Divorce in the Netherlands for non-Dutch nationals Image

Divorce in the Netherlands for non-Dutch nationals

When two Dutch partners, married in the Netherlands and living in the Netherlands, want to divorce, the Dutch court naturally has jurisdiction to pronounce this divorce. But what about when it comes to two foreign partners married abroad? Recently, we regularly receive questions regarding Ukrainian refugees who want to divorce in the Netherlands. But is this possible?

A divorce petition cannot be filed in any country. There must be some connection between the partners and the country of filing. Whether the Dutch court has jurisdiction to hear an application for divorce depends on the jurisdiction rules of the European Brussels II-ter Convention. According to this convention, the Dutch court can grant a divorce, among other things, if the spouses have their habitual residence in the Netherlands.

To determine whether the habitual residence is in the Netherlands, it is necessary to look at where the spouses have established the centre of their interests intending to make it permanent. To determine habitual residence, the factual circumstances of the specific case must be considered. These might include registration with the municipality, membership of the local tennis club, some friends or relatives, and a job or study. There must be personal, social or professional circumstances that indicate lasting ties with a particular country. Simply put, habitual residence is the place where the center of one’s life is currently located. If the partners’ habitual residence is in the Netherlands, the Dutch court can pronounce the divorce. In some cases, it is required that only one of the partners has a habitual residence in the Netherlands.

Although the residence of Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands is temporary in many cases, it can still be established that habitual residence is in the Netherlands. Whether this is the case is determined by the concrete facts and circumstances of the individuals.

Are you and your partner not Dutch but want to get divorced in the Netherlands? If so, please get in touch with us. Our family lawyers specialize in (international) divorces and will be happy to help you!

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