Parenting plan

As per March 1st, 2009 it is compulsory for parents who have minor children to formulate a parenting plan. One of the reasons for the making of the non-government bill -the law continuing parenting and proper divorce (Wet voortgezet ouderschap en zorgvuldige scheiding)- was to improve the position of minor children in a divorce. As per March 1st 2009 the parental authority also comprises the obligation to develop the relationship of the child with the other partner. A child, who is subject to joint parental authority, maintains the right to equal support and upbringing by both parents. By means of a parenting plan parents can come to concrete agreements about the way the parenthood will be formed after the divorce and can see jointly to it that the interests of their children is guaranteed.

What needs to be settled in the parenting plan?

In the parenting plan the following matters need to be addressed and agreed upon:

  • the way the parents divide matters of care and upbringing or arrange parental access (division of childcare);
  • the way parents inform and consult each other with respect to important matters referring to the person and the asset of the minor child(ren);
  • the costs of maintenance and upbringing of the minor children.

We have a registered partnership and minor children. Do we also need to formulate a parenting plan?

Ending a registered partnership with minor children involved is only possible via court and also requires a parenting plan.

We live together; we are not married nor have been married. Is it also necessary for us to formulate a parenting plan?

When living together and both having parental authority it is compulsory to formulate a parenting plan in case the cohabitation ends. When a parenting plan is not formulated, a judge can delay a decision on the court´s own motion with respect to a settlement about exercising parental authority until a parenting plan is formulated.

Can we also settle an agreement with respect to child support for our 18 year old child for college?

In the divorce covenant both of you can record your mutual agreement with respect to the costs for your young adult children (18-21 years). As this is considered a jus quaesitum tertio (rights on account of third parties), your mutual agreement with respect to child support also needs to be accepted by your young adult children.

Parents are obliged to pay the costs for maintenance and tuition costs of young adults.

Why does my child have to complete and sign a child declaration (kindverklaring)?

When a judge is about to take a decision about parental authority, minor children aged 12 years or older are being summoned to court for a hearing. A judge is free to determine whether or not children younger than 12 years also should be summoned to be heard. Children are not obligated to appear in court. Adding a child declaration to the filed request for divorce and attached documents could suffice.

We have both come to the agreement that I will have sole parental authority once the divorce is finalized. Is that possible?

In principal the joint parental authority will be maintained after the divorce or after a (dissolved) separation from bed and board. Should one of the parents wish to have sole parental authority, the court must be requested explicitly. Both parents or one of them can request the court for sole parental authority in the interest of the child to determine that parental authority is assigned to him or her exclusively.

My future ex, who is not the biological parent of my minor child, and I have joint parental authority. I would like him to have sole parental authority. Is that possible?

Yes, that is possible.

What are the consequences should one of the parents with parental authority not comply with the agreement concerning parental access?

Should the determined agreement concerning parental access not be lived up to deliberately, the parent not complying with the aforementioned agreement can face criminal proceedings for retracting the child from parental authority.

We have decided to arrange co-parenting with respect to our children. Which costs do we need to take into account and what is the best way to divide these costs?

In case of co-parenting the children alternately stay with one parent and with the other. Both parents more or less equally contribute to the daily care of the children, in a practical and in a financial respect. Co-parents divide the costs for the children mutual.

Due to possible income differences between both parents it is of importance to agree upon which costs are taken into consideration for division and agree what the cost-allocation key will be according to the financial capacity.

It is also advisable to open a joint bank account on the shared costs for the children.

We are co-parents, but which one of us entitled to child allowance?

When it comes to co-parenting the Social Security Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB)) assumes that the child belongs to the households of both parents. Therefore this implies that both parents are entitled to half of the child allowance The SVB prefers to pay the child allowance to one of the parents; she will first ask which of one you should be paid the child allowance. Both of you need to come to an agreement with respect to the division of the child allowance.

We are co-parents, but which one of us is entitled to child related budget (kindgebonden budget)?

The child related budget is remitted to the applicant of child allowance. Unlike the child allowance, the child related budget is not remitted to both parents.

For more information please contact the Dutch Tax Authorities for free 0800-0543 or visit their website.

Who will receive the child related tax credits from the Dutch Tax Authorities?

The Dutch Tax Authorities pay the child related tax credits to the household of the person where the child(ren) have been registered in the local Personal Data Department (Dienst Persoonsgegevens) or population register for at least 6 months.

In case of divorce or co-parenting, this means that only one parent can receive the child related tax credits for the same child. The Dutch tax subsidising day-care for working parents (Inkomensafhankelijke Combinatiekorting) can be applied for by both parents, provided that both of you have a job.

For more information you can contact the Dutch Tax Authorities for free 0800-0543 or visit their website.

As per January 1st, 2015 the following tax credits are not available anymore: de alleenstaande ouderkorting en ouderschapsverlofkorting. For 2014 and previous years, they are still applicable.


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Photography: Christina Stoian