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Sometimes you may have to deal with a legal issue in the field of family law. The most common legal issue in family law practice is the divorce.
More information about the divorce proceedings and our divorce lawyers can be found on our divorce page. In addition to a divorce, you can also think of, for example, the recognition of your child, denial of parenthood, obtaining custody of your children or an adoption process. These are issues that need to be properly regulated in order to prevent you from facing problems later on. Are you looking for a law firm specialised in family law? Then you have found the right place. Law & More offers you legal assistance in the field of family law. Our family law lawyers are at your service with personal advice.
In addition to issues relating to acknowledgement, custody, denial of parenthood and adoption, our family law lawyers can also assist you with procedures relating to the outplacement and supervision of your children. If you are dealing with one or more of these issues, it is wise to have the assistance of a family law lawyer who will help you with the legal settlement.
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Acknowledgement creates family law relationships between the person who acknowledges the child and the child. The husband can then be called a father, the wife a mother. The person who acknowledges the child does not have to be the biological father or mother of the child. You can acknowledge your child before the birth, during the declaration of birth or at a later time.
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Conditions for acknowledging a child
If you want to acknowledge a child, you have to fulfil a few conditions. For example, you must be 16 years or older to acknowledge a child. But there are more conditions. You need permission from the mother. Unless the child is older than 16 years. When the child is 12 years or older, you also need written permission from the child. In addition, you cannot acknowledge a child if you are not allowed to marry the mother. For example, because you are a blood relative of the mother. Furthermore, the child you wish to acknowledge may not already have two legal parents. Are you placed under guardianship? In that case, you will first need permission from the sub district court.
Acknowledging a child during pregnancy
This refers to acknowledgement of the unborn baby. You can acknowledge the child in any municipality in the Netherlands. If the (expectant) mother does not come with you, she must give written permission for acknowledgement. Is your partner pregnant with twins? Then the acknowledgement applies to both children of which your partner is pregnant at that time.
Acknowledging a child during the declaration of birth
You can also acknowledge your child if you report the birth. You must report the birth to the municipality where the child was born. If the mother does not come with you, she must give written permission for the acknowledgement.
Acknowledging the child at a later date
It also happens sometimes that children are not acknowledged until they are a lot older or even of age. The acknowledgement is then possible in every municipality in the Netherlands. From the age of 12 you will need written permission from the child and the mother. If the child is already 16 years old you only need permission from the child.
Choosing a name when acknowledging a child
An important aspect in acknowledgement of your child, is the choice of name. If you want to choose your child’s surname during acknowledgement, you and your partner must go to the municipality together. If the child is over 16 years old at the time of acknowledgement, the child will choose which surname he or she wants to have.
Consequences of the acknowledgement
If you acknowledge a child, you become the child’s legal parent. You will then have a few rights and obligations. In order to become the child’s legal representative, you must also apply for parental authority. Acknowledgement of a child means the following:
- A legal bond is created between the person who acknowledges the child and the child.
- You have a maintenance obligation towards the child until he or she reaches the age of 21.
- You and the child become each other’s legal heirs.
- You choose the surname of the child together with the mother at the time of acknowledgement.
- The child may acquire your nationality. This depends on the law of the country of which you have the nationality.
Would you like to acknowledge your child and do you still have questions about the acknowledgement procedure? Feel free to contact our experienced family law lawyers.
Denial of parenthood
When the mother of a child is married, her husband becomes the father of the child. This also applies to registered partnerships. It is possible to deny parenthood. For example, because the spouse is not the biological father of the child. A denial of parenthood can be requested by the father, mother or the child itself. Denial has the consequence that the law does not consider the legal father to be the father. This applies retroactively. The law pretends that the fatherhood of the legal father never existed. This has for example consequences for who is their heir.
However, there are three cases in which the denial of parenthood is not (or no longer) possible:
- If the legal father is also the biological father of the child;
- If the legal father has consented to the act by which his wife became pregnant;
- If the legal father already knew before the marriage that his future wife was pregnant.
- An exception is made to the last two cases when the mother has not been honest about the child’s biological father.
Denial of parenthood remains an important decision. The family lawyers of Law & More are ready to advise you in the best possible way before you make this important decision.
