Dissolution of cohabitation contract
It seems very simple to terminate a cohabitation contract at the end of the relationship; in principle, the contract applies as long as the cohabitation is in existence. If there is a difference of opinion when the cohabitation ends, then the cohabitation officially ends on the day when one of the partners informs the other by means of a registered letter that the cohabitation has ended. However, it is often more expressly recorded in the cohabitation contract on which date the contract must be deemed to have ended. In this manner the dissolution of the cohabitation contract is simple.
Dissolution of the cohabitation contract with children or a dwelling
The difficulties of termination of a cohabitation contract only come into play when, for example, owner-occupied housing or children are involved. The law has not set out any rules about how cohabitants must arrange these sorts of situations. For example, in such a case the joint dwelling and the enjoyment of the property must be divided and in the event of minor children, the law sets requirements for the parents. Since March 2009, cohabitants who exercise joint custody of their minor children are obliged to draw up a parenting plan in case of the termination of the cohabitation contract, just like married couples and registered partners must do at the end of their relationship. The parenting plan must therefore include an arrangement about the division of the care of the children, the transfer of information with regard to the children and the division of the costs of the children (child maintenance).
One must look into what was agreed by the partners in the cohabitation contract for the financial settlement of the separation. There can be joint assets or a debt burden such as a dwelling which must be divided at the termination of the cohabitation. It is specified in some contracts that the accrued pension rights must be divided. After the termination of the cohabitation contract the ex-partner will have no right to spousal maintenance, unless this is expressly included in a cohabitation contract concluded between the partners.
It is not required to engage a lawyer for the dissolution of a cohabitation contract and the arranging of the consequences of the ending of the cohabitation; however, it is certainly advisable. For example, it is important that a proper agreement (settlement) is drawn up in writing in which the financial agreements about the dwelling, the contents, the bank accounts etc. are arranged. The importance of a carefully arranged parenting plan containing the agreements about the children should not be underestimated either. Proper carefulness taken in this respect will prevent arguments and problems in the future.
In many cases, your personal and financial interests must be examined and perhaps also the interests of your child/children. Asselbergs & Klinkhamer Advocaten would like to discuss with you how we can assist you in this. Please send an email to us or make contact with us by telephone.