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Old 04.07.2020, 20:34
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French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

Did a quick search but didn't seem to find any relevant thread, so I thought I'd just start one

My French boyfriend and I both live in Switzerland, and are planning to enter into the French civil partnership (pacte civil de solidarité/ P.A.C.S) at the French consulate in Geneva. To complete our application, I must provide a "certificat de coutume" (certificate of custom/ law) from the British Embassy that certifies I'm of age, unmarried and legally capable of signing the contract.

I'm not quite sure if the British Embassy in Bern provides such a document. Has any Brit here gone through the same procedures to get pacsed with a French partner? How may I request for this "certificat de coutume" here in Switzerland?

I have also seen that the British Embassy in Paris provides it. May I apply through them?

Thank you!
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Old 04.07.2020, 20:36
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

Out of interest, what is the benefit of a French civil partnership in Switzerland?
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Old 04.07.2020, 21:09
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

Doesn't look like the embassy can do that sort of thing.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...vil_Status.pdf

I assume that's the closest to what you're looking for.

Looks like this may be what you need to do

https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad
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Old 04.07.2020, 21:25
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

"Out of interest, what is the benefit of a French civil partnership in Switzerland?"


I would think none - a Spanish couple living in Basel we were friendly with had a civil partnership in Spain. The authorities here told them it meant nothing and wasn't recognised.
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Old 04.07.2020, 22:24
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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"Out of interest, what is the benefit of a French civil partnership in Switzerland?"

I would think none - a Spanish couple living in Basel we were friendly with had a civil partnership in Spain. The authorities here told them it meant nothing and wasn't recognised.
Same with a couple from a non-EU country that we met once. They'd signed a civil partnership in their home country and wanted to come here, but she could not be his dependent because they weren't married. They couldn't get married because they were already in a civil partnership.
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Old 04.07.2020, 22:37
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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Same with a couple from a non-EU country that we met once. They'd signed a civil partnership in their home country and wanted to come here, but she could not be his dependent because they weren't married. They couldn't get married because they were already in a civil partnership.
So out of interest ....
what's the point in a civil partnership? One has all the disadvantages but non of the advantages of a marriage?

I don't know but imo, either you do it or you don't.
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Old 04.07.2020, 22:56
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

When they were introduced in the UK I thought they were a great thing for same sex couples, not so much for heterosexuals. I don't know why people can't just get married, then again I'm old fashioned. I also can't be bothered with the "I don't need a bit of paper to show I love someone" brigade. I like having the bit of paper
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Old 04.07.2020, 23:08
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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When they were introduced in the UK I thought they were a great thing for same sex couples, not so much for heterosexuals. I don't know why people can't just get married, then again I'm old fashioned. I also can't be bothered with the "I don't need a bit of paper to show I love someone" brigade. I like having the bit of paper
You're missing the point: They do have a paper.
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Old 05.07.2020, 10:06
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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Doesn't look like the embassy can do that sort of thing.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...vil_Status.pdf

I assume that's the closest to what you're looking for.

Looks like this may be what you need to do

https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad
Thank you - this is very helpful!

I guess they only do it at the British Embassy in Paris 'cause it's such a French thing. I will just call to check.
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Old 05.07.2020, 10:16
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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So out of interest ....
what's the point in a civil partnership? One has all the disadvantages but non of the advantages of a marriage?

I don't know but imo, either you do it or you don't.
https://assets.publishing.service.go..._and_Wales.pdf

Here is a table of the differences in the UK. But they are pretty much the same. I think some people see marriage as a religious or old fashioned situation and would prefer just a legal partnership. Both are available to everyone in the UK, not the case in Switzerland. In Switzerland only marriage for heterosexual couples and civil for homosexual couples.
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Old 05.07.2020, 11:02
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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https://assets.publishing.service.go..._and_Wales.pdf

Here is a table of the differences in the UK. But they are pretty much the same. I think some people see marriage as a religious or old fashioned situation and would prefer just a legal partnership. Both are available to everyone in the UK, not the case in Switzerland. In Switzerland only marriage for heterosexual couples and civil for homosexual couples.
That thought somehow doesn't withstand.
Marriage is a civil thing - the church part can be done or skipped. the church part can not be done on it's own (in the Western world, Islam is different).

However, I was just pondering. Hope OP can get it done and all the best. Does one also say congratulation in this case?
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Old 05.07.2020, 11:16
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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That thought somehow doesn't withstand.
Marriage is a civil thing - the church part can be done or skipped. the church part can not be done on it's own.
Indeed, I've only ever done the civil thing, church wedding is not for me.

Tom
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Old 05.07.2020, 16:22
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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That thought somehow doesn't withstand.
Marriage is a civil thing - the church part can be done or skipped. the church part can not be done on it's own (in the Western world, Islam is different).

However, I was just pondering. Hope OP can get it done and all the best. Does one also say congratulation in this case?
Think you're wrong on that. Never heard of anyone needing to do a civil and church wedding in the UK or US. Church weddings are legit even without the registry office being involved. Of course you have to register the marriage, but that's done in an office at the church after the wedding ceremony.
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Old 05.07.2020, 16:43
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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Think you're wrong on that. Never heard of anyone needing to do a civil and church wedding in the UK or US. Church weddings are legit even without the registry office being involved. Of course you have to register the marriage, but that's done in an office at the church after the wedding ceremony.
In the US, you might sign papers in the church office but the legal recording of the marriage is done in the county clerk's office after the religious ceremony. Typically the minister sends the paperwork in to the county.
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Old 05.07.2020, 16:50
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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In the US, you might sign papers in the church office but the legal recording of the marriage is done in the county clerk's office after the religious ceremony. Typically the minister sends the paperwork in to the county.
Exactly. What I mean is unlike in France where you must do a civil ceremony even if you want a church wedding as well, it's not necessary to do so in the UK or US. The paperwork is done at the church and just sent to whichever office needs to have it.
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Old 05.07.2020, 17:03
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Re: French Civil Partnership (PACS) for UK nationals

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I'm not quite sure if the British Embassy in Bern provides such a document.
Just call them. My daughters need an attestation from the embassy in order for their Swiss citizenship application to proceed. The embassy was very helpful.

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I also can't be bothered with the "I don't need a bit of paper to show I love someone" brigade. I like having the bit of paper
I knew a couple about 25 years ago who didn't get married for that reason. But they had a mortgage together... which is a bit of paper.

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Think you're wrong on that. Never heard of anyone needing to do a civil and church wedding in the UK or US. Church weddings are legit even without the registry office being involved. Of course you have to register the marriage, but that's done in an office at the church after the wedding ceremony.
That's now. Back when I got married (UK), the registrar came to our wedding and we signed at the office of the church. But if we'd wanted to get married at a country house - as people do often nowadays - that could not be legally recognised. You had to have the civil ceremony at the registry office.
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