Legal cohabitation

Population Service – Desk nr. 7 & 8 – Tel : 02/773.05.70/71/73/75

Definition

Legal cohabition can be defined as the situation in which two people declare at the Registrar that they live together.

Who can request a declaration of legal cohabitation?

2 people who share their habitual residence in Belgium.
The notion “shared habitual residence” is defined as the place where a person is mainly residing, apart from any official register and independent from any residence permit. It’s a main residence based on facts linked to a territory, such as long stay or will to develop social and durable relationships.

What are the conditions to be fulfilled?

  • not being married or involved in another legal cohabitation
  • being legally capable to act and not being a minor
  • having a shared habitual residence with someone

What documents do you need? 

  • original birth certificate or a copy
  • identity card or international passport
  • proof of celibacy or dissolution of previous marriage
  • certificate by notary declaring an arrangement was made

Legal effects

  • Unless common agreement, legal cohabitants cannot sell, give away or take out a mortgage on the premise serving as shared habitual residence of the legal cohabitants. The same applies to the furniture which dresses this premise.
  • Legal cohabitants participate in the household charges, both in function of their possibilities.
  • Contribution in the necessary debts that were made in function of the common household and the raising of children.
  • Every cohabitant keeps the goods of which he can prove they belong to him. The same applies to the revenues out of these goods and work.

NB. Goods of which neither of the cohabitants can prove they belong to one or another, are presumed to be belonging to both legal cohabitants.

End of legal cohabitation

  • by death of one of the legal cohabitants
  • by marriage of one of the legal cohabitants
  • by unilateral or common declaration to cease the legal cohabitation

Competent authority

  • Register declaration of legal cohabitation: Registrar of the Population Service of the municipality where the shared habitual residence is located.
  • Register declaration of ceasing of legal cohabitation: Registrar of the Population Service of the municipality where the shared habitual residence is located. In case there is no shared habitual residence, the Registrar of the Population Service of the municipality of the residence of one of the legal cohabitants.

NB. The unilateral declaration to cease will be communicated by bailiff to the other legal cohabitant within 8 days (costs relating to this communication need to be paid in advance).

Cost

€20,00