Law on Registered Life Partnerships
Chapter 1: Formation of Life Partnerships
Form and Requirements
(1) Two persons of the same sex form a Life Partnership when they make a mutual declaration in person, and in the presence of the other partner, that they wish to live in partnership with each other for life (Life Partners). The declarations cannot not be subject to any condition or time limitation. The declarations become effective when made before the competent authorities.
(2) A valid Life Partnership cannot be formed
1. with a minor or a married person or a person who is already in another Life Partnership;
2. between persons who are directly related to each other;
3. between full or half-siblings;
4. if the Life Partners agree, at the time of the formation of the Life Partnership, that they do not want to enter into any obligation pursuant to Paragraph 2.
(3) The formation of a Life Partnership cannot be sued for on the basis of a promise to form a Life Partnership. Paragraph 1297, Section 2, and Paragraphs 1298 to 1302 of the German Civil Code (BGB) shall apply accordingly.
Chapter 2: Effects of the Life Partnership
Life Partnership Community
The Life Partners are obligated to care for and support each other and to forge a common life. They bear mutual responsibility for each other.
Life Partnership Surname
(1) The Life Partners may choose a common surname (Life Partnership Surname). The Life Partners, by declaration, may choose as their Life Partnership Surname the surname of one of the Life Partners at birth or at the time of the declaration concerning the determination of the Life Partnership Surname. The declaration concerning the determination of the Life Partnership Surname shall be made at the time of the formation of the Life Partnership. The declarations become effective when made before the competent authorities. Any declaration made at a later date must be publicly certified in order to be valid.
(2) A Life Partner whose surname does not become the Life Partnership Surname may add, by declaration, his or her surname at birth or at the time of the declaration concerning the determination of the Life Partnership Surname as a prefix or suffix. This shall not apply if the Life Partnership Surname consists of several names. If the surname of the Life Partner consists of several surnames, only one of these surnames may be added. The declaration becomes effective when made before the competent authorities. The declaration may be revoked; in this case, another declaration as described in Sentence 1 shall not be permitted. The declaration and the revocation must be publicly certified.
(3) A Life Partner shall retain the Life Partnership Surname even after the end of the Life Partnership. He or she may, by declaration, re-assume his or her surname at birth or up to the time of the determination of the Life Partnership Surname, or add to the Life Partnership Surname as a prefix or suffix his or her surname at birth or up to the time of the determination of the Life Partnership Surname. Section 2 shall apply accordingly.
(4) The surname at birth is the surname that appears on the birth certificate of a Life Partner at the time of the declaration as described in Sections 1 to 3.
(5) For Life Partners who formed a Life Partnership before February 12, 2005, Article 229 of Paragraph 13 of the Introductory Law to the German Civil Code applies, with the proviso that the declaration is made before the authorities that are possessed of the relevant competence under the law of the respective German federal state.