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Termination of a cohabitation relationship

Termination of a cohabitation relationship (settlement cohabitation contracts)

Some people who are living together have a contract that states what will have to be done if their relationship comes to an end. Other people live together without any contract.

If you do not have a contract, only the property that is registered in both your names, will be joint property. You are not entitled to spousal maintenance or alimony. You are not entitled to a share of each other’s old age pension, even if there are some arrangements for a partner’s pension (survivor’s dependant pension).

Sometimes the partners have bought a house in both their names. This then often also applies to the mortgage and that means that you may be fully liable for the mortgage debt, even if the mortgage had been geared to your partner’s income.

When you live together, with or without a contract, you should be aware that:

you do not automatically have joint legal custody of the children;
you are not entitled to spousal maintenance or alimony (unless expressly provided for in the co-habitation contract);
there are no injunctive or interlocutory relief proceedings (voorlopige voorzieningen procedure); a temporary arrangement may be applied for at court in preliminary relief proceedings (kort geding), or in case of joint custody, in proceedings in accordance with Book 1, Article 253(a) of the Dutch Civil Code (BW).
In the case of divorce there are special injunctive or interlocutory relief proceedings.