Family Law

Our firm has extensive experience in family law. For many years we have assisted individuals, amongst others, in divorce cases, alimony disputes, custody disputes, adoption and child abduction issues. Also, many international Family law cases have also been handled by the lawyers of Groenendijk & Kloppenburg Lawyers, so they have a lot of experience with European treaties and International civil law.

In addition, the lawyers at our office have ample experience in matters relating to supervision orders and relocation of minors.

Family law includes the following topics:

  • Divorce
  • Alimony
  • Child custody and access rights
  • Adoption
  • Name changes
  • Child protection measures
  • Guardianship

For questions about the law of persons and family law, please contact Ivo Pieters, Y.M. Bérénos, Geeta Nandoe Tewarie, Danielle Prins, Sophie te Boekhorst or Froana Hoff.

For questions concerning guardianship please contact Heleen Waaijer.

For questions regarding cassation please contact Niels van Steijn.


You are getting divorced or breaking up your cohabitation relationship

If you have made the decision to divorce, or if your cohabitation relationship ends, not only do emotions come into play but there are usually many practical, financial and legal aspects that also need to be resolved properly. Because of their extensive experience and focus on family law, the lawyers and mediators of Groenendijk & Kloppenburg Advocaten are able to choose a strategy that best suits the type of case and the people involved.

Mediator or lawyer specialised in family law?

There are two ways to deal with the consequences of a divorce or the end of a cohabitation relationship. You can choose to settle matters jointly using a mediator or you can individually or jointly approach a lawyer specialised in family law.

Divorce with the assistance of a mediator specialised in family law

Mediation means settling the consequences of your divorce under the guidance of a mediator. A mediator is not a couples counsellor, but it is essential that attention is first paid to the divorce notification and divorce acceptance. Experience has shown that if the divorce has not been announced or if the parties do not agree to divorce, ultimately an agreement will often not be reached either. The divorce announcement and whether the parties have agreed to divorce will also help when transforming the spousal relationship into a parent relationship if children are involved in the divorce. In this case the spousal relationship will be terminated but the parent relationship will continue. Noise in terminating the spousal relationship will often create noise in the parent relationship. It is up to the mediator to clarify this and see how the spousal relationship can be properly closed and the parent relationship continued on a good basis. Some couples need time for this. Where necessary, a couples counsellor will be called in to assist, not to restore but to conclude the relationship properly. The mediator may advise this, if necessary.

The mediator will ensure that you have sufficient relevant legal information to be able to negotiate with each other and will also monitor the process of negotiating on equal footing. In some cases, one of the spouses, or both, needs support from a lawyer in the form of a type of second opinion. Within mediation, this is common and therefore not a problem. It also is the mediator's task to point out the options that may be in the interests of both parties. If you are seeking a divorce with the assistance of a mediator, this is known as a 'collaborative divorce', which means that the court will not examine the substantive aspects of the case. After all, if the mediation is successful, you and your ex-partner come to an agreement together. A condition for mediation is that both parties are willing to settle matters properly, both in financial terms and for the children's sake. In this light it is essential that both parties continue to communicate with each other.

Divorce with the assistance of a lawyer specialised in family law

You are welcome to approach one of our lawyers specialised in family law. Your lawyer will defend your interests and try to settle your divorce if possible. If you divorce through a family law lawyer from our firm, we will always first try to still settle the divorce with your ex-partner, so that agreements can be made in a divorce covenant and parenting plan. In that case, the judge does not have to deal with the substance of the case. In fact, in that case, you and your ex-partner will come to an agreement together.

Should this not be possible, your lawyer will defend your interests and those of any children you may have in court. Our lawyers are accustomed to conducting legal proceedings expeditiously.

What consequences should you arrange?

The following legal consequences must be addressed in a divorce:

  • a parenting plan, which should in any event include the following aspects: sharing responsibility for looking after the children, how information will be provided and child maintenance;
  • Partner alimony in in the event a spouse needs and is entitled to maintenance, and the income earning capacity of the other spouse who is liable to pay maintenance;
  • division of matrimonial property (division of the marital community property or settlement of the marital contract);
  • the equalisation of pension rights.

The mediator or lawyer will indicate to you what your rights and obligations are. If you do not wish to claim those rights, it is important to understand what rights you are relinquishing, and that is where the mediator and/or lawyer specialised in family law will be able to assist you.

Procedure or settlement?

If an agreement is reached on the financial aspects of the divorce (a divorce agreement) through the mediator or lawyer and a parenting plan has been agreed, the divorce agreement and the parenting plan will be submitted to the court. You do not have to go to court yourself in that case. However, your children over the age of 12 will receive a letter from the court giving them the opportunity to give their opinion.

If both parties have their own lawyer in legal proceedings, a divorce agreement and a parenting plan continue to be options following consultations with the lawyer of your future ex-spouse. Should this not be possible or not desirable, an application may be filed for a provisional disciplinary measure (this is called interim relief). For example, who can stay in the home temporarily and whether alimony should be paid temporarily. Usually this can be determined within two months. The final divorce proceedings, in which the judge must make a substantive assessment of the requests and defenses presented, take an average of 6-12 months.


A divorce costs money and if the parties become entangled in a messy divorce, there is a risk that this will take up a considerable amount of time and it will be a costly affair for you. Unfortunately, this may mean that you could be confronted with high costs by a litigious ex-spouse or ex-partner. We make no bones about the fact that we have experienced this in some cases, but we fortunately also have the experience that, in many cases, we can generally keep the costs within limits. We always consult with you which route will give the best result in relation to the time we need to spend on it.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our specialized lawyers: Ivo Pieters, Y.M. Bérénos, Geeta Nandoe Tewarie, Danielle Prins, Sophie te Boekhorst or Froana Hoff.

For divorce mediation and family law mediation you can contact Ivo Pieters, Geeta Nandoe Tewarie, Danielle Prins , Y.M. Bérénos and Froana Hoff.
Ivo Pieters is on the list of mediators used by the District Court of The Hague within the framework of the project "Mediation next to jurisdiction" and is a vFAS divorce mediator as well as an MfN mediator. Geeta Nandoe Tewarie, Danielle Prins and Froana Hoff are vFAS mediators. Y.M. Bérénos is a MfN mediator as well as a VFAS mediator.


For questions on Family Law, please contact us.