Cohabitation contract: advantages & disadvantages

Because the law regulates virtually nothing for cohabitants, they will have to take action themselves, for example by drawing up a cohabitation contract. What is a cohabitation contract? Which agreements are recorded in the cohabitation contract? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the cohabitation contract and how can the contract be dissolved?

Cohabitation contract: what is a cohabitation contract?

A cohabitation contract is a written agreement in which you make agreements that relate to cohabitation. The agreements can relate to the division of the estate, the contribution to the costs of living, etc.

Agreements in cohabitation contract

You determine the exact content of the cohabitation contract in agreement with your partner. You can determine yourself which agreements you lay down in the cohabitation contract, provided that they are not in conflict with the law. You can make agreements on, for example:
  • The financial contribution to the cost of living
  • The distribution of household costs
  • A joint bank account or not
  • The division of the estate after termination of the cohabitation contract
  • Appointments about the property
  • Residence Bed

What is a residence clause?

It is possible to have a stay clause included in the cohabitation contract. A residence clause stipulates that joint assets belong to the other partner after the death of one partner.

Drawing up a cohabitation contract with a notary

It is wise to have a cohabitation contract drawn up at the notary. A notary uses a high hourly rate. It is therefore advisable to obtain information about the benefits, disadvantages and conditions of the cohabitation contract prior to the interview.

Benefits of a cohabitation contract

A notarial cohabitation contract offers a large number of advantages:
  • Entitlement to a survivor's pension. With many pension funds, a notarial cohabitation contract is required to be able to register the partner for the survivor's pension / partner's pension. The requirements differ per fund.
  • Agreements about a possible divorce: Legal proceedings can be prevented by settling matters concerning the division of the estate / the joint home in the cohabitation contract
  • Tax benefits with cohabitation contract: larger tax exemptions and less tax
  • You can arrange that you can both continue to live in the house if something happens to the other
  • The division of property is clear
  • Clear agreements on who pays which part of the household
  • You determine who determines which part of the mortgage
  • Less chance of a fight or disagreement with family members in the event of death

Disadvantages cohabitation contract

  • You can only relate to the joint goods agree that you want to leave this to the remaining partner. You are still no heir from each other: that remains the family of the deceased. You must have a will made for this. For the same reason, a cohabitation contract can also cause problems if you have children (in connection with inheritance law)
  • The notary fees that are connected to the drafting of the cohabitation agreement are of course also counted as disadvantages
  • The cohabitation contract must be adjusted if your situation changes, for example due to family expansion.

Conclusion: advantages & disadvantages cohabitation contract

The drafting of a cohabitation contract by means of a notarial deed offers many advantages, such as arranging the right to a survivor's pension, establishing financial agreements, tax benefits and preventing lingering legal proceedings as a result of divorce. The disadvantages are the high notary fees, the fact that you have to prepare a separate will to become each other's heir and that the cohabitation contract must be adjusted if changes occur in your situation. The conclusion is that it is wise to draw up a cohabitation contract, because there are clearly more advantages than disadvantages.


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