Cohabitation Agreement

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement, also called a Cohabitation Contract,  is a legal arrangement which can be made by both heterosexual and same-sex couples in Belgium as long as:

  • Neither is already in a marriage NOR in another cohabitation arrangement.

This contract is used to settle any specific aspects of your cohabitation such as inheritance or property rights. This is not the same thing as the required document Declaration of Legal Cohabitation which already has its own cohabitation laws and rights!

The law says that “cohabitants regulate the terms of their legal cohabitation by convention as they see fit, as long as it contains no breach of Article 1477 of the Civil Code clause, public order, morality, or the rules relating to parental authority, guardianship and the rules determining the legal order of succession. ”

For example, you cannot change any of the following:

  • Minimum legal protection measures: protection of the family home, financial contribution to the costs of common life etc. (But you can extend these protections).
  • Public order and morals.  ( ex. can not impose an obligation of cohabiting loyalty).
  • Rules on parental authority.
  • Rules determining the rights for the surviving cohabitant. This must be done in a will.

We’re living together, do we need a Cohabitation Agreement?

Making a Cohabitation Agreement is not an obligation but it is an option.  Typically, in a cohabitant situation, finances (bills, rent, debts, profits, incomes, real estate) are not shared, unless agreed upon in a separate cohabitation agreement. So, if you do not create a Cohabitation Agreement, then disputes will be regulated by law and not by your agreement.

How do we make a Cohabitation Agreement?

A simple contract between two cohabitants is not sufficient. A Cohabitation Agreement must be signed in front of a notary at your local commune. This way, it gives more security to those who sign it, and because the notary can verify the legality of its provisions. Unlike the marriage contract, the act may done by a notary without a witness.

The cohabitation agreement will be shown on the books of the State Civil, together with your the declaration of legal cohabitation.

The contract can cover all aspects of your relationship, or only one thing like the purchase of a new house. It should say exactly what both partners want and how much sharing you want to do of your property and finances. Any matters not dealing with money, may not be held up in court, so some couples include the following things:

  • property and finances you had before and what you accumulate during the relationship
  • property inherited or given during the relationship
  • expenses (food, utilities, housing etc).
  • what will happen to your property if you break up or someone dies
  • a way to solve any disagreements

Cohabitation Agreement Sample Form

This is a very general cohabitation agreement sample form, but hopefully it will give you some ideas of what you might want to include in your own agreement.




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  1. #1 by majed on October 8, 2014 - 5:13 pm


    thanks for answering on the website very fast as much as i appreciate it, actually i’m the guy who’s living in cyprus

    and was married with cypriot women and i had question on the last days but now, i’m little bit worry i just heard

    if i was marry with women its not easy to have gay partner or gay life ! second my story short cut i was very

    interesting with my relation with my x wife and lately i did felt well for many reasons specially when the Belgian boyfriend came in my

    life again, so i decide to get divorce from here and move to him or he move to me but it was moving to him much better

    because of his work specially he’s much older than me so my questions is,

    1- if i divorce with women last month how long time i can get partnered or married again in Belgium ‘ i said married too

    because me and my boyfriend we don’t have any problems with married as well as much as we can be together for

    the easiest and better way for both ‘ because i heard that i have to stay about 1 year after my marriage to start any process to get partner or marry however i know i have to proof that i lived with the person for one year in belguim but that’s but to stay after divorce for one year to start any process?

    2-i was married with my wife here for almost 4 years and after my divorce i have visa to live here normally so if i will start to do cohabitation as much as i’m Lebanese

    and we have to live together for one year in Belgium to proof that it possible to give me visa because i can travel normally in Belgium without any visa because my visa in Cyprus its Schengen?

    3 – i knew my boyfriend almost from 2010 and i have been stayed in his house 2011 and we went to the city hall in Belgium to register me to receive any mails while i was staying at his home so it could be proof or not that strong?

    4 what you suggest for whats more easiest the marriage or partner or cohabitation? for the papers and process?

    5- my boyfriend he’s over than 60 years old but he still working but me around 30 its problem or normally?

    6- if i start any process for one of those 3 the marriage or partner or cohabitation i have to do it from the Belgium embassy in Cyprus or i have to go back to Lebanon and start from there?’ which in Lebanon not easy to be gay with the family and society
    7- the last question how it work for the person who’s none European and living in other country permanently and want to live this year with his boyfriend in Belgium ? i can ask about visa for this year or what can i do because i dont need visa now to visit Belgium as much as i normally living in Schengen area because we searched and we did’t find any informations about this
    i’m waiting the answer and sorry about this questions which a lot but just to be sure that we gathered what we need

    • #2 by Alina on October 8, 2014 - 5:50 pm

      1. There is no set time you have to wait after your divorce before you can apply for the cohabitation visa. The problem is that you need to prove that you have been in a strong relationship for 2 years or lived together for 1 year which is impossible if you were married for some of that time. So you would need to start over with the relationship after your divorce. I don’t know what the requirements are for marriage though.
      2. Cyprus is not one of the Schengen countries so you will need to apply for a separate Schengen visa if you want to come to Belgium.
      3. That could be proof, but I’m not sure that it will work in this case because you were married since that time to someone else so it doesn’t show strength of relationship.
      4. Sorry we only deal with cohabitation so I couldn’t advise, but in your case marriage might be easier or faster.
      5. Yes, unfortunately the age different might make it more difficult to prove that you have a strong relationship as opposed to just trying to get a visa.
      6. If you have a visa to legally live in Cyprus you should be able to start the process at the Belgium embassy there.
      7. You will need to apply for a longer term Schengen Visa becuase Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area.

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