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Unlike a spouse or a person who has entered into a PACS, a partner is never required to repay a debt contracted by the other if he has not signed the contract himself.
This is what the Court of Cassation has just recalled. The facts are as follows: two people are cohabiting. One of the partners takes out a loan on their own from a credit company. Following unpaid bills, the financial organization pursues the two cohabitants for payment. The district court orders them both jointly and severally to repay the debt. The judgment is quashed. For the Court of Cassation, a partner is not required to reimburse a debt contracted by the other if he has not signed the contract himself. And this, even if he was aware of the commitment made by the other and had taken advantage of it.
This is settled case law: the provisions of the Civil Code which provide for the solidarity of spouses in matters of debts contracted for the maintenance of the household or the education of children, are not applicable to cohabitants.
If a spouse enters into a contract on his own which has as its object the maintenance of the household or the education of the children, his spouse will be automatically engaged and may be required to claim the entire debt. Similarly in the case of Pacs, a debt contracted by one of the partners for the needs of everyday life will automatically bind the other partner.
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