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The main purpose of marriage is to create a harmonious, solid, and permanent association for man and woman. Slovak law stipulates that the minimum age for marriage is eighteen years. Younger persons are allowed to marry only by permission of the court. The lowest age permitted for marriage is sixteen years, and a serious reason for requesting permission to marry must be declared (e.g., pregnancy).

Marriage requires the consent of both the man and the woman. This consent must be stated before a church or civil authorities and two witnesses. Marriages performed either by the church or state authorities are equally valid. Before 1992, only marriages in front of the state authorities were considered valid.

Cohabitation of a couple based on matrimony is preferred to any other form of cohabitation in Slovakia. Only 11.5 percent of Slovak inhabitants consider marriage an outdated institution (European Values Studies 1999/2000). Slovak family law does not recognize common-law partnerships as legal conjugal relations. Although some couples cohabitate without marrying, the partners do not have the same legal rights and responsibilities as those who officially marry. Only some rights based on the civil code (e.g., heritage rights, rights to a common dwelling) apply in cohabiting cases, but not the mutual responsibility to provide for subsistence as in the case of married couples.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsSlovakia - Marriage, Selection Of Partners, Termination Of Marriage, Changes In The Family, Standard Of Living - Family Contacts and Relations