Explanation (Updated March 3rd 2013)
Who can use this service and how does it work?
Our office handles the fast divorce procedure through internet over 17 years, but who can use this service and how does it work? First of all it is important that you both entirely agree upon presenting a petition for a divorce in the Netherlands. You have reached agreement in reasonableness and equality about all matters of importance. You both have the Dutch nationality or you already live in the Netherlands for 12 months. If only one of you has the Dutch nationality it will be sufficient if this person can prove that he/she lives in the Netherlands for 6 months. The division of the estate has been arranged together or you have enough faith that the division of property can be arranged in consultation with each other. There is clearness about the care of the children, where the children are going to live, visiting rights, the rights regarding renting the house or the rights to live in the joint (owned) house and regarding the alimony. In other words, between the both of you there is no differ in opinion about the consequences of a divorce and the way to present the petition. In that case the divorce through internet is a way to arrange the divorce quick and cheap.
Both sides must give openness of businesses in all honesty and there must be room for the willingness to compromise. Only then there is a correct base to make agreements about the intended divorce and her consequences. And only then I'm permitted as a lawyer to arrange the divorce. Further it is very important that both parties give full support and don't try to hinder the course of the procedure.
Both spouses will be treated and approached in an equal way. If, for whatever reason, dissension arises about the consequences or way of divorce, I have to refer both spouses to another lawyer at another office.
By completing the Divorce Intake Form, divorce through internet is possible. I will confirm the good receipt of the completed form in writing. With this confirmation you will receive my invoice. After payment of the invoice and receipt of the required documents (see underneath) I will draw up the drafts as soon as possible and send them to you.
I will invite you and your partner over to the office where I will explain the drafts regarding the petition for the divorce. To exclude every possible mistake about the identity of the divorcing parties, it is necessary to meet you at the office at least once, on which occasion you are requested to bring your identity card (passport or driving licence) with you. This way I can prevent that somebody presents a petition for a divorce without the consent of the other party. With the drafts I will send you a document that can be signed with a public notary. This gives you the opportunity to go to a public notary in your neighbourhood instead of a trip to Amsterdam. You can download the Notary statement in Dutch here and in English here.
The divorce-procedure starts by presenting a petition for a divorce at the court (arrondissementsrechtbank). In this petition I, as a lawyer, ask the court for a judgement of divorce and request the court to confirm all you have agreed upon regarding the consequences of the divorce.
From the moment the petition is presented to the court it takes about three/four weeks before the courts gives the judgement. If it is a joint request and you agree about the consequences of the divorce, a hearing is not needed. Together with a copy of the judgement you will receive an act of acquiescence which you have to undersign. This act makes clear that neither of you will lodge an appeal against the judgement. In this way you don't have to wait three months, the term for appeal. After your approval with the decision of the court I will send all the necessary papers to the town hall where you once married for registration of the divorce-judgement. From the moment of registration of the judgement you will be officially divorced. Of course I will send you a copy of the letter containing the date of registration.
From January 1st 1998 the principal rule is that parents keep joint custody after the divorce, unless one of the parents asks custody alone because it is in the interest of the child. Children in the age of twelve and older are heard by the court. But by completing and undersigning a provided form by the child stating what he/she wants regarding living with one of the parents, the child can prevent to go to court.
You can download the so called Kindverklaring here. In case of joint custody of the child(ren) the parents share the responsibility. The parents must be able to compromise on issues like time, costs, school, holidays and so on. The partners must make a clear distinction between their interests and the interest of the children. They are both considered to share the costs of the care of the children in proportion.
If there is no joint custody after the divorce, the other parent has visiting rights, the right of information and consultation. A clear visiting schedule gives both parties and the children certainty and is for that reason recommendable.
Dutch living outside Holland
If both of you have the Dutch nationality but live in another country (outside the Netherlands) it is possible to apply for the divorce in Amsterdam. Formally the request should be handled by the court in The Hague, but in case of joint requests the court in Amsterdam is willing to handle the request. Because of your stay in another country you have to send proof of your Dutch nationality by sending a declaration of the Dutch Embassy/Consulate in the country where you stay, which states that one has verified your identity and acknowledges the fact that you have the Dutch nationality. Another way to show your nationality is a notary statement. The documents have to be in Dutch or English. Documents in other languages have to be translated into Dutch by a sworn translator.
