Making arrangements concerning the children

If you and your partner divorce or end your civil partnership and you have children under the age of 18, both of you will need to make arrangements concerning the children.

Parenting plan

When parents come to an amicable settlement and help their children understand what is happening, the children usually find it easier to cope with the break-up. Parents with minor children need to draw up a parenting plan containing the agreements they have made concerning the children.

Parental responsibility

After a divorce, both partners retain parental responsibility for the children. This also applies when a couple ends their civil partnership, provided the male in the relationship has acknowledged parenthood the child. Both partners are responsible for raising and caring for the children. After a divorce, both parents are entitled to have access to the children. The former partners make agreements about care or access arrangements.

Making agreements about child maintenance

As a parent you are legally responsible for the care and upbringing of your children. If you and your partner end your relationship, you must make financial arrangements concerning the care and upbringing of your children. This is known as child maintenance.

Sharing child benefit (kinderbijslag)

When a couple ends their relationship, child benefit is paid to the parent with whom the children live. If you and your ex-partner have a co-parenting arrangement in which your child lives alternately with you and your ex-partner, the child benefit can be divided between you.

For more information about child benefit and divorce or separation visit the Sociale Verzekeringsbank – SVB (social insurance bank).

Engaging a mediatior

If you and your partner are having difficulty making agreements, you can engage a mediator to assist you in finding a solution together.

Other arrangements

Even if you do not have children, there are practical and legal matters that must be arranged. See ‘Arranging a divorce, legal separation or ending a civil partnership’ for more information.