As the father, how do I get responsibility for my child if I’m not married or in a registered partnership?

As a father, you will only get parental responsibility if you first acknowledge your child. After that you and the child’s mother can have it recorded in the parental responsibility register that you wish to exercise joint parental responsibility. The same applies if you have a cohabitation agreement (samenlevingscontract) with the child’s mother.

Cohabitation agreement and joint parental responsibility

If a child’s father and mother have a cohabitation agreement, the father does not get automatically parental responsibility for the child. As the father, you can apply to the district court for joint responsibility. First you must acknowledge the child. There are more conditions for parental responsibility (in Dutch). For example, the request for responsibility must be submitted together with the mother.

The mother denies the father joint parental responsibility

If a child’s father wants to get joint responsibility but the mother does not agree, the parents can’t submit a joint request for responsibility. But as the father, you can still ask the court to assign joint responsibility. To do so you will need a lawyer (advocaat). You must also have acknowledged the child.

Automatic joint parental responsibility

If you are the child’s father and are married to or in a registered partnership with the mother, you will get automatically joint parental responsibility.