Why is it so important to legalize foreign marriage / divorce in the Netherlands?

In Russian-speaking groups on social networks, you can often find discussion of various aspects of marriage. It happens, for example, that a woman who moved to IP from one of the post-Soviet countries is going to divorce her Dutch husband, and then it suddenly turns out that the marriage was not officially registered in the Netherlands. And according to the law, jointly acquired property can only be divided by official spouses or partners.

Or suppose a different situation. A highly qualified migrant from Russia came to the Netherlands with his wife, but did not legalize the marriage.

What can this affect *?

  • On taxes, primarily on fiscal partnerships. And it gives a lot:
  • Receiving a refund for a non-working partner, for example;
  • Distribution of costs between partners. Successful redistribution during the filing of the tax return will help to maximize the return.

Also, fiscal partnership matters:

  • When buying a house (you need to get the consent of the second partner);
  • When the company is registered in the form of BV (in the event of a divorce, a part of the shares is due to the partner).
  • Also, the legalization of marriage is taken into account when drawing up a will and a marriage contract.
  • Migration authorities (IND) may have questions about inviting the wife's children and parents to visit.

* All of the above points also apply to the first situation (a Russian-speaking woman is going to divorce her Dutch spouse).

After some time, our couple went to Russia and got divorced there. The ex-wife remained in the Russian Federation, and her ex-husband returned to the Netherlands, but he did not legalize the divorce here.

Than it threatens?

  • Waste of time. Our hero cannot just marry again in the Netherlands. He will still need to legalize the divorce first, which is not a quick process.
  • The wife loses the right to a partner residence permit.

Of course, we wish all people in the Netherlands a happy family life. But it is worth spreading the straw. Moreover, the spouses are obliged to inform the local municipality about a marriage contracted abroad.

Foreign marriage (like divorce) must be registered in the municipal database Basisregistratie personen, or BPR. This can be done in the municipality (gemeente) of your town or village. It is better to sign up for a meeting online. The procedure for legalizing a foreign marriage (contracted outside the Netherlands) lasts from 1 to 3 months.

List of documents for legalizing marriage

An approximate list of documents for legalizing marriage (check with your municipality which ones you need to provide):

  • Proof of identity (passport) of both spouses.
  • Original marriage certificate with apostille, translation into Dutch, English, French or German. This must be done by a sworn translator (beëdigd vertaler) *.

* In case of divorce, you will need to provide the original divorce certificate.

  • Completed form Verklaring inschrijving huwelijk. It can be obtained from the municipality itself or downloaded online. It is filled out only if one of the spouses or both are not citizens of the Netherlands at once. The form is signed by both spouses.

If one of the spouses has Dutch citizenship, but does not reside in the country, then he must legalize the foreign marriage at gemeente Den Haag.

Despite the fact that informing about a change in your status is mandatory, there are no penalties in case of failure to provide data.

However, we strongly recommend legalizing any change in civil status that occurred outside the Netherlands (if changes occur in the Netherlands, they are automatically recorded). This applies not only to marriage / divorce, but also to change of surname and gender. All these data fall into a common database, which is used by: migration, tax services, doctors, police.



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