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Is marriage really just a paper? online workshop for secondary school students about the legally recognized partnership forms
2021.04.29. @ 10:00 - 12:00
On the 29th of April 2021, an online workshop under the title “Is marriage really just a paper?” was organized, with the aim to give an educational lecture to secondary school students about the legally regulated forms of partnership in Hungary and their legal characteristics.
The workshop, which was held online via the Google Meet system, was attended by 100 students, who are the 11th grade students of the Avasi Secondary School in Miskolc, as well as the students’ teachers and class teachers.
The lecture was given by Dr. Edit Sápi (assistant lecturer, University of Miskolc, Faculty of Law, Department of Civil Law). After that Dr. habil. Tímea Barzó (Head of Department, Associate Professor, University of Miskolc, Faculty of Law, Department of Civil Law) answered the logical and lifelike practical questions from students and introduced the audience to the underlying legal logic and presented some interesting cases in her practice.
The presentation was structured in the following way:
- First of all, the legally regulated partnership forms in Hungary were introduced. In this context, the audience was introduced into the legal definition and approach of marriage, the registered partnership and de facto partnership.
- After that, the more detailed characteristics and rules of each relationship forms were overviewed:
2.1. The participants become acquainted with the system of international and domestic legal sources determining the foundations of marriage (e.g. Charter of the United Nations, European Convention on Human Rights, Basic Law of Hungary, and the Act on the protection on family) and with the notion and meaning of the right to choose a partner voluntarily, without influence in the legal regulations and about the approach of the Hungarian Civil Code (system of impediments to marriage, actions prior to marriage).
2.2. Secondly, the legal regulation of the registered partnership was presented, drawing attention to the fact that a separate legal act (Act XXIX of 2009) defines the detailed rules of this relationship form. In this context the establishment of registered partnership was also introduced (two persons of the same sex and of full age and present themselves together, can enter into a registered relationship with the registrar if they declare their intention to establish a registered partnership, it is a public legal statement and is made in the presence of two witnesses). In addition, some specificities of the registered partnership were also emphasized, ex. the termination of the registered partnership can be a simpler through a non-litigious procedure by the notary; and also the similar and different features of the registered partnership in comparison with the marriage.
2.3. As a third conceptual definition, the legal characteristics of the de facto cohabitation relationship were described, thus the meaning of the concept of cohabitation (emotional relationship, solidarity and joint management). In addition, following the examples of the previous two relationship forms, the rules of termination, and the so-called dual regulation of the Civil Code were introduced. The dual regulation of de facto cohabitation is based on the fact that the Book of Family Law and the Book of Law of Obligations shall be applied jointly to this relationship form. The legal effect of the Registry of Cohabitation Declarations was also highlighted. It is important that cohabitants can ask the notary to register their declaration of establishment or termination of their relationship, but this is relevant only in the case of artificial reproduction procedure, in other cases it has a merely declaratory effect.
- After the conceptual approach, a more detailed analysis of the essential differences between marriage and the de facto cohabitation relationship were introduced, because the legal practice shows that in many cases laymen are not aware of the legal consequences and features of the marriage and of the de facto cohabitation relationship. In this context the consequences of property issues were highlighted. In the case of marriage, as a general rule, joint property is created between the parties, and in the case of a cohabitation relationship, as we can see in practical cases, it can be seen that typically women may suffer financial disadvantage in the event of the termination of the cohabitation. In addition, it should be emphasized that the cohabitant party, unlike the spouse, is entitled to maintenance only if their partnership existed for at least one year and it produced a child.
As a summary of the lecture, a lawsuit was presented on the practical interpretation of marital and cohabitation partnership and in conclusion, as it was affirmed by the case law, it can be stated that a woman, especially after having children, has greater legal and financial security in a marriage as in a de facto cohabitation relationship.
The workshop is organized as a dissemination event of the Central European Professors’ Network coordinated by the Ferenc Mádl Institute of Comparative Law.
The video of the lecture can be found below