When you and your partner decide to move in together, a cohabitation agreement may not be the first thing you think of. There are a lot of exciting stuff to plan and fix. And in the midst of it all, a cohabitation agreement might not seem as fun to deal with. Even if that’s true, a cohabitation agreement is really important for many reasons. And it’s definitely something you should have a look at setting up.
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. By setting up a cohabitation agreement you make sure to protect and secure your future and your childrens 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 a rental in the beginning, turned in to a condominium one year after the woman and the man had started to live together. The woman, who’s name was already on the lease, bought the condominium and thus owned it herself. When the couple chose to seperate in 2017, the man claimed the apartement saying that the apartment was their common property since they had lived there for so long.
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.