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Cohabitation has no legal status, but is  considered  a de facto union. This is the case when there is a common, stable and continuous life. Cohabitants do not have the same rights as a married couple in tax or inheritance matters. But parental authority is the same.

Legal status

Concubinage  has no legal status, it is a de facto union This is characterized by a common, stable and continuous life between two people of different sex or of the same sex. Cohabitation is proven by all means: invoices, various testimonies. Some town halls even issue cohabitation certificates, even if they have no legal value.


Partner rights! The fact of living together does not prove the existence of a tax household. The partner must therefore declare his income separately. The only exception concerns wealth tax. When there is a gift or bequest, the beneficiary will have to pay a tax of 60% of the value, which is particularly high. On the other hand, cohabitants are not taxed on real estate capital gains in the event of a transfer of a common residence.

social protection

The concubine has the same rights as the wife. She is entitled to the same benefits for sickness insurance and maternity insurance. On the other hand, like her companion, she does not benefit from widowhood allowances or a survivor’s pension in the event of death.

Parental authority

Children born of cohabitation are considered natural children. They have the same rights as children born of a so-called legitimate marriage. Unlike a married couple, there is no presumption of paternity for a cohabiting couple. You must therefore declare your child at the town hall to obtain joint parental authority.


A cohabitant cannot automatically inherit from their spouse, unlike a married couple. The only way to pass on one’s assets after one’s death is therefore to establish a donation during one’s lifetime or to draw up a will (see paragraph “Taxes”).

In case of separation

Cohabitants are not entitled to a compensatory allowance or to damages, whatever the reason for the break-up. Everyone keeps their property and has every interest in keeping invoices or loan contracts. Regarding children, cohabitants have the same rights as a married couple. Indeed, it is the family court judge who determines the residence of the child. The partner who does not have custody must pay a contribution to the maintenance and education of the child.
DAMY law firm , Nice, 2022