Carefully Consider Before Deciding to Divorce

Carefully Consider Before Deciding to Divorce

Applying for a divorce is a significant step, and in the Netherlands, only a judge can pronounce it. But before you take this step, it’s important to consider a few essential questions.

Only a judge can pronounce a divorce

In the Netherlands, asking for a divorce is straightforward, only a judge can pronounce a divorce, and all you need to declare is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. No need for examples or explanations. Despite seeming “easy” (apart from the other complex divorce-related issues such as parental authority, alimony, and property settlement ), it’s a good idea to ponder some questions before you decide to part ways.

How to make the decision

The biggest question is: do you still have love for your partner? If “yes” is your answer and you believe your marriage can be salvaged, think about getting counseling or therapy. Have a heart-to-heart. Dig into the reasons behind the potential split. Is the marriage beyond repair? If so, fixing it might be out of reach. Are you deciding based on feelings or facts? Decisions made in the heat of the moment may not last, but too much logic can make a relationship feel trapped and cold. Is that the outcome you’re aiming for?


Planning and getting professional advice can be crucial in your decision-making process. Your social circle matters too. Who can you count on for support post-divorce? Chat with a few trusted friends or relatives who can offer solid advice. And don’t overlook your job. You might find support through work, like flexible hours for family emergencies.

Lawyer or mediator

Once you’ve mulled over everything and if divorce still seems like the only or best option, be sure to engage a seasoned family lawyer sooner rather than later. Opt for a lawyer who’s part of the Dutch vFAS, the association of lawyer-mediators. vFAS-affiliated lawyer-mediators are experts in divorce and relationship breakdowns. They aim to settle divorces amicably, ideally working things out with your partner’s lawyer.

More information

Thinking about splitting up? Don’t hesitate to contact me or one of our other specialized family lawyers/mediators.