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Cohabitation rights bill under discussion

  • 2014-03-21
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

A working group including all Estonian parliament parties is preparing to initiate a bill that would allow people of the opposite sex, as well as same-sex couples, to officially register their cohabitation, reports Postimees.

The working group includes Reform Party MPs Rait Maruste and Imre Sooaar, Social Democrats Jaak Allik and Andres Anvelt, Center Party MPs Olga Sotnik and Mailis Reps and Pro Patria and Res Publica Party MP Liisa-Ly Pakosta.

Politicians refer to the situation, when explaining the need for the law, that a large number of couples in Estonia live in non-marital cohabitation and over a half of children are born from non-marital cohabitation. Thus the legal consequences of cohabitation need to be regulated and the weaker part of the cohabitation relation needs to be protected.

In order to register cohabitation, the partners should conclude a cohabitation contract at a notary where they would have to pick a property relation and could agree upon, for example, issues of inheritance. By concluding the contract, the cohabiting partners would be obliged to reciprocally support each other, also financially.

According to one version, the law could come in force from July 1 next year.