Marjet van Yperen-Groenleer has been a lawyer since 2004 and joined GMW Advocaten and the Legal Expa...
When is Dutch law applicable in case of divorce - Part 201 October 2013, by Marjet van Yperen-Groenleer
In Part 1 of When is Dutch law applicable in case of divorce, we addressed the application of the Dutch Matrimonial Property Law on the division or settlement of property between spouses in international divorce.
This is of special interest for expats in divorce. The law applicable to alimony can be a different law altogether from the law that applies to the Matrimonial Property Regime.
In order to determine which law applies to alimony, sources other than The Hague Convention on Matrimonial Property of 1978 must be consulted.
Based on The Hague Protocol 2007, the law of the usual country of residence of the person entitled to receiving maintenance is applicable for determining child maintenance.
If a Dutch judge receives such a request and the children live in the Netherlands, child maintenance will be determined according to Dutch law.
Based on the protocol mentioned above, in the case of spousal maintenance, the law of the usual country of residence of the person entitled to receiving maintenance applies.
There is, however, one exception. If the person obliged to pay spousal maintenance contests this law and the marriage of the parties has a closer tie to another country, then the law of that country applies. The protocol’s author primarily considered the last country in which the parties had a common residence.
Original photo by Flickr user Ed Yourdon
Numerous factors play a role, such as the location where the marriage took place, the length of residence of the spouses in the different countries, their nationality, etc.
This possibility to exception can lead to lengthy discussions in international divorce, especially for expats that often have a closer tie to the country of their common nationality.
Being well informed is essential
Be well informed when it comes to maintenance payments. The differences between countries are enormous, especially where spousal maintenance is concerned. The length of the maintenance obligation differs, as well as the amount.