Divorce in the Netherlands
What is the applicable law in a divorce proceeding between spouses of different nationalities?
What is the jurisdiction of the Dutch Court in case of a divorce?
For two Dutch nationals, it is always possible to divorce in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Court has international competence when the two spouses live in the Netherlands, regardless of their nationality.
If only one of the spouses lives in the Netherlands and they don’t have a common Dutch nationality, the Dutch court is authorised as well, but in some cases it is necessary that one of the spouses has lived here at least one year. With ‘live’ is meant habitual residence. Only being registered in the Netherlands is insufficient to file for a divorce.
Once the Dutch Court is authorised regarding the divorce itself, the Dutch Court is also authorised regarding other divorce elements (assets, alimony, pension, etc.), except when it comes to children. Only when the children ‘live’ in the Netherlands does the Dutch Court have international competence. If not, the Dutch Court cannot make decisions about parental authority, access rights, etc.