18 November 2016

Living together

Have you decided to live together? Congratulations! Here is some interesting information which might help you…

There are 3 types of cohabitation
Non-formalized cohabitation:

this means living together. No official procedure is completed with the authorities. It creates no legal rights or obligations.

Legal cohabitation:

partners have signed a document at the town hall and are subject to the marriage settlement of separation of property.


in this context, the spouses choose one of the following settlements:

  • Separation of property: the spouses keep their financial independence while sharing out property in 2 separate sets of assets.
  • Communal estate settlement: each spouse owns half of all property.
  • Legal settlement: involves own property and jointly owned property. Own property is the property which each spouse had before the marriage and the property inherited or gifted after the marriage. The rest is regarded as jointly owned, such as salaries and income from own property after the marriage.

By means of a marriage contract, the couple can adapt and set exceptions to the legal settlement for certain property. The spouses may also, if they wish, make certain modifications or change type of settlement.

What are the implications when renting a property?

Are you married or legally cohabiting? ? In this case, you are both tenants of your property. Both partners therefore have shared rights and obligations (FR), even if only one partner has signed the rental agreement.

Non-formalized cohabitation does not require any formality. The person who signs the agreement assumes responsibility for it. Two cohabiting partners have no legal rights or obligations.

Living together. Paying for everything together?

Now that you are living together, how are you going to organize your payments? Will each partner pay his share of the rent or outgoings? Who pays for electricity and shopping?

It is often easier to open a joint account. Each person can pay in his income or a sufficient sum to cover joint costs, rent, loan repayments, insurance, etc.

And what if something happens to you?

Life can hold unpleasant surprises in store. How would you manage if you had to take sole responsibility for outgoings costs, either because of a temporary loss of income or the death of your partner? There are products to protect your loved ones from financial concerns.

If you have borrowed to buy your property with your partner, at this difficult time, the outstanding insurance taken out with your mortgage will prove useful.