Proof of relationship by the Belgian law

Hi there,

I'm a dual passport holder (Italian and Brazilian) and my partner, who we have a 7-years relationship, is only Brazilian.

Between 2014-2016 we lived in Malta and for her get the residence card (thirt-country national family member), we proof our log-term relationship using some documents like visas used for travels together, receipts of air tickets bought in one card or another, photographies, etc, because we're not legally married. Was a smooth process there and now, she's moving again to joining me here in Belgium.

On my researches, I found that we need to have some kind of declaration of cohabitation or something like this. Is this the right document to have on this case or something different? If I'm right, where I can get this document?

Thanks in advance.

Hi or bom dia,

Legal cohabitation
Two persons who live together and make a declaration of legal cohabitation to the municipal administration of their municipality of residence, are legal cohabitants. This declaration gives them some legal protection.

Legal cohabitation is accessible to all people living together in Belgium. It can be a heterosexual couple or a homosexual couple. You can also legally cohabit with a family member or anyone with whom you have sexless relationships.

Conditions of legal cohabitation
You can sign a declaration of legal cohabitation under the following conditions:

you have the legal capacity to contract
You're not married
you do not lawfully cohabit with another person
Declaration of legal cohabitation
You must submit a written declaration of legal cohabitation to the registrar. This one will give you proof of receipt.

You can write a declaration of legal cohabitation yourself or use the standard form made available by many municipalities.

The declaration must contain the following elements:

- the date of the declaration
- the surnames, first names, places and dates of birth and signatures of both parties
- the address of the common home
- mention of the will of the parties to cohabit legally
- the indication that both parties have first read the content of articles 1475 to 1479 of the Civil Code, regulating the status of cohabitation
- the reference to the cohabitation agreement made in advance before a notary if this is the case
- The registrar checks whether the legal conditions governing legal cohabitation are fulfilled. If this is the case, he makes the declaration in the population register.

Rights and duties of cohabitants

The Civil Code specifies the rights and duties of cohabitants:

- The protection of the family housing concerns the building used for common housing and the furniture that forms part of it. One of the two cohabitants can not take the decision alone to sell, give it or build a mortgage on housing. He must first obtain the agreement of his cohabitant. If he refuses without good reason, the court may allow the other cohabitant to act alone.
- The cohabitants must contribute to the expenses of the common life, according to their possibilities. Like married couples, cohabitants therefore have the obligation to participate in household expenses. This also applies to the costs of maintenance, education and training of children in the household, whether they are common children or not. Cohabitants also share the real estate tax on housing which only one would own, as the road tax when the vehicle is common.
- The joint and several obligation to participate in certain debts. Whenever one of the cohabitants incurs an indispensable debt for the needs of the cohabitation or for the children they raise together, the other will also be bound by this rule. Examples: a loan for a home, a car ...
- This does not apply to excessive debts in relation to the financial resources of the two cohabitants.

For information on the administrative procedure, contact the registry office of your municipality.


I read that but is not enough. I've been on the maison communale of mu community and they give me the information that I can use the same papers and options that I used in Malta (visas, air tickets, etc). Also, in my case, she can use her resident card from Malta to proof that we're in a relationship since then.

Anyway, thanks again.


What I have provided as information is the legal minimum required by the services of the foreigner's Office.

Now if at the communal house, they agree to use other documents, it will be under their own responsibility.

Attention should always be paid to this style of reporting by local administrative staff. Because they are not always aware of all the points of detail.


Currently i will proceed my legal cohabitation process and read all this information in here. thanks in advanced. you seems know a lot about legal cohab, and its very new to me.
may i know what is the different between legal cohab and marriage status?
and also we have 1,5 year relationship and live together unofficial for 9 months now, is that can be a problem for us to do legal cohab? since i read there are requirement on the period of relationship


Hello Maryna,

Legal cohabitation is simply a statement made at the communal house. This statement simply states that you live together. But that does not bring any legal security provided by a marriage formally registered by a state.

All the legal proofs showing the reality of the life in a couple will facilitate the management of the file.

Dear Phipiemar,

Thank you for your info. is the official legal cohabitation is the same way?
At the moment i still have my working permit till end of September and i planned to changed my resident permit not with B card. The commune request me this official legal cohabitation document as one of the requirement. Thats why i wonder what is the different compared to marriage.
sorry if i make you confused ;)
maybe im not so clear as well and thanks for answering my questions


Hi Paulino,

When she arrives in Belgium, she needs to declare her arrival in the local city hall within 8 days, and then make another appointment at the city hall to declare cohabitation. You will need to bring proof that she is unmarried.

You can find more info here: … n-belgium/


New topic