Just the three of us

published by: Elise van Nimwegen posted on March 17, 2023 reading time

All of social media was in an uproar when a well-known influencer couple[1] announced they had a third partner in the game. This led to many questions in the community, after all, is there now a love triangle and what consequences does such a form of relationship have for the legal matters that need to be arranged? Suppose the three of them want to live together, are the consequences legally fixable? And what consequences does a termination of a triangular relationship have for all of them?

What is polygamy?

Polygamy is a marriage or registered partnership between three or more people.

It follows from Dutch law that a marriage can be entered into by two persons of different or same sex. The Netherlands, based on religious beliefs, has monogamous marriage as a traditional form of life. That form of life has created a polygamy prohibition in Dutch law. A person can only be related to one other person by marriage at the same time. This prohibition also applies to a registered partnership. Persons in a triangular relationship therefore cannot all marry each other or enter into a registered partnership.

What is possible?

However, they can have a poly (love) relationship and live together. It is possible for poly relationships to have a cohabitation contract. A polygamous form of cohabitation can even be legally established in conjunction with a marriage or registered partnership between two people in that multiple relationship.

A cohabitation contract can be drawn up at a lawyer's or notary's office. For a poly relationship, nothing has been legally established (yet). It comes down to agreements made between the parties and whether and how these agreements are recorded. Good documentation is therefore important.

What matters?

Persons in a multi-relationship may encounter problems in practice. After all, Dutch law is designed for a more traditional form of relationship between two people. For example, you can only have one tax partner in the Netherlands and so entering into a cohabitation contract with three people also has consequences for inheritance and gift tax. If you enter into a cohabitation contract with several partners, it is important to be well legally informed.

More questions regarding entering into or ending a triangular relationship and its legal and tax implications? Please do not hesitate to contact our specialists at!

[1] https://www.famme.nl/polyamoureuze-relatie/