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MEXLAW > Legal Services  > Validating Concubinato Status (Common Law Marriage) in Mexico

Validating Concubinato Status (Common Law Marriage) in Mexico

Many couples forgo a legal marriage and are living together as husband and wife without the religious or legal formality. Your relationship status may not be of great importance in your day-to-day life, but once you begin accumulating assets as a couple, terminate the relationship or if one partner passes away, then the legal status of your relationship comes into play. If you are in a common law relationship, you need to understand how to protect yourself and your partner in these scenarios.

The term concubinato relationship is Mexico’s version of common law marriage, although the word concubinato is similar to the English word concubine, it is not related. It merely means two people cohabiting as a couple without the benefit of marriage. In order to be considered concubinato neither party may be a minor, nor can they be already married to someone else.

Validating Concubinato Status

If one partner passes away, how will the courts divide the estate? You may need to prove your concubinato or common law status. It is important to research the law in the state you reside in as some states recognize concubinato and some do not. The Federal Civil Code now allows a man and woman who have been living together at least two years as husband and wife to register their relationship and receive a certificate confirming their concubinato status. The couple will require two witnesses during this procedure. In Quintana Roo, this type of certificate may be obtained from DIF (Integral Development of the Family).

As parents of a common child your relationship status does not make a difference; if the couple live together they are automatically considered to be concubinato without the two-year cohabitation requirement. If the couple separates, the rights and obligations of parenting and child support are no different than if you had married and divorced.

In the event of the death of a partner, the surviving partner must prove the concubinato status in order to be eligible for benefits or property to be awarded to them. It is also recommended that you prepare a Mexican will to protect your assets and your loved ones.