Cohabitation Agreement in the Netherlands

May 30, 2023 by  
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Cohabitation Agreement in the Netherlands: A Guide for Couples

Cohabitation has become increasingly popular in the modern world, including in the Netherlands. It is a relationship where two people live together in a committed partnership without getting married. Just like in any other relationship, cohabitating couples face challenges that can either strengthen or weaken their bond. As such, it is essential to have a cohabitation agreement that outlines the legal and financial aspects of the relationship.

In this article, we will explore the concept of cohabitation agreement in the Netherlands. We will discuss what it is, why it is important, and how to create one.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract between two unmarried partners who live together. It outlines the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of each partner during the relationship and in the event of its dissolution. It is not mandatory in the Netherlands, but it is highly recommended for couples who want to protect their assets and avoid legal disputes.

Why is a Cohabitation Agreement Important?

A cohabitation agreement is important for various reasons:

Protects assets: A cohabitation agreement protects the assets of each partner in case of separation or death. It can prevent one partner from claiming ownership of the other’s property.

Defines financial obligations: A cohabitation agreement defines each partner’s financial obligations towards the household. For example, it can specify who pays for rent, utilities, and groceries.

Protects children: A cohabitation agreement can protect the children of the relationship. It can specify issues such as child custody, child support, and inheritance.

How to Create a Cohabitation Agreement?

Creating a cohabitation agreement involves the following steps:

Step 1: Consult a lawyer

Consult a lawyer who is experienced in family law. The lawyer will guide you through the legal requirements and implications of a cohabitation agreement. They will also draft the agreement based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Step 2: Discuss and agree on terms

Discuss and agree on the terms of the agreement with your partner. This needs to be done in an open and honest manner. Consider issues such as property ownership, division of assets, financial responsibilities, and child support.

Step 3: Sign the agreement

After agreeing on the terms, both partners should sign the agreement in the presence of a notary. The notary is a legal professional who certifies the authenticity of the signatures.


A cohabitation agreement is an essential tool for couples who live together in the Netherlands. It protects their assets, defines financial obligations, and safeguards the interests of children. Creating a cohabitation agreement requires consultation with a lawyer, discussion with your partner, and signing in the presence of a notary.

As a professional, I hope this article has been helpful in providing valuable information to couples who live together in the Netherlands.

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