Under Dutch law, a samenlevingscontract is a written agreement loosely translating to "cohabitation agreement". It has been compared to marriage, but merely governs the so-called property relationships between two or more persons who are cohabiting. It does not necessarily imply a marriage-like (or sexual) relationship exists, but the contract can include agreements about any children within the cohabitation arrangement.
Since the 1980s the contract has been popular among two different groups in Dutch society: people who wanted to formalise their relationship, but did not want to marry, and people who wanted to marry but could not legally do so. With the introduction first of registered partnerships and later the broadening of marriage to include same-sex couples in the Netherlands, the need for a samenlevingscontract for the latter has become less pronounced.