Have you signed a cohabitation agreement?

When you and your partner decide to move in together, a cohabitation agreement may not be the first thing you think of. There are many other exciting things that you have to plan and fix. And even if they’re important, a cohabitation agreement is at least as important to consider.

According to Statistics Sweden, 1.6 million Swedes live as common-law partners. And yet, signing cohabitation agreements is not that common. And this despite the fact that common-law partners don’t have the same legal advantages as married couples. That’s why it’s especially important that you write a cohabitation agreement. That makes it possible for you to protect and secure both your future and your children’s financial security.

How are you protected by a cohabitation agreement?

In 2022, the Supreme Court in Sweden decided that a woman should pay her ex-partner almost SEK 800,000 and just over SEK 100,000 in court costs for an apartment the woman had paid for. The apartment, which was initially a rental property, was converted into a condominium a year after the woman and the man moved in together. The woman, who’s name was already on the lease, bought the condominium and thus owned it herself. When the couple decided to separate in 2017, the man made a claim for the apartment, arguing that it should be considered joint property because of how long they had lived there together.

You can avoid situations like this more easily with a cohabitation agreement. The agreement is written together with a lawyer. The lawyer helps you go through your finances, assets and other questions you might have. In the agreement, you should state how you want your property distributed if you decide to go your separate ways one day. This applies, for example, to properties such as condominiums, houses, cottages and things that you have inherited and want to keep as individual property. By specifying how your assets should be distributed, you secure your children’s financial security. The cohabitation agreement does not have to be registered and you can choose whether you write it before or after you move in together.