One of the less obvious effects of globalisation is the growing number of international marriages and, subsequently, international divorces word wide.

In case of divorce the first question will be: where to file for divorce? Sometimes filing in the Netherlands will suit you best, in other cases filing abroad might be better. This is what we call forum shopping. We will advise you on the possibilities regarding the competent court(s) and the applicable law e.g. in regard to your assets, because even if you have a shared nationality the law of your native country is not automatically applicable to the matrimonial property regime.

Whether you share the same nationality or have different nationalities an international divorce will likely incorporate aspects that may be subject to different national legislations. If there are children involved and the children live in the Netherlands, the Dutch court is always competent regarding the parental authority, child maintenance and the care of the children and Dutch law is applicable. As far as the spousal maintenance and the division of assets are concerned, the Dutch court will often be competent, but foreign law might be applicable.

Therefore, it is important to educate yourself on the consequences of your divorce. In certain cases you might even want to be informed before the other party involved knows about your intention to divorce. GMW’s LED involves family lawyers who are specialised in international divorces and relating matters. Together with you they will determine the strategy and handle your case in an efficient way.

Frequently asked questions are:

  • Is the Dutch judge competent?
  • Which law is applicable to the matrimonial property?
  • Which law is applicable to the parental authority and care of the children?
  • What are the provisions and obligations for spousal and child maintenance?
  • How to draft a parenting plan that actually works?
  • How to best protect the joint assets during divorce procedures?
  • How to negotiate an out-of-court settlement?
  • Is it possible to relocate during the divorce procedure?
  • Am I allowed to stay in the country during and after the divorce?

We are well equipped to advise you on the different kinds of dispute resolution as well. Depending on your situation you might prefer mediation, collaborative divorce or court proceedings.


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