Our services

Same-sex couples legal protection

We provide legal support to same-sex couples who wish to enter into a civil partnership or marriage abroad or secure their legal situation e.g.in the event of death.

Legal protection of the LGBT families in Poland is still very limited. Same-sex couples do not have a possibility to get married or enter into a civil partnership. It is only natural, that they build their family life abroad, in countries where all their rights are equally assured. We specialize in the provision of legal assistance to such couples, especially in cross-border cases, that require not only the knowledge of Polish law, but also European Union and international law, as well as national law of countries where same-sex couples decide to formalize their relationship.

 

Among others, we specialize in the following cases:

  • entering into civil partnership or marriage abroad and change of last name in Poland – we provide legal advice on the possibility of entering into a civil partnership and marriage abroad; we also conduct proceedings in cases of recognition in Poland of such marriages and partnerships, as well as proceedings concerning the change of surname to the name of the partner;
  • power of attorney, property relations between partners and wills – we help to secure legal relations between people living in same-sex marriages in Poland, in particular by formulating detailed power of attorney documents, agreements that regulate property rights and wills.

Our experience:

  • changing the last name to same-sex partner’s last name or adopting the common name by a same-sex couple,
  • transcription – transposition of foreign marriage certificates to the Polish register of civil status [more about one of our cases];
  • marriage equality – proceedings aimed at enabling same-sex couples to get married in Poland [more about the Coalition for civil partnership and marriage equality].
Legal protection of children

We provide legal support in securing the legal status of children born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, including in LGBT families.

We provide legal support in securing the legal status of children born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, including in LGBT families. Polish law does not regulate the legal status of children born via surrogacy. We help to regulate the legal status of children born in Poland and abroad.

 

We also provide legal assistance in cases related to foreign adoption of children by same-sex couples, given joint adoption is still not available for such couples in Poland. We have several years of experience in conducting court proceedings concerning the transcription of foreign birth certificates, confirmation of Polish citizenship and issuance of a Polish passport and ID for children.

 

Our experience:

Discrimination and hate crimes

We support victims of discrimination, in particular on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, e.g. in employment, access to services, healthcare or education, as well as victims of crimes motivated by prejudice, including hate speech.

We support victims of discrimination, in particular on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, e.g. in employment, access to services, healthcare or education, as well as victims of crimes motivated by prejudice, including hate speech.

 

Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is still widespread in many areas of social life in Poland. We have many years of experience in providing legal assistance in cases of violation of the equal treatment principle towards LGBT people, especially in the areas of discrimination in employment, access to services, healthcare and education. It also includes representation in civil, administration and criminal cases of the alleged discrimination.

 

We also specialize in providing legal assistance in cases, which involve crimes motivated by prejudice on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. We represent our clients at all stages of criminal procedures.

 

Our experience:

Transgender persons cases

We represent transgender persons in legal gender recognition procedures. We also provide legal assistance in administrative proceedings in cases concerning amending the birth certificate on the basis of a foreign document.

We have experience in representing transgender persons – citizens of countries outside the European Union who intend to have their legal gender recognized in Poland on the basis of a foreign administrative or court decision. We also advise on changing the first and last names of a transgender person.

 

Our experience:

Family matters

We offer a legal representation in all kinds of proceedings concerning the family life of LGBT persons, including divorce, establishing custody over children, contacts with children, divisions of property or awarding alimony and support.

A decision to end a relationship (both with a person of the same or the opposite sex) sometimes requires a proper legal regulation of relations between former partners / spouses and their children. Such regulations include, among others, divorce proceedings, establishing custody over children, contacts with children, divisions of property or awarding alimony and support. In some cases, these activities should also include securing rights of parents’ new partners, including the right to maintain contacts with their partner’s children.

Our experience:

– divorce proceedings;
– proceedings aimed at establishing a custody over children and contacts with children;
– division of property and establishment of property separation;
– alimony and support proceedings;
– preparation of voluntary parental agreements between biological parents and social parents.

