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Civil Partnerships

On June 5, 2016, Law No. 76 of May 20, 2016 “Regulation of civil partnerships between same-sex people and regulation of living together” (published in the Official Journal No. 118 of May 21, 2016) came into force in the Italian legal system.

The law regulates, on the one hand, the bond between two same-sex persons, called “civil partnership”, and, on the other, the actual living together of two same- or opposite- sex persons.

  1. Civil partnerships

Civil partnership is a legal relationship between same-sex persons resulting in a change in their civil status.

An Italian citizen who wishes to form a civil partnership abroad may apply to the Italian Consular Office competent for his / her place of residence. At the same time as the civil partnership is established, both parties may, where necessary, make declarations regarding the choice of a common surname and/or the property regime.

Civil partnerships established at the Italian Consular Office are entered into the civil status register of the Municipality where the Italian citizen is registered with AIRE.

In accordance with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Italian consular authority may carry out the tasks and functions of Civil Status Registrar if the laws and regulations of the State of accreditation do not prevent it. It is therefore not always possible to proceed with the establishment of civil partnerships abroad. For further information, please contact the Italian Diplomatic or Consular Representation concerned. (Per ulteriori informazioni si contatti la Rappresentanza diplomatica o consolare italiana di interesse).

In Italy it is possible to register the certificates of marriage between same-sex people (or similar relationship) established before foreign authorities in which at least one of the parties is of Italian nationality. In the Italian legal system, they produce the effects of the civil partnership regulated by Law No. 76/2016.

The request for registration shall be submitted to the Italian Consular Office abroad in the district of residence.

  1. De facto living together

De facto living together is regulated by Law No. 76/2016. It has a different nature from civil partnerships and does not change the partners’ civil status, but is regulated exclusively within the Civil Registry system.

An Italian citizen residing abroad may declare – at the Consular Office competent for his / her place of residence, a “de facto living together” with a same- or opposite- sex person residing at the same foreign address and registered with the same AIRE Municipality, as specified by the Interior Ministry.

Following the transmission of the “de facto living together” declaration, the Italian Municipality may issue a certificate proving the establishment of a household for civil registry purposes.

Another thing is the cohabitation agreement or contract. At the Consular Office, the Italian citizen residing abroad who meets the specific requirements, may enter into the “cohabitation agreement or contract” provided for by paragraph 50 of Law No. 76/2016 or request the authentication of the signatures at the foot of the agreement or contract itself. The cohabitation agreement or contract has exclusively financial and property content and is regulated by Italian law only if the contracting parties are both Italian citizens or reside in Italy. If the two contracting parties have different nationalities and reside in a foreign country, the applicable law shall be the law of that country.