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Legislation Affecting Families

After fifty years of occupations in Latvia, the Latvian Civil Code (1937) was restored though its norms on family were modernized. Many privileges of the husband were eliminated.

Marriages can be registered at the state's office or the licensed churches of traditional Christian and Jewish denominations, but couples must be divorced by the courts. Persons under eighteen are allowed to marry only with the permission of parents or guardians. Homosexual marriages are not allowed. Both spouses have the right to keep their family name and citizenship, to choose their place of residence and kind of employment, and to manage mutual or personal property. Couples may also sign an additional marital contract on property.

If a couple divorces after they have children, both parents continue to have equal rights and responsibilities. Children born in or out of wedlock have the same public and family rights as those born to married couples. All children born in marriage or with recognized paternity have equal inheritance rights (or half of it in case of a written wish of the late parent regarding his or her property) and are equally responsible for the support of their elderly parents. Paternity of children born out of wedlock may be recognized voluntarily or by court. Orphans are entitled to the state's allowance up to eighteen years of age.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsLatvia - Legislation Affecting Families, Partner Relationships, Family