax credit

One of the tangible benefits of marriage is definitely the tax advantage of the spouse tax credit. You can claim this allowance of CZK 24,840 per year if the spouse with whom you share a household does not have a personal income exceeding CZK 68,000 for the year. If your spouse is a holder of a Disabled Persons’ Identity Card/P, the discount is 49 680 crowns. The rebate will either be deducted by your employer in your annual settlement or claimed on your tax return. Unmarried couples do not have this benefit.

Information on health status, paternity determination

Marriage is also more advantageous in various practical matters where you need to prove that you belong together. Persons close to the patient are legally entitled to health information. Such persons include, of course, relatives, spouse, but also companion and partner. However, in the case of a couple living in a cohabiting relationship, i.e. a union that has not been formally married, it may be more difficult to prove that you are a couple and are close to each other. If it were not possible otherwise, you would have to prove your closeness, for example with the help of witnesses. The situation is similar when a child is born and paternity is being established. In a marriage, the mother’s husband is automatically recognised as the father. In an unmarried relationship, it is advisable to go to the registry office before the birth and have your partner registered as the father by a declaration of consent from the parents. If the unmarried partners disagree and the partner does not want to be entered on the birth certificate, the mother will have to go to court to establish or deny paternity.

Tip: Will the apartment that your husband bought before you got married be part of the community property? What about the inheritance from my wife’s aunt, will it be included in the community property? Or a loan your husband took out that he didn’t tell you about? And how to settle the community property? All questions can be answered in our separate article.

Consultation with a lawyer

Looking for an answer to a specific legal question? Email us and you will have an answer from one of our attorneys within 48 hours. We have specialists in all areas of law and guarantee the high level of expertise of our attorneys.

Tip: Do you suspect that your partner’s financial situation and debts are unresolved or that you don’t even have a very indicative overview of it? Is your spouse running a business and you are worried about being liable for any debts from the business with your own assets? How can you effectively protect yourself in such cases?

Housing and property

In the case of property relations, it is no longer possible to say unequivocally whether one or the other cohabitation model is preferable. Some people will be more comfortable living together with their spouse, while others will prefer a freer, separate regime. If you enter into a marriage, you will automatically have a community of property. Everything you acquire from then on will be in that community property and both spouses will have equal rights and obligations to it. Exceptions to the community of property are personal effects, for example, what a spouse inherits or receives as a gift. People living in a cohabitation have no community of property and keep their property separate. Each person owns what he or she has bought with his or her own money. When they buy things together, they can acquire them in joint ownership. In the event of a break-up, it is usually easier to divide property if you were not married. Settling marital property can be complicated and court proceedings can drag on. However, even spouses can have separate property if they agree to it beforehand (or even during the marriage). If a split then occurs, they have a simpler situation, at least as far as property settlement is concerned.

Closely related to property is the question of housing. If the unmarried partners are renting, it will depend very much on who has entered into the tenancy agreement. The other partner will have no claim to the flat and will usually have to leave automatically when the partner separates or dies. On the issue of rented accommodation, marriage is preferable as the spouses have a joint tenancy by law. Even if only one of the spouses is listed as the tenant on the lease, the other will have the same rights to the flat and, if one spouse dies, the other will not lose the flat.

Inheritance and pension

A fairly fundamental difference between marriage and unmarried cohabitation arises when one of the partners dies. If your spouse does not make a will to include you and has children, you will receive nothing from the inheritance. Spouses have it easier. Even if no will is made, the spouse is in the first class of heirs and inherits with the deceased’s children. If the couple had no children, the husband inherits in the second class of heirs, together with the deceased’s parents and those who lived in the same household with the deceased for at least 1 year. However, the spouse must always receive at least half of the estate. Spouses also benefit from a widow’s and widower’s pension, which they may be entitled to for one year after death (and sometimes permanently) if certain circumstances are met. The spouse cannot receive any such benefits.

Are you interested in other legal differences between marriage and cohabitation? Do you need advice? Do not hesitate to contact us.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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