The law attributes to the de facto union some legal effects identical to those of marriage, although it does not equate the two figures.
Thus, de facto unites are entitled to food, housing guarantees and social assistance.
As the de facto union is not subject to a property regime, the rules governing the patrimonial effects of the marriage do not apply.
Which means that, with the end of the de facto union, there are no common goods to share.
However, it is necessary to decide on the destination of the goods.
The dissolution of the partnership may take place by mutual consent, by the will of one of the members or due to the death of one of them.
Once the relationship is dissolved, difficulties may arise in the allocation of existing assets, common to the couple.
It is common that, during the pending de facto union, there are assets acquired by the members of the couple, bank credits taken by one or both, bank accounts in the name of the two, among others.
However, since the rules governing the patrimonial effects of the marriage cannot be applied, the rules that have been agreed in the cohabitation contract eventually concluded and, failing that, the general rules of law apply.
If there is no prior combination, the situation will be in accordance with the legal institutes of joint ownership or unjust enrichment, depending on the couple’s specific financial situation.
The co-ownership institute provides that the de facto partners are both owners of a property (movable or immovable), in proportion to what each of them has contributed to its acquisition.
On the other hand, enrichment without cause provides that whoever enriches without justification at the expense of someone else’s assets will have to return what they have taken over.