8 What does the law provide for the property of registered and non-registered partners?

The life partnership provided for under the German Life Partnership Act (Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz) is reserved for same-sex couples. The substantive provisions of the State charged with keeping the register shall apply to the matrimonial effects of a life partnership (art. 17b par. 1 EGBGB). If life partners have concluded partnerships in more than one State, the partnership entered into most recently will be the valid one, as soon as it is concluded (art. 17b par. 3 EGBGB). The legal effects associated with a partnership registered abroad cannot outweigh those of a partnership registered in Germany (Art. 17b par. 4 EGBGB). Except for the provisions relating to adoption (also, and in particular, those relating to income tax), nowadays life partnership is largely assimilated to marriage.

According to the case law, marriages entered into by persons of the same sex also fall within the life partnerships scheme (cf., for example, the decision of the Munich Court of Appeal http://www.dnoti.de/DOC/2011/31wx103_11.pdf ). On the other hand, whether Art. 17b EGBGB applies to heterosexual partners registered abroad is still a matter of debate.