Cohabitation Contract (Cohabitation Légale)

Find out about the rights of unmarried, cohabiting couples and how to enter a Cohabitation Contract with a partner...

The Cohabitation Contract is a legal arrangement which can be entered into by both heterosexual and same-sex couples provided neither is already in a marriage or cohabitation arrangement. It is only available to residents of Belgium.

A written declaration of the cohabitation légale is made at the registry office in the place of residence. The declaration must includes the following:

  • Date of the declaration
  • Names, first names, birth dates and birth places, and signatures
  • Address of the communal home
  • Statement declaring that both of the couple may legally enter in to the agreement
  • Statement that both parties has knowledge of the law regarding the contract (articles 1475-1479)

The couple share responsibility for joint expenses incurred in the course of their daily lives and benefit jointly from any assets acquired during their partnership.

The Cohabitation Contract can be terminated at any time by agreement between the partners or by one partner alone instigating it. Legal involvement is usually only necessary if there is a dispute over property. The contract is also terminated if either party marries or dies.

  • For more information from the Belgium Government: Click here (in French)

A cohabitation is recognised for visa and residency purposes of a foreign partner.

  • Information from the Belgium Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development website: Click here

Further Information