In this procedure one has to choose the application of Dutch law. This can have consequences for alimony for example. Besides the proof of nationality you also has to produce the marriage certificate that again if not in Dutch or English, has to be translated by a sworn translator.
Furthermore I have to make sure that you both want the divorce. If you're not planning to come to the Netherlands soon, the most easy and reliable way in order to convince me seems to be that an independent third party (lawyer, notary, ambassador et cetera) informs me that he/she has verified your identities and is convinced of the fact that you both totally agree with the drafts regarding the divorce request. Of course the statement about your nationalities can be combined with this statement. After receiving this message and the original signed document I can present the petition to the court.
When the marriage took place in another country the divorce has to be registered in The Hague. The registration in The Hague takes about three weeks. In the Netherlands the divorce is not final until it is registered. When the marriage took place in another country, most of the time the divorce has to be registered in that country too. I advice you to verify that.
Which documents do I need?
I request you to send me as soon as possible;
1. Original recent certificates from the register of population (bevolkingsregister) of both partners that mentions your nationalities and date of arrival in the Netherlands (town hall of residence / maximum 3 months old) and
2. Original recent certificates from the register of birth of the minor children (geboorteregister/town hall place of birth / maximum 3 months old) and
3. A recent and original certificate from the register of marriages (huwelijksregister) (town hall of place of marriage / maximum 3 months old). To avoid misunderstandings I point out to you that a copy of the passport, the evidence of giving notice of birth or of the marriage certificate annex family record is not enough for the court.
Don't forget to both bring you cards of identification with you when you visit the office (passport/driving licence).
The costs of a joint petition for a divorce in the Amsterdam district through me are € 675,- all in. If you need a mutual agreement and/or parentalplan the costs are € 765,- all in. Included in these prices are the costs of the court (griffierecht € 274,- and 21% taxes (BTW).
These prices apply to a divorce-request presented at the court in Amsterdam. For this request in Amsterdam it is not necessary to live in Amsterdam. There is no problem if both of you choose residence ("domicilie") at my office, after which the court will deal with the request without a problem, irrespective of where you live. When you live in another country and you want me to present the petition in the Netherlands, you're due € 175,- more (including 21% taxes/BTW).
You can accelerate the procedure by, after filling in the Divorce Intake Form transferring the amount due to account number 22.214.171.1246 at the ABN AMRO in Amsterdam or giro number 313795, in the name of mr. M.C.J. Teurlings. Please mention your name. For payments from outside the Netherlands the Swift code of the bank is ABNANL2A. The IBAN number is NL04ABNA0433513276 (Abn Amro Bank Amsterdam).
You have the right to withdraw your order within seven days. If you didn't send any documents or you don't receive the paperwork and the proceedings didn't take a start as agreed, of course you will receive a full refund. If the payment is done and (some of) the necessary documents are received, the drafts will immediately be produced as promised and send to you. In this case only the court fee will be returned if you don't want to divorce, because all the work has been done. There are no other conditions applicable besides the conditions on this page. All information filled in on the Divorce Intake Form will be saved in your file and can be viewed any time you want.
COSTS AND LEGAL AID
On the (Dutch) Rechtsbijstand page you can conclude whether you can apply for financed legal aid in which case you only have to pay a smaller amount as own contribution and a smaller amount of the costs of the court. Regarding the mutual request for a divorce both your incomes will be counted in order to decide whether you can apply for financed legal aid. The activities won't take a start however before the receipt of the definitive addition by the "Raad voor Rechtsbijstand". Usually this addition takes two months. After that first the own contribution and costs of the court must have been paid.
Regarding custody, visiting, child- and partner alimony, the division of property and the joint house, it is possible to ask the court for revision later. A revision is possible when there is a change of circumstances, so serious that a revision is justified.
When you're married in community of goods you can both claim up to 50% of the value of these goods. You're however free to be satisfied with less than 50%. In such cases it can be wise to insert the arrangements in an agreement (convenant) or to attach the written agreements to the petition. This agreement has to be written in Dutch in order to be accepted by the court and the court needs two copies. Click here for the
According to Dutch law you are also entitled to half of the build up pension during the marriage. In the Netherlands you have to inform the pension institute within two years after the divorce.
The right to rent the house can be assigned to one of the partners by the court. You can decide to make that clear in the form. When it regards a owned house, the court can assign the house to one of the parties only for six months. Because after these six months you have to come to an agreement anyway, the assignment for a maximum period of six months doesn't mean much and can be seen as a formality.