There are a number of differences between a cohabitation contract and a registered marriage or partnership. Unless otherwise stated in a matrimonial agreement, marriage takes place automatically in the “general property community,” which means that all assignments of property and debt between the spouses, including property acquired before marriage, estates and gifts, are carried out. A marital agreement can be reached before the marriage. It must be written by a notary and registered in a matrimonial register with the commune where the marriage announcement is made. It is also possible to enter into a post-uptial agreement during the marriage. Of course, it is possible to live together as a couple without official agreement. However, please note that cohabitation, even without formal agreement, will have some impact on the rules of certain institutions, such as the Dutch tax authorities. For example, cohabitation with someone could affect your benefits, allowances and tax returns. – After a while, you will buy new things. With every (big) purchase, like a TV or a car, you should change the contract. Unless you agree that everything you buy after signing a cohabitation agreement is a common property. Expats who do not wish to marry in the Netherlands can opt for a registered partnership or cohabitation agreement.

In 2014, one of the last major differences between marriage and registered partnership was definitively eliminated: registered partnership fathers were recognized by the Dutch government and also obtained the right to seek custody of their children and fight for custody of children when the partnership comes to an end. Fathers have common authority over children, provided they are born after the signing of the agreement. This is important because in the event of a cohabitation agreement, the father must first recognize the child and then agree to shared custody with the mother. A cohabitation contract is an agreement in which arrangements are made on cohabitation. You can have a cohabitation contract with several people at the same time. The following agreements are examples of cohabitation agreements: although some who live together choose not to formalize their relationship, the fact that they live together still has legal consequences.


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