An underage child is not allowed to make some decisions on his own. That is why the child is under the authority of one or both parents. Often, the parents automatically get custody of their children, but sometimes you have to apply for custody through a court procedure or through an application form.
If you have custody of a child:
- You are responsible for the care and raising of the child.
- You almost always have a maintenance obligation, which means that you have to pay the costs of care and education (up to the age of 18) and the costs of living and studying (from the age of 18 to 21).
- You manage the child’s money and stuff;
- You are his or her legal representative.
The custody of a child can be arranged in two ways. When one person has custody, we speak of one-headed custody, and when two people have custody, it concerns joint custody. A maximum of two people can have custody. Therefore, you cannot apply for parental authority if two people already have custody of a child.
When do you get custody of a child?
Are you married or do you have a registered partnership? Then both parents will have joint custody of a child. If this is not the case, only the mother will automatically be given custody. Do you marry as parents after the birth of your child? Or do you enter into a registered partnership? In that case, you will also receive automatic parental authority. A condition is that you have acknowledged the child as a father. In order to obtain parental authority, you may not be younger than 18 years of age, be under guardianship or have a mental disorder. An underage mother of 16 or 17 years of age can apply to the court for a declaration of age to gain custody of a child. If none of the parents has custody, the judge appoints a guardian.
Joint custody in case of divorce
The premise in a divorce is that both parents keep joint custody. In some cases, the court may deviate from this rule if it is in the best interest of the children.
Do you wish to obtain custody over your child or do you have other questions regarding parental authority? Then please contact one of our experienced family lawyers. We are happy to think along with you and help you with the application for parental authority!
Anyone who wants to adopt a child from the Netherlands or from abroad must meet certain conditions. For example, you must be at least 18 years older than the child you wish to adopt. The conditions to adopt a child from the Netherlands differ from the conditions to adopt a child from abroad. For example, an adoption in the Netherlands requires that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. In addition, the child must be a minor. If the child you wish to adopt is 12 years of age or older, his or her consent is required for the adoption. In addition, an important condition for the adoption of a child from the Netherlands is that you have taken care of and raised the child for at least one year. For example as a foster parent, guardian or step-parent.
For the adoption of a child from abroad, it is important that you have not yet reached the age of 42. In case of special circumstances, an exception can be made. Furthermore, the following conditions apply to the adoption of a child from abroad:
- You and your partner must give permission to inspect the Judicial Documentation System (JDS).
The age difference between the oldest adoptive parent and the child may not exceed 40 years. In case of special circumstances, an exception can also be made.
- Your health may not be an obstacle for adoption. You must undergo a medical examination.
- You must live in the Netherlands.
- From the time the foreign child leaves for the Netherlands, you are obliged to provide for the costs of care and raising of the child.
The country where the adopted child comes from may also impose conditions for adoption. For example, about your health, age or income. In principle, a man and a woman can only adopt a child from abroad together if they are married.
Do you wish to adopt a child from the Netherlands or from abroad? If so, be well informed about the procedure and the specific conditions that apply to your situation. The family law lawyers of Law & More are ready to advise and assist you during this process.
An outplacement is a very drastic measure. It can be used when it is better for the protection of your child to live somewhere else for a while. An outplacement always goes hand in hand with supervision. The purpose of an outplacement is to ensure that your child can live at home again after a certain period of time.
The request to place your child out of home can be submitted to the Children’s Judge by the Youth Care or by the Child Care and Protection Board. There are various forms of outplacement. For example, your child can be placed in a foster family or a care home. It is also possible that your child is placed with family.
In such a situation, it is important that you can hire a lawyer you trust. At Law & More, your interests and those of your child are paramount. If you need help in this process, for example to prevent your child from being placed away from home, you have come to the right place. Our lawyers can assist you and your child if a request for outplacement has been submitted, or may be submitted, to the Children’s Judge.
The family law lawyers of Law & More can guide and help you to arrange all aspects of family law in the best possible way. Our lawyers have specialised knowledge in the field of family law. Are you curious what we can do for you? Then please contact Law & More.
Do you want to know what Law & More can do for you as a law firm in Eindhoven and Amsterdam?
Then contact us by phone +31 40 369 06 80 or send an e-mail to:
mr. Tom Meevis, advocate at Law & More – email@example.com
mr. Maxim Hodak, advocate at & More – firstname.lastname@example.org