International divorce in the Netherlands: the story of Austrian Lukas and Norwegian Elise

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Auteur: Carla Simmelink


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Lukas, an Austrian, met Elise, a Norwegian, during a vacation in Norway. They fell in love and their adventure took them to Salzburg, Austria, where they decided to get married.

International divorce in the Netherlands: the story of Austrian Lukas and Norwegian Elise

Lukas, an Austrian, met Elise, a Norwegian, during a vacation in Norway. They fell in love and their adventure took them to Salzburg, Austria, where they decided to get married.

After two happy years of marriage, Elise is given the unique opportunity to spend three years in the Netherlands for her work. Despite his initial hesitations, Lukas decides to quit his job and come with them to Holland. They settle in Utrecht, where Lukas struggles to adjust. He cannot find a job and feels isolated by the lack of social contacts.

The situation puts a lot of pressure on the relationship, and after six months in Utrecht, Lukas wants a divorce.

Can they divorce in the Netherlands despite their foreign nationalities?

Yes, that is certainly possible. Although Lukas and Elise do not have Dutch citizenship, they are both officially residents of the Netherlands. Both partners can file for divorce with the Dutch court together or separately.

We assisted Lukas and Elise throughout the divorce process. They separated by mutual consent with a joint petition. We made sure that the necessary documents from Austria and Norway were properly used in the request. The language of conversation was in English, with the essences of documents translated into Norwegian and German so that Lukas and Elise could read it in their native language.

When distributing financial assets, we took into account the local currencies of Norway and Austria. Lukas and Elise had accumulated assets of their own and common property in Norway, Austria and the Netherlands.

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If the divorce is pronounced by the court in the Netherlands, does Lukas with Austrian citizenship also have to divorce in Austria?

No, Austria, like the Netherlands, is a member state of the European Union. Both countries are subject to the Brussels IIter Regulation. A divorce pronounced by the court in the Netherlands is recognized in Austria. The man does not have to divorce again.

Does a Dutch divorce judgment have to be translated in Austria?

No, when filing for divorce, the husband’s lawyer sends along a certificate for divorce, belonging to Regulation Brussels IIter. The certificate is completed by the court upon divorce. The husband also does not have to have the divorce judgment translated into German. He can issue the certificate with the judgment of divorce to the competent authority registering divorces in Austria.

Should a Dutch divorce judgment be translated into Norway?

Norway is not a member state of the European Union and the Brussels IIter Regulation does not apply to it. Norway does recognize divorce (because of the Lugano Convention). But it is less easy for the woman than for an EU resident to process the Dutch court’s ruling in Norway. In any case, the Dutch pronunciation will have to be translated.

Simmelink lawyers can help you with your (international) divorce

Filing for divorce in the Netherlands for foreigners requires specific legal knowledge. This is particularly the case with foreigners who do not have Dutch nationality. We have necessary knowledge of and experience with Brussels II-bis international adjournments.

At Simmelink Law Firm, we are ready to guide you through the process from start to end. Whether you decide to separate jointly or separately. we can guide you as a lawyer or through a mediation process. Our services include:

You can read more about information on international family law on the central government website:

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Auteur: Carla Simmelink

Carla Simmelink is advocaat en eigenaar van Advocatenkantoor Simmelink. Haar specialisaties zijn: familierecht, naamrecht en erfrecht in Nederlandse en internationale kwesties. Carla is een betrokken, geïnteresseerde gesprekspartner en gaat voor het beste resultaat. Pragmatisch en doelmatig behartigt zij uw belangen.

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