Are you living together but not married? Read about the pros and cons of a cohabitation contract

creating a cohabitation contract

You can draw up a cohabitation contract together or let the notary draw it up. In some cases, you can draw up a notarial cohabitation contract. It may then be the case that you will not receive a partners

pension. Drawing up a notarial deed will cost money and the cost can differ depending on the notary.

A cohabitation contract

A cohabitation contract is an agreement where you make arrangements about living together. You can have a cohabitation contract with several people at the same time. The following agreements are examples of agreements of the cohabitation contract:

-dividing expenses of groceries, clothing, cost of living etcetera;

-the checking account(s);

-The cost of supporting and raising children;

-The divide of possessions in the case of separation;

-Survivorships clause. The communal possessions will transfer to the surviving partner in the case of a death.

What are the differences with a registered partnership?

In practice, there is still some uncertainty regarding the differences between a registered partnership and living together with a cohabitation contract.

1. A registered partnership is a legal form of living together between two persons. Entering a registered partnership takes place, similar to a marriage, at the municipal administration.

2. With death and separation in a registered partnership, similar rules apply as in a marriage. In the case of the death of one of the partners half of the possessions and debts are transferred to the surviving partner. When separating, everything will need to be divided equally.

3. A cohabitation contract, on the other hand, is a written agreement between the people living together without a marriage or registered partnership. Without further agreements in the

cohabitation contract, all possessions and debts will automatically remain separate.


That the communal property goes to the longest living partner can be determined in the cohabitation contract.

- Without a cohabitation contract, you will not receive a partner pension.

- It is also possible to add a survivorships clause. In this case, the surviving partner will receive complete ownership of all possessions.

-However, you can also end your relationship. How do you arrange an equal divide of the household effects? You can arrange all this in the cohabitation contract. No matter what you decide it is always advisable to get information from a notary about the ins and outs of a cohabitation contract.


A cohabitation contract has many advantages, but also a number of disadvantages.

-After some time you will buy new stuff. With each (large) purchase, like a television or car, you should alter the contract. Unless you agree that everything you purchase after signing a cohabitation contract is communal property.

-If you were to separate and have children, then the alimony would not be arranged automatically, unless a different agreement has been made.

-If you were to enter a registered partnership or you would marry, then the contract would be automatically terminated.


A child is always the child of the mother according to the law. However, if the parents were not married, a child is not automatically legally seen as the child of the father. The father must first acknowledge the child. Even if the parents have a cohabitation contract. By acknowledging the child the father does not automatically get parental authority. If the parents do want joint authority, they can request this at the sub-district court.

Ending a cohabitation contract and alimony

When ending a cohabitation contract the (ex) partner does not automatically receive partner alimony, except when this is arranged in the cohabitation contract. If this is not arranged in the contract and one of the partners wants alimony, it is up to the judge to make a verdict regarding this.

An article of the Metro 24-07-2013

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