close

Don’t get caught out! Understand divorce and your Marital Property Regime

Van Hilten Advocaten & Mediators (previously Van Hilten de Vries van Ruitenbeek) specialises in (inter)national family law.

As of January 1, 2017, the firm is expanding under its new name to two locations in The Hague and Amsterdam. Margreet Ruijgrok also joins as partner.

This article explores the implications of an expat career on the Marital Property Regime (MPR) between divorcing spouses.

Do you understand your prenup or MPR?

While Dutch people often do not know the contents of their prenuptial agreement (or what they are legally entitled to, if they have no prenup), expats often don’t even know which law applies to their Marital Property Regime (MPR), especially if they have not drawn up a prenup.

This year, my firm has decided to promote awareness about the ambiguous issue of the Marital Property Regime.

We have chosen to do so this autumn, as a follow-up to D-Day (Divorce Day) which is organised every year in September by the Dutch Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS).

Raising awareness about divorce and MPRs

Years ago, the vFAS already referred to divorce as a social phenomenon, and focused on the need to create awareness on how to handle one.

Specifically, the vFAS focusses on how to avoid a high-conflict divorce and, if possible, pursue a divorce settlement and parenting plan.

In general, the best thing to aim for in a divorce is a settlement - at least from a professional point of view. By professional point of view, I mean professionals such GPs, schoolteachers, psychologists and of course, good family lawyers, as the impact of a divorce can be huge on both a micro and macro level.

50 ways to leave your lover, and to divorce?

Having some expat experience myself, I am aware of the pleasures of the privileged expat life, which include all kinds of allowances and tax breaks.

As a family lawyer, however, I also know that expat families are often not aware of the challenges that accompany a high-pressure international career. The Dutch Bureau of Statistics states that one in three marriages ends in divorce, and we have observed that the rate is even higher in expat relationships.

That’s why it’s imperative for expats to be aware of the several ways to end a marriage or, at least, that they have access to relevant information.

It is especially important for expats to understand the implications of their career on their MPR, preferably before they become caught up in a divorce.

The complexity of MPRs: Some examples

Some international marriages are so complex that it’s difficult to know which marital laws would apply in the case of divorce. Some examples include:

Newlyweds in Dubai

What would you make of the Dutch/Swedish couple who married in Amsterdam without a prenup, just before moving to Dubai - their first matrimonial domicile - then Mongolia, then back to Amsterdam (at least the Dutch wife)?

Constant company transfers

Or the Russian/British couple who married, without entering into a prenup, in a lovely chapel on Cyprus, after which the husband was transferred to Nigeria, followed by Houston and only recently The Hague, where the whole family now resides?

A New York apartment

Or the American/Dutch couple who always lived in Wassenaar, but who married in New York, where the American wife received a nice apartment from her father as a gift, and who was never aware of the risk that this gift could be considered part of any community of property?

Unclear international conventions

Of course, I can explain the international conventions a Dutch judge is likely to follow in the above cases, but international conventions are not always unambiguously applied.

If another foreign court is also considered to have jurisdiction, then the interpretation given by a foreign judge could be different. Especially if the foreign court is in a country outside the EU.

But also within EU, for instance in the UK or Denmark, a judge might come to different conclusions. This could be a reason for "forum shopping", especially in the case of a high-conflict divorce.

However, if the spouses want to investigate real solutions to real issues, this is best done at a mediation table.

Mediation: a great strategy for solutions

Luckily, expats are often open to investigating solutions through mediation.

When they choose to sit at my table, I inform them that the most important asset of mediation is the fact that they have to work on the solutions together.

Another important factor is the fact that the legal situation can be cleared up or adjusted whenever desired.

It is up to me to facilitate a safe environment in which a couple can freely express themselves and investigate reasonable solutions - with, of course, the necessary help, creative thinking and knowledge of international law.

Collaborative divorce

When it is not likely that I or any other mediator will be able to guarantee the necessary conditions or environment for mediation, parties can try "collaborative divorce", whereby both parties have their own lawyer who protects their interests.

These lawyers, however, more or less assume the position of mediator when addressing divorce-related issues.

The common goal of all parties concerned is to reach the best solution possible for both partners. A coach with a psychological background manages the process, pointing out at an early stage any possible problems concerning children, and offering guidance on the issue.

In financially-complex cases, an independent financial advisor or tax advisor can be involved, also from abroad.

