Family law: we are your trusted advisor on all matters

Are you planning to get married or conclude a cohabitation agreement? Or do you want to arrange the division of your assets after your death by making a Will? Or perhaps a death has already occurred and you need help winding up an estate.

Matters relating to family law can be very complicated. This is applicable to expats in particular. Allow us to take the right measures for you in any of the situations mentioned below.

Family law matters: let us assist you

As an internationally oriented notary firm, Westport Notarissen possesses over years of experience in providing expat clients with advice on complex issues of family law. We possess knowledge relating to Dutch family law and practice, but also knowledge concerning international family law.

Our expert team gives advice on the consequences of family relations and is able to create all documents regulating the legal implications of:

  • cohabitation;
  • marriage;
  • divorce; and
  • death.

Our knowledge also extends to steering away from unnecessary tax burdens by checking whether any one of the aforementioned documents you have created in the past is still up-to-date from a fiscal point of view.

Furthermore, we hold a vast understanding of family law as implemented throughout Europe. We additionally apply EU regulations and other international directives concerning family law on a frequent basis. When putting family law in the Netherlands into practice, we must also put into practice such regulations and directives.

Last but certainly not least, we are able to give you all the legal advice you need in English, among other languages. No translator or interpreter would have to be arranged.

Dutch family law explained

Certain family law matters we can help you with are the following:

Cohabitation contract

Partners who do not want to get married to each other (yet) can make arrangements on the assets and payments during their cohabitation and after their cohabitation ends either by reason of a separation or death. Such arrangements are included in a cohabitation agreement that is drawn up by a notary. Please note that a cohabitation contract cannot serve as a will. For that purpose, a separate will is always necessary. Furthermore a cohabitation contract can not lead to a community of goods.

Prenuptial agreements and partnership agreements

The consequences of a marriage and a registered partnership ownership-wise are regulated by law. You may, however, deviate from the statutory system by means of a prenuptial agreement or a partnership agreement. A notarial deed has to be made for this purpose.

Division after divorce/cohabitation

A divorce often not merely results in emotional, but also to legal questions.
Such questions could be the following:

  • Can I remain to live in my home?
  • What do we arrange for our children?
  • Do we have to equalize our pensions?

If you seek assurance in the event of a divorce, we can aid you with any inquiries to facilitate the process. For instance, the (marital) residence can be designated and conveyed to either partner after a divorce. Typically, all monetary obligations of the mortgage will fall under the responsibility of this individual. Additional dispositions arising from the divorce settlement can also be enforced. Ultimately, it may be prudent to revise your will in response to the alteration in your personal circumstances.

Living wills

A living will, despite sharing a name with a last will and testament, is not the same legal document used to allocate assets after death. Rather, a living will enables individuals to articulate their preferences for medical care at the end of their lives, should they become incapacitated and unable to communicate their desires.
Additionally, a power of attorney can be bestowed upon a trusted individual in the living will, enabling them to safeguard the individual’s financial concerns. How to maken a will? We can facilitate the preparation of a notarial living will, which will be recorded in the Central Living Wills Registry.

A living will can provide invaluable guidance to both medical professionals and family members in the event that an individual cannot vocalize his or her preferences. Absent such documentation, loved ones and doctors must speculate about the appropriate course of treatment for a critically ill person, leading to distressing disputes that may ultimately require legal intervention.


In the absence of a will, the distribution of your estate is determined by intestate law. However, by drafting a will, you retain the power to designate your heirs yourself. Moreover, a will may carry potential tax benefits.

Within your will, you can also assign an executor who will administer your estate and appoint a guardian and/or administrator for your (minor) children.

If you have already composed a will, it is prudent to subject it to periodic review. Changes in your personal circumstances (such as family composition or assets) and law amendments may impact the desired provisions of your will.

Estate planning

Our firm provides counsel to clients regarding asset and estate planning. Such guidance may necessitate revisions to prenuptial agreements or wills, as well as notarized donations during your lifetime. Additionally, we offer support to entrepreneurs in the process of transitioning their businesses to the next generation.

We possess proficiency in concluding estate matters through the provision of aid in required payments, claims for reimbursement, cancellation of leases and subscriptions, liquidation of properties, and submission of inheritance tax returns. Furthermore, we can assist in the division of movable assets and finances.

Certificate of succession

A notarial statement called a certificate of succession identifies the rightful heir(s) of a deceased individual and grants legal authorization to represent them in administering the deceased’s assets.

Financial institutions, including banks, typically require this certificate before releasing any funds. We offer the service of preparing a certificate of succession on your behalf.

Arranging a meeting with Westport Notarissen

As an internationally oriented notary family law firm, Westport Notarissen possesses over years of experience in providing expat clients with advice on family law. We would be happy to lend you a hand in all Dutch and international family law matters.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on any of the topics mentioned above and to schedule an exploratory appointment. During this appointment, we can precisely determine what is needed in your case.

> Do you need a last will and testament for child custody? Do not hesitate to contact us.

frequently asked questions

Below, we have listed a few frequently asked questions by individuals who contact us.

Would your notarial documents made in the Netherlands also be valid abroad?

Depending on the country in which notarial documents made in the Netherlands are to be used, it will be necessary to check if these documents will also be seen as valid and applicable in that other country. We can assist you in all matters of European family law.

Will all documents relating to family law have to be recorded in a deed by the notary?

By Dutch family law, certain documents you make in the Netherlands will have to be recorded by the notary for them to be valid and applicable. This applies (but is not limited) to:

  • last wills and testaments;
  • prenuptial agreements; and
  • living wills.

However, the interference of a notary will not be needed every time you make a document concerning family law. Certain private agreements (for example, one made by partners in relation to a cohabitation agreement) may also be valid. Please contact us to be sure of this.

Do the documents have to be in Dutch only or can they (also) be in English?

Most documents relating to family law do not have to be in Dutch only. It could also solely be drawn up in the English language or any other language the client understands. However, certain documents will have to be in Dutch as well, such as prenuptial agreements and partnership agreements. They will also have to be registered in the marital property register for which they will also have to have a Dutch version. This means that a prenuptial agreement could be a bilingual document, meaning that it could contain a Dutch version as well as a non-Dutch version. We can assist you in all EU family law matters.