Cohabitation model not before 2023

Status: 02/10/2022 10:22 a.m

The coalition is planning a new model for partnerships – including for friends or roommates. But the “community of responsibility” should come at the end of 2023 at the earliest.

The “community of responsibility” as an alternative to marriage will probably come towards the end of 2023 at the earliest. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann told the newspaper “Welt” that the draft law requires “extensive preparatory work, including with other departments”.

The future viability of the marriage is not in doubt, said Buschmann. But it doesn’t fit every life plan. “Even in the context of friendships and shared flats, people bear responsibility for each other that they want to see legally protected,” he said. The community of responsibility will not take anything away from anyone, “but it will make everyday life easier for many,” said Buschmann.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann: Alternatives to marriage will probably not come before the end of 2023.

Image: dpa

In its coalition agreement, the traffic light coalition had agreed to create alternatives to marriage. It says:

We will introduce the institute of the community of responsibility and thus make it possible for two or more adults to assume legal responsibility for one another beyond love relationships or marriage.

Exact content still unclear

What it should look like exactly is still open. Buschmann’s ministry wants to rely on a key issues paper that the FDP parliamentary group presented in 2020. In it, the parliamentary group suggested that two or more adults should be able to close a community unbureaucratically in the registry office and also be able to dissolve it again. The prerequisite is that there is actually a personal close relationship between the people.

The resulting rights and obligations are to be designed in stages. The spectrum ranges from mutual information and representation rights to care and maintenance services. However, the Ministry of Justice emphasized that all substantive issues still need to be clarified.

Criticism from the Union

The Union criticized the project as ideologically motivated, constitutionally problematic and superfluous. “The traffic light thus weakens the institution of marriage, which is particularly protected by our Basic Law, by opening up a kind of ‘small marriage’ with less binding effect for the partner,” said the deputy parliamentary group leader of the Union, Andrea Lindholz, also in the “world”. Anyone who wants to take on permanent responsibility for one another can do so regardless of gender through marriage, said the CSU politician. If that goes too far, contracts can be used to establish special positions for close people, for example for financial transactions or medical treatment.

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