By Sheila Madsen (April 2014)
More new rules have arrived in Mexico for the foreign community. If you are in a common-law marriage, or have simply decided to live together then you must be able to prove it to the Mexican authorities should any thing happen to your partner. For instance, if one of you becomes seriously ill and need a champion by your bedside, your beloved partner can’t act on your behalf. The partner has no legal rights. Unless you have an official document from the Oficina Registro Civil Unidad Administrativa (on Rio Culiacan, 669 985 2846, near the bus terminal.)
If you wish your partner to have power over your medical say you will need a ‘vida congugal’ or a ‘vivir juntos’, proving you are living together and you designate this person to determine your rights. If you do not have this document – doctors and the medical team will revert to your next of kin and then to your sibling (s). Your partner will be left out of the loop. If you are married, with different last names on your passport then you must produce your marriage certificate. Essentially without the marriage certificate you have no legal rights either. If you are married, with the same last name, your passports are proof enough. We all need medical champions, just make sure you’re the voice of reason – with proof.
(This just in from the New York Times, YOUR MONEY, April 25, 2014: ” In 2010, 2.8 million Americans aged 50 and over cohabited, up from 1.2 million in 2000, according to the United States Census. Bureau.”)