Insights into what is involved in buying, selling & living in Portugal

Marriage is both a social and legal process. Getting married may change the partners’ legal and financial status, their rights to residency and nationality, their susceptibility to taxation, and the rights of their heirs. It also brings new legal responsibilities. It is therefore well worthwhile consulting the relevant consulates and taking professional legal and financial advice before deciding on the form of marriage to adopt.

In Portugal marriage may still only be celebrated in a civil registry or a Catholic Church. Other churches are not yet licensed to perform marriages, though recent changes in the recognition of other religions may soon change this. Non-Catholics may therefore opt for a civil wedding followed by a religious ceremony.

Who may marry?

Portuguese law only permits someone to marry if they are over 16 years old and of sound mind. Minors under 18 years old require permission from their parents or guardian.

Previous marriages must be legally dissolved or annulled. Following divorce or death of a spouse, men may only re-marry after 180 days and women after 300 days, unless a court gives special authorisation. The law does not recognise homosexual marriages, neither does it normally permit marriage between close relatives. There are special rules concerning guardians and trustees.

Responsibilities of the married couple

In Portuguese law married partners have certain duties to each other:

Contact me


See also