We report the isolation and characterization of a series of three cobalt(II) bis(phosphine) complexes with varying numbers of coordinated solvent ligands in the axial position. X-ray quality crystals of [Co(dppv)2][BF4]2(1), [Co(dppv)2(NCCH3)][BPh4]2(2), and [Co(dppv)2(NCCH3)2][BF4]2(3) (dppv = cis-1,2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethylene) were grown under slightly different conditions, and their structures were compared. This analysis revealed multiple crystallization motifs for divalent cobalt(II) complexes with the same set of phosphine ligands. Notably, the 4-coordinate complex 1 is a rare example of a square-planar cobalt(II) complex, the first crystallographically characterized square-planar Co(II) complex containing only neutral, bidentate ligands. Characterization of the different axial geometries via EPR and UV–visible spectroscopies showed that there is a very shallow energy landscape for axial ligation. Ligand field angular overlap model calculations support this conclusion, and we provide a strategy for tuning other ligands to be axially labile on a phosphine scaffold. This methodology is proposed to be used for designing cobalt phosphine catalysts for a variety of oxidation and reduction reactions.