Lithuanian Peasant and Green Party Propose “Cohabitation Agreements” Instead of Partnerships

Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Political Group of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania together with other members of the Lithuanian Parliament have registered a draft amendment to the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania proposing to regulate partnerships by way of cohabitation agreement.

According to the members of Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Political Group, the proposed amendments aim to legally regulate relationships between people who live together at the same household. The initiators of the proposal claim that cohabitation agreement “can help solve many practical problems – inheritance, ability to obtain information about partner’s condition in case of illness, etc.”

“Our registered project will effectively contribute to legal clarity, regulate property rights and some property unrelated relations between people living together and will also help to avoid negative consequences when cohabitation is dissolved,” claimed MP Povilas Urbšys, one of the authors of the proposal.

Based on the project, such agreement could be made between any adult people. Agreement could be drawn up between any number of people living together – between different and same-sex couples, relatives, etc. Draft project proposes that agreements could be made both verbally or in writing but would need to be confirmed at a notary.

The draft proposal was signed by Rima Baškienė, First Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Party, other members of the party and also by conservative MPs Laurynas Kasčiūnas and Rimantas Jonas Dagys.

On 23rd May, 2017 the opposing Liberal Movement Party also registered a draft proposal to amend the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, aiming to legislate gender-neutral partnerships. The initiators of the amendment of the Civil Code also propose that the legal status of partnership would be automatically recognized after the couple would have lived together for more than one year.

However, the members of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Party claim that “people, who live together but do not declare a desire to form a family by way of marriage and have no children, cannot be forced to be recognized as a family.”

In December, 2016 Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Peasant and Green Party, insisted that his party „will not have a liberal view on same sex partnerships “. The politician further emphasized that „same sex partnerships will not be considered by the current Lithuanian Parliament“.

The Lithuanian Parliament has also begun to consider a proposal by a group of MPs to remove the concept of partnership institute from the Civil Code altogether.

Currently the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, which came into force in 2001, provides a form of cohabitation without marriage as a precondition of registering a partnership, but in reality the provision is not implementable, because the law on registered partnerships is yet to be adopted.