All about "concubinato" in Mexico

By Dania Gordillo, 14 March, 2023

The concubinato is the union between two people but without contracting marriage.

They have reciprocal rights and obligations, provided that, without legal impediments to marry, they have lived in common constantly and permanently for a minimum period of 2 years.

However, it will not be necessary to comply with this period of time when the couple has a son or a daughter in common.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can you have several concubinages at the same time?

No, if someone had several unions with the characteristics of concubinage at the same time, none of them will be considered concubinage.

Although, there could be a demand from the other for compensation for moral damage.

Can there be concubinage between people of the same sex?

Yes, in some states cohabitation can exist between a man and a woman as well as between persons of the same sex.

What are the legal effects of concubinage?

The legal effects or consequences of concubinage are:

  • Right to food.
  • Inheritance rights.
  • Presumption of paternity of the concubine regarding the children of the concubine.
  • Patrimonial rights.
  • Social security rights.
  • Family violence protection rights.

The record of concubinage is a document that simply states that the couple has lived in concubinage.
It serves to validate the rights that are acquired in concubinage, for example, the right to receive food, inheritance rights, prison visits, rights to social security services and compensation, disposition of the deceased's corpse or organ disposition.

What are the requirements to obtain the certificate of concubinage?

It is necessary to present a letter where both state:

  • Who live together
  • They have not previously been married.
  • The time they have lived together.
  • The address where you live together.
  • If you have children, state the name and age of the children.
  • The reason for the processing of the certificate of concubinage.

The letter must be accompanied by:

  • Photocopies of the birth certificate of the children.
  • Photocopies of the identification of two witnesses.
  • Interrogation of witnesses.
  • Payment of rights for the issuance of the certificate of concubinage.
  • To prove concubinage with a person who has already died, in addition to the above requirements, a photocopy of the death certificate must be attached.

What happens if I live with my common-law partner and we decide to separate, are we entitled to anything?

At the end of the cohabitation, any of the two who lacks sufficient income or assets for their support, is entitled to alimony for a time equal to the duration of the concubinage.

A person who lives in concubinage or marries another person may not claim alimony.

It is important to mention that the right granted to the common-law husband or wife upon termination of the common-law relationship may only be exercised during the year following its termination.

If the ex-concubines did not have children together, are they entitled to alimony?

Yes, those who have dedicated themselves to working at home are entitled to alimony for as long as the concubinage has lasted.

The judge, taking into account the circumstances of the specific case, may increase, decrease or cancel the obligation to provide food.

The right to food cannot be claimed and will end when the person who receives it starts a new concubinage or gets married.

What about child support in common law marriage?

Children born of common-law marriage have the same rights as children born of marriage. Regardless of the type of relationship between parents, they are obliged to provide food to their children. Food includes not only food but also clothing, housing, medical and hospital care.

Are both partners required to contribute financially within the partnership?

No. Both will contribute to the maintenance of the home in the manner and proportion that they agree according to their possibilities.

You will not be required to contribute financially if:

  • You are unable to work and do not own property.
  • You, by agreement, are fully in charge of the care of the home or the attention of the minors.

Do spouses have the right to inherit?

Yes, if the concubinage continues until the death of one of its members, the surviving concubine or common-law husband will have the right to inherit in the same proportion and conditions as a spouse.


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