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Divorce: what all you need to know

If you no longer wish to remain married, you can divorce your partner in two ways.

Divorce if you are married

Do you and your partner still agree and then the most logical thing to do is to opt for a divorce by mutual consent (EOT). Then you can make all arrangements between yourselves and go to the competent court together to deposit your agreement. On the other hand, if the break-up is difficult, you can also opt for a divorce on grounds of irreparable dislocation (EOO). Even then, you will have to go to court, but it is not necessary to have already made agreements among yourselves.

Divorce if you are legally cohabiting

This can easily be done by making a declaration at your town or city hall, but be sure to think about the consequences too.

How can I file for divorce?

Filing for divorce starts with choosing the right form of divorce that best suits your situation: divorce by mutual consent (EOT) or divorce on grounds of irreparable dislocation (EOO).

  • In an EOT, you and your partner draw up an agreement together that sets out all the arrangements. It is wise to consult a lawyer in this process to ensure that all legal aspects are handled correctly and to avoid potential problems in the future. This agreement is then filed with the court.
  • In an EOO, where there is often conflict, it is even more important to engage a lawyer to assist you in the proceedings and ensure that your interests are properly represented. A lawyer can guide you in gathering the necessary documents, drafting the petitions and representing you at court so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Do I need a lawyer to divorce?

First of all, a lawyer will help you choose which type of divorce best suits your situation. A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to make your divorce as smooth as possible. It is often already an (emotionally) difficult period for you. The lawyer sympathises with you but knows the laws and which points you should pay special attention to so that your interests are best defended.

In addition, with any type of divorce, you will have to go to court. There too, a lawyer knows the rules completely and can help you make the procedure as smooth as possible.

What are the costs of divorce?

Divorce involves various costs, which can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the type of divorce chosen. Costs include court fees, notary fees, costs for any mediation and lawyers' fees. In an EOT, costs can be lower as both parties reach an agreement together and can often use one joint lawyer. With an EOT, costs can rise due to legal proceedings and possible additional costs such as alimony and property division. A lawyer can help you understand the expected costs and guide you in making cost-conscious choices so that you do not face unexpected financial surprises. By engaging a lawyer, you can also ensure that all financial arrangements are clear and fair.

What about the house and children?

During a divorce, important decisions have to be made regarding the division of the home and the care of the children.

Regarding the home, it may be decided to sell and divide the proceeds, or one of the partners may take over the home and buy out the other. It is crucial to seek legal advice to ensure that the arrangements are legally correct and enforceable.

If children are involved, arrangements must be made for custody, residence and access arrangements. Child support must also be considered. A lawyer can help you reach clear and lasting agreements, with the children's welfare at the centre. This will ensure that the legal proceedings run smoothly and that all parties are well protected. By consulting a lawyer, you assure yourself that the agreements made are in the best interests of all concerned and are legally enforceable.

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