A couple makes use of divorce support.
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Divorce in the Netherlands if you have an asylum residence permit
Last updated: 4/9/2024, 3:43 PM

Do you want a divorce from your partner? You can get divorced in the Netherlands, but how that works depends on your personal situation. Divorce can, for example, have consequences for your residence permit and your stay in the Netherlands. Read here how divorce works.

You can consider couples therapy before you decide to get divorced

Before you decide to get divorced, you and your partner can talk to a psychologist about your problems. The psychologist can help you find a solution to your relationship problems. This is called relationship therapy.

In the Netherlands, people are more likely to ask a psychologist to help them with relationship problems than friends and family. In the Netherlands, relationship therapy with a psychologist or coach is very common to find a solution to marriage problems. You can ask your general practitioner for help from a psychologist.

Divorce in the Netherlands is always done with the help of a lawyer

You cannot just go to court to get a divorce yourself. If you want a divorce in the Netherlands, you need a lawyer. If you are not a Dutch citizen, you can ask for a lawyer who specialises in divorce and has knowledge of immigration law.

A lawyer must file for divorce with the court. If one of the partners does not want to get divorced, the judge decides the case. So, in the Netherlands, divorce is always a legal situation. Your lawyer will discuss with you what you need to arrange in your situation and how to do it. Do you have children younger than 18? Then you have to make arrangements about their care, for example.

A mediator can support you if you are arguing with your partner

Do you have a bad argument with your partner that makes it difficult to settle a divorce? Then you can also call in a mediator. A mediator is independent and supports you and your partner in making good agreements about your divorce.

Het Juridisch Loket or VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (VWN) can support you

There are organisations that can help you with your divorce. You can find a lawyer or mediator yourself, or you can seek help from: 

  • Your contact at

    Click here for an additional explanation
    can give you more information about divorce. And provide advice on your situation.

  • Click here for an additional explanation
    Het Juridisch Loket
    can also help. On their website you can find information about offices in your area. If you need an interpreter at an interview, you can also tell them.

Het Juridisch Loket
Visit the 'Het Juridisch Loket' website for more information.

Divorce costs money

It costs money to get divorced. Namely, you have to pay the lawyer and perhaps the mediator. The amount depends on your income and savings. The court, with the help of your lawyer, examines whether you can afford the divorce or whether you are entitled to financial support during the divorce.

You can get divorced even if your partner does not live in the Netherlands

Even if your partner does not live in the Netherlands, you can get divorced. It is important that your partner can be contacted for video calls. Your partner does not have to come to the Netherlands.

Divorce can negatively impact your residence permit

If you came to the Netherlands through family reunification, divorce may have negative consequences for your residence permit. What happens depends on what kind of permit you have.

1. You have an asylum residence permit that depends on your partner

Was your partner already living in the Netherlands and you came to the Netherlands through family reunification? Then you probably have a derived asylum residence permit. This means that you have not received a residence permit yourself, but that you are making use of your partner's residence permit. You then have asylum in the Netherlands because your partner has asylum in the Netherlands.

If you decide to divorce, the

Click here for an additional explanation
Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
may revoke your permit. In this case, you can apply to the IND for an independent asylum residence permit. But not everyone who comes to the Netherlands through family reunification is entitled to an independent residence permit. Therefore, discuss your situation with your contact person at VWN or social worker from another organisation.

The asylum procedure
On this page you can read what the conditions for an asylum permit are and how the asylum procedure works in the Netherlands.

2. You have your own asylum residence permit

An independent residence permit is one that does not depend on someone else, such as a partner or family member. Do you have your own residence permit? Then you can divorce without it affecting your stay in the Netherlands.

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