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In the past decade, there have been significant changes concerning partner relationships and domestic communities of two adults. The task of the State is to become aware of the changed situation in good time and draw up legislation that will comprehensively address this area and ensure equality and social inclusion.

In Slovenia, like in other developed countries, there has been a trend towards a pluralisation of partnership and family forms and ways of family life. Regardless of these changes, the family remains a fundamental social institution that is of great importance for each individual. Public opinion surveys show that the family is still considered to be most important in all stages of life and is at the top of a person’s lists of values.

Different forms of domestic communities

In Slovenia, the following domestic communities of two adults are defined by law:

  • marriage,
  • cohabitation,
  • civil union,
  • non-formal civil union.

Rights and obligations of spouses/partners

Marriage is a community in which the spouses have equal rights and obligations, decide on joint matters by mutual agreement, and contribute proportionally and in accordance with their abilities to the maintenance of the family. A spouse who does not have the means of subsistence and is unemployed through no fault of their own may request to be maintained by the other spouse insofar as this is within the latter’s power. The same applies to cohabitants, civil union partners and non-formal civil union partners.

Termination of a marriage or civil union or cohabitation

A marriage or civil union may be terminated by way of a decision of the competent court establishing that the marriage or civil union is non-existent or invalid. In most cases, however, a marriage or civil union is terminated by divorce or dissolution, respectively, by mutual agreement or on the proposal of one of the spouses or partners.

A cohabitation or non-formal civil union is terminated without any official procedure on the basis of a decision of the partners (or one of the partners) to separate.

Upon the termination of any of the aforementioned domestic communities, the spouses or partners must deal with certain legal issues arising from the situation, i.e. reach agreement on the division of their co-owned property, on the care, upbringing and maintenance of their joint children and their contacts with their parents, on which of them should remain or become a tenant, and on the maintenance of a spouse that does not have the means of subsistence and is unemployed through no fault of their own.