Cohabitation contracts replacing marriage
Their number has seen a steady rise, while the number of marriages saw a drop over the past two years.
Last year, some 80,000 couples signed a cohabitation contract, which is almost equal to the number of couples who got married the same year. A cohabitation contract, introduced in Belgium in 2000, is a form of legal agreement between male and female partners of a couple who have chosen to live together.
Under the cohabitation contracts, partners receive better legal protection and financial benefits. They are also being taxed in the same way as married couples when filling in their annual tax form. When it comes to inheritance issues, cohabitation contracts are less binding.
Though living under the same roof as a couple is one thing, the rate of cohabitation contracts is increasing because it becomes more profitable to formalize the situation and add a legal status to it when things get serious after a while, added the newspaper.