Aiming for a fair and sustainable outcome

As far as the Marital Property Regime is concerned, sometimes it is more favorable to make a (new) marriage contract when a divorce is looming on the horizon, or at least to draw up a notarial deed regarding the choice of applicable matrimonial law.

This is in order to create a fair, reasonable and sustainable outcome for the parties themselves, that will also be accepted by the tax authorities.

Transferring to life after marriage

As a family lawyer, I always try to empower my divorce clients by reminding them that a divorce is a transfer from married life to life after marriage. From my experience, expats, more than most individuals, are capable of thinking this way.
 

Van Hilten Advocaten & Mediators offers free introductory interviews of 30 minutes, specifically for the purpose of diagnosing a client’s situation in case of a divorce.

If your Marital Property Regime is unclear or your prenup appears to be inadequate, contact them to schedule an introductory interview.

Van Hilten Advocaten & Mediators logo
 

Edith

Author

Edith van Ruitenbeek

Edith van Ruitenbeek is an attorney since 1997 and co-founder of van Hilten de Vries van Ruitenbeek Advocaten & Mediators in 2012, the precursor of Van Hilten Advocaten & Mediators...

Read more

JOIN THE CONVERSATION (11)

COMMENTS

Leave a comment

osewood 06:17 | 10 January 2019

After being in relationship with my husband for nine years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is (LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM } WHATSAPP HIM.+1(845)605-8269 you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. https://lavenderlovespell.wordpress.com

gracejohnson01 15:11 | 17 January 2019

How I Get My Ex Back! Thanks to Dr. Okuns, Who Help Me Bring Back My Ex Love! you are really a great spell caster, that have the solution for any type of marriage problems. I advice You Everyone, Do You Need Your Ex Lover Back? Do You Need Strong Love? Do you Need A Child? OR You Need A Divorce? Dr. Okuns can help you out. Contact him via E-mail: herbal.home247@yahoo.com for any types of relationship solutions or WhatsApp/Call his phone number: +2348078467513 He also cure any types of Disease. This is a must read testimony by everyone!!! I am here to let the whole world know about this great man called Dr Okuns who saved my Family. Indeed he did a great job for me by bringing my ex husband back to me, who left me and my 2 kids since 2years ago and promise never to return back to me again, because of one girlfriend, but Dr. Okuns help me to bring him back with his spell caster. With this i have come to realize that given out Dr Okuns details to the world will do a lot of good to those that are having a broken home problems. You can contact him through this email: herbal.home247@yahoo.com OR Call / WhatsApp him on: +2348078467513

gracejohnson01 15:12 | 17 January 2019

I am here to let the whole world know about this great man called Dr Okuns who saved my Family. Indeed he did a great job for me by bringing my ex husband back to me, who left me and my 2 kids since 2years ago and promise never to return back to me again, because of one girlfriend, but Dr. Okuns help me to bring him back with his spell caster. With this i have come to realize that given out Dr Okuns details to the world will do a lot of good to those that are having a broken home problems. You can contact him through this email: herbal.home247@yahoo.com OR Call / WhatsApp him on: +2348078467513

Brianna Owen 00:53 | 18 January 2019

This year 2019 has been so blissful to me for God has given me a reason to live happily again after been heart broken for 3 months when my husband neglected me and went back to he's mistress. I suffered and went through all types of emotional tortures for i couldn't get any help to get my man back not until i was refereed to Lord Zakuza by my co-worker who gave me her full assurance about him that he can be of help to me. I got in touch with Lord Zakuza and i hearken to his words and followed the instructions given to me by him. Could you believe that my husband got back home within 12 to 16 hours as said by him and today, my marriage is restored & i'm so thankful, appreciative & grateful to God for using Lord Zakuza to get my man back after 3 months of broken marriage. Is there anyone out there who needs to get back to he's or her lover back or needs any help of any kind? Then, i suggest that you get in touch with Lord Zakuza now through his Email ID: doctorzakuzaspelltemple@hotmail.com OR you can WhatsApp him too on + 1 (740) 573–9483 for more information. God bless you sir. This Brianna Owen from the UK.