Equal treatment in the workplace

We provide comprehensive legal services in the field of compliance with the equal treatment principle for employers, as well as legal representation for employees who have experienced a violation of this principle.

The provisions of the Polish law, the Labour Code and the so-called Equal Treatment Act in particular, impose specific obligations on employers aimed at ensuring the protection of the equal treatment principle in the workplace, including on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. This protection covers both persons employed under employment contracts as well as persons cooperating with employers under civil law contracts or self-employment. An employer who implements appropriate internal equal treatment policies, containing effective complaint mechanisms, has tools enabling early identification of violations and counteracting them thus limiting the risk of costly and time-consuming court proceedings. In turn, employees are entitled to demand from their employer to provide them with an adequate protection against such violations and – if protection proves to be ineffective – refer their case to a court.

Our experience:

– conducting trainings on counteracting harassment (mobbing) and discrimination for employers and employees in private and public sector, including universities, companies, non-governmental organizations;
– analyzing internal regulations aimed at protecting the equal treatment principle in the workplace and advising on strengthening such protections;
– introducing comprehensive anti-discrimination and anti-harassment (anti-mobbing) policies in the workplace, including effective complaint mechanisms;
– providing advice and trainings for members of committees established to examine discrimination and harassment (mobbing) complaints;
– first successful litigation in Poland concerning a violation of the equal treatment principle on the basis of gender identity [more about the case].

Tax safety for same-sex couples

We provide comprehensive tax support to same-sex couples who, despite the lack of general solutions in the form of civil unions or marital equality, want to secure their finances (joint investments, financial protection for children, security clauses in the event of relationship’s dissolution of partner’s death).

We provide comprehensive tax support to same-sex couples who, despite the lack of general solutions in the form of civil unions or marital equality, want to secure their finances (joint investments, financial protection for children, security clauses in the event of relationship’s dissolution of partner’s death).

We have experience in providing end-to-end service by not only preparing written/oral advice but also opinions (based on the facts and presented documents) containing recommendations as to the most appropriate legal and tax solutions.

Common topics:

Taxes in everyday life

Even though the Polish tax law does not contain comprehensive protection of the same-sex couples, there are several solutions that may turn out to be useful in securing the financial matters for same-sex couples.

Hence, we offer tax counseling sessions for partners who plan to run joint finances or a household. Paying attention to good practices, including preparation of a proper documentation of joint income and expenses, may save partners from long-term proceedings in the event of dissolution of the relationship. It may reduce a risk of questioning the property transfers between partners by the tax authorities.

Tax safety of children brought up in same-sex relationships

The lack of general solutions affects not only partners forming same-sex relationships, but also their children. The current legal regulations make it difficult to properly secure the property relations between parents and their children within the currently existing tax groups.

We offer tax counseling sessions which would cover advice and preparation of tax opinions that could support the planning of expenses and their documentation, as well as planning ahead property transfers between parents and children.

Cross-border taxation

In the era of migration, permanent or temporary work abroad, many couples often share their lives between Poland and another country. This way of living may require the analysis from the point of cross-border taxation of personal income.

We offer tax support, including consultancy and preparation of tax opinions on the taxation of the specific assets. We help partners to understand the applicable tax regime for individual sources of income (e.g. taxation of income from employment or business activity due to tax residence, taxation of income from a real estate, gifts made between partners, etc.), and to take appropriate decisions as to how such assets are to be shaped.

Tax services in this area also covers potential advice on tax return preparation in Poland.

Tax obligation review

If there is such a need, we offer partners a separate consultation with a tax advisor to verify whether the current situation in a relationship may create tax liability (domestic or cross-border). In case of doubt, we offer preparation of an application for an individual tax ruling and its submission to the Director of KIS (Krajowa Informacja Skarbowa – The Polish Tax Authority).

Contact

Knut Mazurczak Adwokaci
Krucza 5/11 St., apt. 45
00-548 Warsaw

phone no. +48 793 907 807

Kancelaria Adwokacka
Anna Mazurczak
mazurczak@knutmazurczak.pl

Kancelaria Adwokacka
Paweł Knut
knut@knutmazurczak.pl