Friday 12 September 2014 is the Day of Divorce in the Netherlands, organised by the Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS). Susan Meijler from GMW lawyers in The Hague explains how people can benefit from a free informal talk with a divorce specialist.
What is aim of the national Day of Divorce?
The Day of Divorce is intended to lower the threshold for getting advice about divorce or other family law issues. For those who are thinking about ending a relationship, approaching a lawyer is usually a major step. Often it feels wrong to use the word ‘divorce’ if you have not yet made a decision. To avoid problems at a later stage, we inform people on this day about possible consequences. This can be done completely anonymously.
Is the Day of Divorce only for people who are thinking about divorce?
GMW lawyers’ doors are open for anyone involved in divorce. All kinds of practical issues can arise during the proceedings, the settlement or even years after the divorce has been settled.
For which problems can you offer help?
At the moment, this often involves allocating the marital home with residual debts. We also usually find a good solution for child visitation arrangements, for instance, by discussing a parenting plan. Years after the divorce, questions may arise concerning access, authority, maintenance or forgotten pension arrangements. We often help business people to calculate their income and the pre- and postnuptial agreements.
What can people expect from these talks?
First of all we listen. After all, divorces are emotional. Our task is to then keep an eye on the business side of things. Our explanation focuses mainly on the consequences of various decisions, based on concrete facts. More is required for in-depth advice.
Is it possible to come for an informal talk at another time?
You can always make an appointment with GMW lawyers. This is also possible after working hours. Since it involves personal issues, it is very important to feel comfortable with your lawyer. After all, it’s about building trust and a long-term collaboration. For this reason, it is important to orientate. We want to give people the opportunity for this during an informal meeting.
If you have any questions or need advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Update article: December 2017.
Susan studied Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has worked as a lawyer since 1986 and gained an immense amount of experience in dealing with the full range of matrimonial and separation issues in international divorces. Susan joined GMW lawyers in 2011 and is a member of the Family Mediators Association.
Susan is an expert in contested financial disputes both in and outside court. One of her key strengths is the ability to empower her clients so they can understand and take control of the process, and forward constructively, especially for the children’s sake. She further specialises in strongly contested residence, contact disputes and is experienced in dealing with the legal aspects of child abduction.
Susan frequently acts for parents whose children have been taken abroad illegally and assists in obtaining their return.