Legal Development of Non-Marital Union in Croatia
Keywords:Croatian family law, non-marital union, non-marital spouses, cohabitation, children born out of wedlock
Legal development of non-marital union in Croatia went through different phases – from modest family law effects (property rights and the right to maintenance) in late seventies of the twentieth century to equating non-marital union with marriage nowadays, except the establishment of fatherhood and gaining common family name.
In the Family Act (2015) non-marital union refers to a life union between an unmarried woman and an unmarried man that has lasted for at least three years or for a shorter duration if a common child has been born therein or has been continued by entering a marriage.
The author underlines the problem of legal uncertainty that arises from the fact that non-marital union is informal and that preconditions for non-marital union effects are different in different legal branches. Overall, legal regulation of non-marital union in Croatia is inconsistent due to particular legal solutions.