Family interests

Both family law and matrimonial property law are pre-eminently areas of law in which, in addition to the business aspects of a legal issue, personal emotions also play a major role. It is precisely then that the practical experience, legal expertise and personal approach of our lawyers are of great importance.

This may include divorce, mediation or inheritance law. We also have expertise in maintenance, prenuptial agreements, adoption, blended families, paternity and co-motherhood, guardianship and name changes.

Our clients can rely on bespoke legal services with careful and personal guidance throughout the legal procedures. The aim is always to make a substantial contribution to a solution that is satisfactory to all parties.

Relationship and divorce

Divorce

When spouses make the decision to divorce, it is often a complex legal issue that is accompanied by many emotional challenges. Although the preference of spouses is often initially for a divorce by mutual consent by means of a general agreement, there is a chance that your spouse and you will ultimately disagree on certain aspects, which will lead to a divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown. We are happy to advise you on the most suitable divorce procedure for you, in which your interests are best protected and to assist you throughout the entire process.

Cohabitation

Are you considering moving in with your partner, a family member or an acquaintance? You can opt either for de facto or legal cohabitation. Whereas legal cohabitation gives you a formal legal status with associated rights and obligations, de facto cohabitants do not enjoy any legal protection. We are happy to advise you on your choice of the most suitable form of cohabitation and help you draw up a cohabitation contact in which the agreements made about the cohabitation can be recorded.

Assets

During the relationship, partners often build up joint assets. When partners decide to part ways, the accumulated assets must be equalised and divided. This can be done amicably, or through a judicial liquidation and division if disputes should nevertheless arise. We always strive for a pragmatic settlement in which your financial interests are protected, but without losing sight of the emotional aspect.

Maintenance

When a marriage ends, it is more often the case that one partner is economically stronger than the other. In the event of a divorce, maintenance or alimony may be awarded to the economically weaker spouse for this reason. Whether or not you are entitled to maintenance in the event of divorce depends on a multitude of factors. We would be happy to take the time with you to discuss your personal situation and advise you based on your own circumstances.

Marriage

When partners decide to tie the knot, in practice they also make the decision to assume the (property) rights and obligations associated with the marriage. The primary matrimonial regime, which includes the obligation to help and contribute between spouses, is enshrined in law and applies regardless of the matrimonial regime chosen by the spouses. In addition to this primary matrimonial regime, there is also a secondary matrimonial regime, namely the regime chosen by the spouses in their marriage contract, or, in the absence of a marriage contract, the statutory community of property regime. Inform yourself in good time about the various options, so that your marriage contract fits seamlessly with your specific needs and wishes.

Parenthood

Residence scheme

When parents make the decision to separate, it involves looking at how the children can spend time with both of their parents. Whereas evenly divided contact with both parents is preferred, there may be various reasons why in certain situations an uneven distribution of the child’s contact with his or her parents is chosen. Although a mediated amicable solution is always preferred, it is sometimes inevitable that discussions will arise about the contact arrangements, for which we will be happy to guide you personally if that is the case.

Child maintenance

The possible obligation for one parent to pay child maintenance to the other parent is usually inextricably linked to the situation in which the parents separate. In order to determine whether or not maintenance is due, it is necessary to take a closer look at the financial situation of the family. It is important to know that every situation is unique and comparisons with other families are undesirable, so a personalised approach is required.

Co-parenting

Co-parenting encompasses various aspects, such as parental responsibility, contact and finances, whereby the starting point is always that parents assume equal parenthood and decide together on the most important matters relating to the maintenance and upbringing of their children. This includes, for example, the choice of school or the need to undergo a medical procedure. However, for various reasons, it may be in the best interest of the child to depart from this co-parenting, in which case we would be happy to discuss your specific situation with you in more detail.

Paternity and co-motherhood

Biological parenthood needs to be distinguished from legal parenthood, as a biological parent-child relationship does not always entail legal parenthood. Whether it concerns the (prenatal) acknowledgement of a child, disputing or determining the paternity or co-motherhood, our team will be happy to advise you.

Adoption

There is a lot to consider when you decide to adopt a child. For example, a choice must be made between a domestic or foreign adoption, or you may choose to adopt a child from family members. Each adoption procedure has its own form and practices, which in turn have specific consequences. Therefore, make sure you are well informed in advance about the process you have chosen, so that you can take the step towards adoption with full knowledge of the facts.

Youth

Minors are the future of society and therefore play an important role in our legal system. At the same time, however, they are often vulnerable, so they need additional protection. Because of this, lawyers who wish to assist or represent minors must obtain the certificate of the special training course in juvenile law.

In the assistance they provide to minors, the youth lawyers within our firm aim on the one hand to protect minors from society that may have put them in dire parenting situations (youth care), but also to represent minors when they have shown deviant behaviour towards society (juvenile delinquency).

In most cases, the parents, the foster parents or the guardian are also involved in the handling of juvenile proceedings, who often have many questions at that time. Our lawyers specialising in juvenile law are happy to provide them with the necessary information about the procedure and assist or represent them.

Individuals

Appointing a deputy

The appointment of a deputy is intended for those who, for physical and/or mental reasons, are unable to further their own interests (e.g. elderly people with dementia, people with a mental disability, coma patients, etc.). This judicial protection is tailor-made based on the faculties of the person to be protected. However, when does it make sense to apply for the appointment of a deputy? How do you do this? Who can be a deputy? We answer all your questions clearly.

Power of Attorney

Through a power of attorney, you can appoint one or more trusted advisors to represent your personal interests and manage your assets when you are no longer able to do so yourself. Although such a power of attorney is considered to be the instrument of choice for succession planning, it also carries the risk of abuse and has the potential to create family conflicts. It is therefore extremely important to define the powers of the agent precisely and to ensure that the content of the power of attorney is allied as closely as possible to the family situation and the financial circumstances. We are happy to help you make the right choices.

Name change

Do you want to change your name because of a negative association, to make a point or because you just like a different name better? Unfortunately, this cannot be done just like that. Although the conditions for changing your first name are more flexible than the conditions for changing your surname, specific procedures apply to both applications. In both cases, the application must be thoroughly justified with reasons. A lawyer specialising in family law can always assist you in preparing your case and in drafting and justifying your application.

Succession

Inheritance

Inheritance law regulates what happens to both the assets and debts of the deceased. The liquidation and division of the estate is a delicate matter and often causes conflict between the heirs. If an amicable settlement cannot be worked out, it is necessary to apply to the court to obtain a judicial distribution. Given the complexity of the subject, it is advisable to seek advice and assistance at the outset from a lawyer with the necessary knowledge.

Wills

The legal rules that determine the distribution of an estate do not suit everyone. For example, de facto cohabiting partners do not inherit from each other and children in blended families also fall by the wayside. By means of a will, you can decide for yourself what happens to your estate, in whole or in part, provided that this has been drawn up correctly, clearly and in the right form. However, drawing up a will is often confronting and personal. Our team will be happy to help you find the right balance.

Gifting

Gifting during one’s lifetime not only offers a tax advantage, but also ensures that you can give your children, grandchildren or other loved ones a helping hand at the right time. In addition, you can also build in certainty for the future by linking various conditions and liabilities to the gift. Find out about all the options with our specialists.

Lawyers within this expertise

Caroline Rystrand

Senior Associate