Assistance with
divorce with an
international component

International divorce

SmeetsGijbels, or at least several of our lawyers, is affiliated to the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL). This is a worldwide association of lawyers who specialise in family law.

Thanks to its affiliation to the association and because it specialises in this area, SmeetsGijbels assists many divorcing spouses in marriages with an international component. This could be two Dutch citizens who live abroad, for example, or two people with different nationalities who reside in the Netherlands (often expats), or perhaps a Dutch spouse married to a non-Dutch person. Divorces of this kind are governed by international laws and treaties. As a result, any advice concerning such divorces is highly specialised.

Questions that almost always arise are:

  • Which is the competent court?
  • Whose laws have to be applied?
  • How can I get a ruling by a Dutch court recognised abroad and have it carried out?
  • How can I get a ruling by a foreign court recognised in the Netherlands and have it carried out in the Netherlands?
Comparative law

Because courts in some countries are competent to deal with a particular case, we work in close partnership with our colleagues abroad in order to compare the laws. This enables us to issue quick and expert advice on the question of which country the divorce can best be carried out in, or in which country a case with cross-border aspects can best be made pending.

Legal opinions

We also regularly provide legal opinions to foreign colleagues, clients, and foreign courts about the operation of Dutch family law – for example, about prenuptial agreements, or the legal qualification of foreign legal concepts in the Netherlands.

International collaboration

In these cases of international divorce, we work in partnership with a professor of international family law, if necessary. We also work very closely with colleagues in our networks (such as the IAFL).

Cross-border mediation

Resolutions agreed between the parties are to be preferred in order to avoid legal proceedings in different countries and conflicting rulings; such resolutions can be ‘custom-made’, to suit the needs of the parties. In such cases, we take all the aspects that can feature in cross-border cases into account – tax, legal proceedings, recognition and implementation, cultural differences, etc.

International communication

We also conduct conversations by video link.
A number of the specialist lawyers speak foreign languages.

Care to know more?

Family and inheritance law are sensitive subjects that often involve strong emotions. Matters that once seemed routine can take on a new significance as a result of all kinds of events, causing a breakdown in communications and thrusting the parties involved into far-reaching and invasive legal proceedings. SmeetsGijbels advises its clients on what route to take. We do so with empathy and support, adding our specialist legal knowledge as necessary.

Care to know more? Our lawyers and mediators are ready to help you. Obviously, we guarantee complete confidentiality.

Family law

Find out more about our family law lawyers and mediators in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. They can advise you on what decisions to take.