Marrying someone of the same sex

Same-sex marriages are allowed in the Netherlands. You can marry in gemeenschap van goederen (community of property) or onder huwelijkse voorwaarden (under a prenuptial agreement).

Last updated on 22 August 2022

Marry in community of property

When people do not enter into a marriage contract, they can be married with gemeenschap van goederen (community of property). This means that the spouses share all property and bear all liabilities together, whether or not these were acquired or incurred during or before the marriage.

Marry onder under a prenuptial agreement

If you get married onder huwelijkse voorwaarden (under a prenuptial agreement), you make a contract between you and your spouse in which you make certain arrangements about your property. This includes items of property acquired before the marriage, during the course of the marriage, and also about the division of the property in the event of divorce.

Requirements for same-sex marriage

If you intend to marry someone of the same sex, you can get married in the Netherlands in the presence of the civil registrar. This is called a civil marriage, and you are only legally married once you have had a civil ceremony. In addition, it is possible to have a religious ceremony in some churches, but not all churches allow it. Check first with the church where you want to have the ceremony. A church wedding can only take place after the civil ceremony.

Registering a marriage and witnesses

There are a number of things you need to do before getting married. You must inform the municipality in advance that you wish to get married. In addition, you must provide some details about yourself and your future spouse. You must also provide the names of the witnesses to your marriage.

Rights and obligations of spouses

Spouses have certain rights and obligations, including:

  • a duty of care. This means that spouses are obliged to support each other;
  • a right of inheritance. This means that each spouse is the other spouse’s legal heir;
  • the right to use your partner’s last name;
  • the right not to testify against your partner in legal proceedings. This is known as verschoningsrecht (spousal privilege). The right not to testify also extends to the family members of you and your partner;
  • the right to half of your partner’s pension rights built up during the marriage. This also applies if you divorce, unless you mutually agree otherwise. Many pension schemes also allow you to build up rights to a nabestaandenpensioen (survivor’s pension). The survivor’s pension is a payment that you receive if your partner (who has built up pension rights for their retirement pension) dies. Your health insurance company can provide more information about this.

Registering a same-sex marriage

If you intend to get married, you must notify the municipality where you live.

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Civil Code, Book 1, Article 30

Civil Code, Book 1, Article 44

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