I have a conflict
My partner wants a divorce, I need advice
If you are living abroad as a Dutch expat and if you are considering to file for divorce or are you confronted with your partner’s wish to divorce, we can advise you on the consequences thereof and assist you in legal proceedings, if necessary. Sometimes, the financial disputes about property and the maintenance issues will have to be settled in accordance with a law other than Dutch law. It is important that you have properly inquired about the consequences of an international divorce.
If you are a Dutch national, but your partner has a foreign nationality, or if you were married abroad, it may be that the property must be settled in accordance with a law other than Dutch law. We can provide you with advice on these issues. We are in contact with experts throughout the world, which enables us to switch quickly and seek expert advice on foreign law, if necessary.
My ex-partner fails to meet his financial obligations
It is always a nuisance if you are confronted with a situation in which your ex-partner does not pay enough or not at all. If your ex-partner is living abroad, it will make the situation even more difficult. Fortunately, we have agreed on statutory regulations in the European Union, as a result of which the situation has become somewhat less complicated. For instance, each EU Member State has set up a Central Authority engaged in the international recovery of maintenance. In the Netherlands this authority is the National Maintenance Collection Agency (Landelijk Bureau Inning Onderhoudsbijdragen LBIO). And agreements have also been made with some non-EU countries. For instance, the Netherlands is a party to the Hague Convention on the international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance 2007. International recovery of maintenance is complex because each State has its own internal regulations. It is always advisable to seek the expert opinion of a lawyer. We can help you solve your problem, if necessary.
I am no longer able to pay the maintenance
If you are obliged to pay maintenance and if there has been a change in your situation as a result of which you are no longer able to pay maintenance or the full maintenance amount, we can advise you on the possibilities to change your maintenance obligation. Preferably, we hold consultations with (the lawyer of) your ex-partner with a view to changing the maintenance by agreement. If that is not possible, we will submit an application to the court for a change in the maintenance payments, if necessary. To change international maintenance payments, the place of residence of the person receiving the maintenance is in principle the determining factor, unless you have agreed otherwise with your ex-partner in a divorce agreement or in a prenuptial agreement.
I am not allowed to see my children
Children are entitled to be in contact with both parents on a regular basis. This right is regulated in, for instance, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is only in exceptional cases, if the safety and the well-being of a child is at risk, that contact between a parent and a child will be denied. This applies even more strictly for parents who have custody. The obligation to facilitate contact between the other parent and the child rests with the parent with whom the child is living. If a parent fails to do so, the authorities must make every effort to make contact possible, nevertheless. A (possible) lack of cooperation between the parents does not justify that the authorities will not take adequate measures to maintain the family ties. Therefore, if your ex-partner prevents contact between you and your child without legitimate reason, you can request the court to determine a care arrangement in which contact between you and your child is laid down by the court. This also applies if you are living abroad and your ex-partner has left for the Netherlands with the children, with your permission or otherwise. Needless to say, it is much better, of course, to enter into discussions with one another and determine an arrangement yourselves. We can advise you in these matters and if necessary we can also assist you in legal proceedings.
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