Registered (civil) partnerships

Since 1 January 2010, two persons of the same sex may enter into a registered (civil) partnership in Austria. This means that they engage in a permanent life partnership involving mutual rights and obligations.

The Austrian representation authority abroad is pleased to provide you with information on whether it is legally possible to enter into a registered partnership in a particular country.

  • Two persons of the same sex
  • Full legal age
  • Full legal capacity; persons who are of age but do not have full legal capacity require consent from their legal representative
  • No existing valid marriage
  • No existing valid registered partnership
  • No close relatives (ascending and descending line), no full or half siblings, no adoptive relationship

In principle, both partners retain their current surnames. Partners may, however, apply to bear the same surname as their partner. It is also possible to place the current surname before or after the common surname. A double-barrelled name must be separated by a hyphen between the two parts of the surname.

Since 1 April 2013, registered (civil) partners may also both bear a double-surname.

Also see the information provided by the competent the Municipal Department at the Vienna City Administration.

The registered (civil) partners are committed to a lasting partnership and a relationship based on trust. They shall support and care for each other and design their life partnership in a mutually agreeable way based on consideration and respect for each other.

This means they shall live together in a shared home. However, it is possible that registered (civil) partners temporarily have separate residences should cohabitation be infeasible or a separate place of residence be justified for important personal reasons. Registered (civil) partners are not allowed to jointly adopt a child.

It is, however, possible for same-sex couples to adopt a step child. For further information on step child adoption, please see: HELP.gv.at.

The legal consequences of entering into a registered same-sex partnership are in many respects the same as for marriage.

Death
A registered partnership is terminated upon the death of one of the partners.

Dissolution due to fault or irretrievable breakdown
If as a result of misconduct by one of the partners the registered partnership has broken down to such an irretrievable extent that it cannot reasonably be expected that a life partnership in line with the essential concept of such a partnership may be re-established, the other partner may file legal action for the dissolution of the registered partnership. Such grounds for dissolution include in particular infliction of physical violence or serious psychological distress. The action must in principle be filed within six months at the latest after awareness of such grounds.

Dissolution by mutual consent
If the life partnership has ceased to exist for at least half a year and both partners agree that their partnership relationship has irretrievably broken down, both partners may jointly file for the dissolution of their partnership. The prerequisite for such a dissolution is agreement on alimony and statutory property rights.