A newlywed couple.
Source: Pexels / Dimitri Kuliuk
What you need to know if you are getting married in the Netherlands
Last updated: 2/19/2024, 3:23 PM

Do you want to make your relationship official before the law? Then you can get married as a Ukrainian in the Netherlands. There are several options to make your relationship official. Read more about them in this article.

You can make a relationship legal in several ways

In the Netherlands, there are 3 ways to make your relationship official, namely:

  • Wedding

  • Registered partnership

  • Cohabitation contract

When you get married or start a civil partnership, you automatically have legal rights and obligations to each other. For example, you have the right to each other's inheritance and the duty to take care of each other. Would you rather define for yourself what you do and do not share with each other? You can make arrangements about that before your marriage or registered partnership with the help of a notary public.

With a cohabitation contract, you do not automatically have rights and obligations to each other. For example, you are not automatically entitled to each other's inheritance. The rights and obligations within your relationship are agreed upon together. You can make a cohabitation contract together. But usually a notary public does this.

You can visit

Het Juridisch Loket
for legal information about making your relationship legal. Keep in mind that your financial situation may change when you make the relationship official before the law. For example, allowances and benefits may change or even stop. You can call the
Dutch tax authorities
for help and information.

You can marry or enter into a partnership in the Netherlands

As a Ukrainian, you can enter into a

civil marriage
or a partnership in the Netherlands. You can arrange this at your municipality. You need to do the following two things:

  • You must report at least 2 weeks before the date of the marriage or partnership to the municipality where you live. Often this can be done online. You will also need a birth certificate.

  • You must register 2 to 4 witnesses. The witnesses must be at least 18 years old.

Many municipalities allow free marriage or partnership ceremonies on certain days of the week. You can check this with your municipality. If you want, you can also hold a religious gathering. You may only hold this gathering once the civil marriage or partnership is official.

These are the terms of a marriage or registered partnership

If you get married or enter into a partnership, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must be over 18 years of age.

  • You and/or your partner live in the Netherlands for more than 6 months.

  • You may not be married to someone else. Your municipality may ask for an

    unmarried declaration
    as proof. The unmarried declaration must be legalised. If the unmarried declaration is not in Dutch, English, French or German, it must first be translated by a sworn translator.

  • You may not marry certain relatives such as a brother or sister.

  • If someone else makes decisions about your money and your life because you are under guardianship, you must get that person's permission. Are you under guardianship for mental health reasons? Then a judge must give permission for marriage or registered partnership.

You can enter into a cohabitation contract in the Netherlands

As a Ukrainian, you can make a cohabitation contract in the Netherlands. You can make a cohabitation contract together with your partner. You can also choose to have this done by a notary. This is called a notarised cohabitation contract.

Cohabitation contract requirements:

  • You must be over 18 years of age.

  • You should be allowed to make your own decisions about your money and your life.

Marrying a Dutch partner

If you want to marry a Dutch partner, you need two things:

  • A 'Verklaring geen schijnhuwelijk' (declaration of no sham marriage). With this declaration, you say that you are not marrying to get a residence permit.  

  • A 'Verklaring omtrent het verblijfsrecht' (declaration of right of residence). You need this declaration if you come from outside the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Registering marriage in the Netherlands

If you are married in Ukraine, you must also register your marriage in the Netherlands. 

1. Have your wedding document translated into Dutch, English, French or German. This may only be done by a sworn translator.

2. Get your wedding documents legally approved at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They place a stamp on the translation. This is called an 'apostille'. You can have this done in Ukraine or online. If you do it online, you get an 'elektronische stempel' (electronic stamp).

3. Send an email with your translated marriage document to apostille@mfa.gov.ua. You can also call the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you have any questions: +380 442 531 596.

4. Report to the municipality where you live in the Netherlands that you are married. You will need the translated marriage document to do this. The municipality will update this in the

Dutch population register (BRP)

Het Juridisch Loket
Each way of making your relationship official has advantages and disadvantages. Het Juridisch Loket (legal help desk) in your area can tell you more about the advantages and disadvantages of getting married. When making the appointment, also let them know if you will need an interpreter.
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