International divorce applications are growing. One third of applicants aren’t aware of relevant regulations

20 May, 2022 | Family Law, News

by Peggy Franssen

According to an investigation among members of the Dutch Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS), more international couples are divorcing in the Netherlands. The Dutch family lawyers research found that 32% of their clients aren’t aware of the applicable laws and consequences of a divorce when they marry.

In my own practice as well, it often happens that my clients are under the wrong impression that Dutch law applies to the matrimonial regime (the system of property ownership between spouses), even in cases where they were married and lived abroad previously. When dicussing the consequences of their divorce, they were very surprised to be informed that they had not been married in a community property system. As you can imagine, this can have a huge impact on their entitlement to assets and property which they had assumed to be common assets.

Overall, divorcing in the Netherlands is relatively quick and easy. You don’t need to be living separately in order to get a divorce, as is required in some other countries. Also, you don’t need to explain why you want a divorce. The only reason needed for divorce in the Netherlands is “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” (also known as “irreconcilable differences” or no-fault divorce), which does not need to be proven by any evidence. A divorce can be pronounced by the Dutch court even in cases when the other spouse does not want a divorce.

In order to get a divorce in the Netherlands, the Dutch court needs to have jurisdiction. At least one of the spouses needs to live in the Netherlands, or both spouses need to have Dutch nationality.

Please contact us at Franssen Advocaten if you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Amsterdam, or need more information about divorcing in the Netherlands.