Brianna Owen 00:53 | 18 January 2019

This year 2019 has been so blissful to me for God has given me a reason to live happily again after been heart broken for 3 months when my husband neglected me and went back to he's mistress. I suffered and went through all types of emotional tortures for i couldn't get any help to get my man back not until i was refereed to Lord Zakuza by my co-worker who gave me her full assurance about him that he can be of help to me. I got in touch with Lord Zakuza and i hearken to his words and followed the instructions given to me by him. Could you believe that my husband got back home within 12 to 16 hours as said by him and today, my marriage is restored & i'm so thankful, appreciative & grateful to God for using Lord Zakuza to get my man back after 3 months of broken marriage. Is there anyone out there who needs to get back to he's or her lover back or needs any help of any kind? Then, i suggest that you get in touch with Lord Zakuza now through his Email ID: doctorzakuzaspelltemple@hotmail.com OR you can WhatsApp him too on + 1 (740) 573–9483 for more information. God bless you sir. This Brianna Owen from the UK.

Tonia White 23:53 | 18 January 2019

With a joy in my heart I want to use this medium to tell the world about Lord Nobel who helped me in getting my lover back with his powerful spell, my ex and i where having misunderstanding which led to our breakup though i went to beg him several times to please forgive and accept me back because i know i offended him but each time i went i always feel more deeply in pain and agony because he always walk out on me and would not want to listen to what i have to tell but on i faithful day as i was browsing i came arose a testimony of a woman whose problem was more than mine and yet Lord Nobel helped her with his spell so i was happy and also contacted Lord Nobel for help via email and then told him my story but the only thing he said was that i will wipe you tear with my spell so lucky for me everything want well just as he promised and right now i have got my fiance back and we are both living happily. there is nothing Lord Nobel can not do with his spell and just as promise my self i will keep testifying on the Internet of how Lord Nobel helped me.Are your problem greater that mine or less i give you 100% guarantee that Lord Nobel will put an end to it with his powerful spell, contact Lord Nobel for help you can reach him no his Via email him at lordnobelspellcaster@hotmail.com or lordnoblespellcaster@gmail.com or you can call him or whatsppa him on phone + 1(817)755-0129 He will wipe you tear away

danielhidago 22:46 | 19 January 2019

Thanks to Dr uzoya for giving me the opportunity to test from his Power. I was wondering why most successful people talk more about him even in my neighborhood on how he has been bringing back ex-lovers and making them achieve their lost opportunities and being successful. I doubted some enough until when I tried his power last month via his email. Dr. uzoya cast a reunion spell and brought back my ex lover after three months of our separation within 3days that he promised. Everything he did was like a movie in my eyes; it was so fast and effective. I felt a strong power in me when he was casting the spell which made me stronger in spirit to invite Scott spirit back in to me. I don’t have much to say, but to keep thanking him and telling people how I got the love of my life back. Please stop doubting and give him a try and see for yourself, open up your heart and focus on all the instructions from him and you will see results on your door post. Contact him today and see the miracle of his spell via; driraborspellcaster@gmail.com you can also talk with him on +1(301)909-8775 am Hidago from Holland.

danielhidago 22:46 | 19 January 2019

..Thanks to Dr uzoya for giving me the opportunity to test from his Power. I was wondering why most successful people talk more about him even in my neighborhood on how he has been bringing back ex-lovers and making them achieve their lost opportunities and being successful. I doubted some enough until when I tried his power last month via his email. Dr. uzoya cast a reunion spell and brought back my ex lover after three months of our separation within 3days that he promised. Everything he did was like a movie in my eyes; it was so fast and effective. I felt a strong power in me when he was casting the spell which made me stronger in spirit to invite Scott spirit back in to me. I don’t have much to say, but to keep thanking him and telling people how I got the love of my life back. Please stop doubting and give him a try and see for yourself, open up your heart and focus on all the instructions from him and you will see results on your door post. Contact him today and see the miracle of his spell via; driraborspellcaster@gmail.com you can also talk with him on +1(301)909-8775 am Hidago from Holland.

Monica Brown 02:35 | 20 January 2019

Hey,I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been restored & my husband is back after he left me and our 2 kids for another woman. After 8 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Mohammed can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Mohammed. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Mohammed real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: monicaspiritualtemple@gmail.com , you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348134493948

Monica Brown 02:35 | 20 January 2019

Hey,I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been restored & my husband is back after he left me and our 2 kids for another woman. After 8 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Mohammed can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Mohammed. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Mohammed real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: monicaspiritualtemple@gmail.com , you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348134493948.,.

Shannon Smith 06:18 | 20 January 2019

How I Got My Ex Husband Back........... I am Shannon by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address Makospelltemple@yahoo.com , have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 2 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr.Mako. His email: Makospelltemple@yahoo.com OR.His WhatsApp Number:+2347054263874.