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Registered partnership: What is it and what are the financial benefits?

Esther Koeckhoven



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Registered partnership: What is it and what are the financial benefits?

Have you ever heard of it? Maybe you know couples who have entered into this. If you are in a committed relationship and living together, this may be a good option. In this article you will read everything you need to know about registered partnership. And whether it's interesting for you and your partner.

What exactly is registered partnership?

Registered partnership is a contract with your partner in which you arrange financial matters. It may take you time to get into it now. But then it will be well taken care of for the rest of your life!

Why is registered partnership a good idea? Do you want to get married in the future because, for example, you can't afford it now. Then choose registered partnership. Read below how to arrange this and what to look out for.

Here's how it works

You apply for a registered partnership digitally at your municipality. Then you make an appointment at the municipality to sign this document. In most municipalities you can opt for a free ceremony, in which case you can invite a maximum of four people. You can also opt for a simple ceremony, in which case ten people may be present. This costs on average between 200 and 300 euros. After you have been to the municipality, go to the notary to record what belongs to you together. 

Partnership in community of property

There are a number of financial matters you take care of with registered partnership. For example, in which community of property you enter into the partnership. Since 2018, the default is that you enter into a limited community of property. Everything you accumulate in terms of belongings during this partnership belongs to you together. And you also share any loans that arise. 

But inheritances and gifts are not included by default. An inheritance means inheriting things of value and money when someone dies. A gift is something of value that you receive from someone out of the blue. This can be money, but it can also be valuables.

Both inheritances and gifts remain personal to the recipient. But you can stipulate otherwise in the contract at the notary. You do this in partnership conditionsIn these you record what you share together (both belongings and loans). These conditions are tailor-made, this takes time and therefore money. The costs are around 700 euros. But the price can be higher because of your own wishes. Also, each notary has its own price. Ask for an offer from the notary in advance. This is a document in which the notary proposes a price, so you know how much it will cost you.

Here are the benefits

You are automatically each other's heirs. This means when the other person dies, you inherit your partner's belongings. Heirs are usually recorded in a will (an official document stating who inherits your belongings and money), but with registered partnerships, this is automatic.

You are also entitled to each other's pensions accrued during your partnership. 

Another advantage of a registered partnership is that you can easily move on to marriage. Most things are already settled in the contract, which does not need to change. But getting married does cost money; you get married before the civil office, which is different from the notary. You make an appointment at the town hall to get married. 

Another option is to invite a civil registrar from your municipality to your wedding. He or she will then officially record the marriage. 

If your relationship does end, you can terminate the contract. This does not have to be done through the courts, which is the case with marriage. You go to the notary who will pass this on to the municipality. 

These are the drawbacks

Unlike marriage, there are less festive customs with registered partnership. For example, you do not say yes to each other, and the role of witnesses is less significant. Of course, this can be an advantage and, for some, a disadvantage. 

Finally, registered partnership is not free. In fact, you conclude this at the notary and have to pay for it. The cost for this is around 700 euros. But the price can be higher due to your own wishes. Also, each notary has its own price. Ask for the price in advance from your notary.

The pros and cons if you have children

Both parents get automatic custody of children at birth. But only if your children are born during the partnership. As a result, you don't have to go to court to request this. Without a registered partnership, you have to. Also, your children automatically become your heirs with registered partnership.

Without a registered partnership, a parent must acknowledge his or her child. As parents, you register the birth at the municipality where your child was born. This is free of charge. This recognition does not yet mean that you have parental authority. You must apply to the court for this. This is not necessary if you have a registered partnership. 

If you do break up, you can terminate the contract. You don't have to go to court for this, but you do if you have minor children together. Also, with a registered partnership, a legal child support arrangement applies. This means that your partner helps pay for the upkeep of your child(ren). How much this is depends on your incomes. You can easily calculate this online. And so with a registered partnership, everything is well taken care of for your children.

What other contracts are there? And what are the differences?

In addition to registered partnership, there is also the cohabitation contract. With a cohabitation contract, you can easily separate. That's because, like registered partnership, you don't have to go to court. You put in the contract how it can be terminated. And if your partner has debts, you don't share half of them if you separate. 

A disadvantage of a cohabitation contract is that you are not each other's heirs. Because you have to record this separately in a will, which costs money. And you are not entitled to each other's pensions, unless you have recorded this in the contract. Also, you do not have parental authority with a cohabitation contract; you have to request this separately from the court.

Ready for the next step?

Would you like to make your relationship official? With a registered partnership, you establish financial matters once. With this, everything is well taken care of for the people you love. If it does break up, you can easily terminate the contract. But until then, you can enjoy life carefree. Because you know that financial matters are well taken care of. For you, your partner and your children! 

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