Divorcing or terminating a registered partnership abroad

If you wish to divorce or terminate your registered partnership abroad, the legal procedure you need to follow will depend on your situation. You should contact a lawyer for more information. If you currently live in the Netherlands, you must register the divorce or termination of your registered partnership with the municipality where you live.

Legalising documents

You may need to produce Dutch documents for a divorce or termination of a registered partnership abroad. You may also have to make them suitable for use in the country in question. This usually means that they will need to be legalised first.

Your document will be given a special stamp or sticker. Find out more about having Dutch documents legalised for use abroad.

Registering your divorce or termination of your registered partnership

If you currently live in the Netherlands and got divorced or terminated your registered partnership abroad, you must register your divorce or termination of your registered partnership documents with the municipality where you live. Do this as soon as possible once you return to the Netherlands. The personal data held on you in the Personal Records Database (BRP) will be updated.

Sometimes you may need to have foreign documents legalised first. Legalisation is usually done in the country where the documents originate. Find out whether you need to have your documents legalised and, if so, how.

Converting foreign divorce or registered partnership termination documents into Dutch ones

If you got divorced or terminated your registered partnership abroad, you can choose to have your foreign divorce or registered partnership termination documents converted into Dutch ones. This will mean that your divorce or registered partnership termination will be recorded on your marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. This is important for your dealings with the Dutch authorities. For example, if you:

  • get re-married or enter into another registered partnership
  • have children
  • retire
  • apply for benefits
  • die.

In these situations, official copies of your divorce or registered partnership termination documents will be required. An official copy of a document bears a stamp and the signature of a Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Registered Partnerships. This will save you having to request official copies from abroad. Official copies can be requested from the municipality that recorded your divorce or registered partnership termination on the original marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. The body that records your divorce or registered partnership termination depends on where you married or entered into your registered partnership.

If you got married or entered into a registered partnership in the Netherlands  

If you got married or entered into a registered partnership in the Netherlands, the municipality where you did this can add the details of your divorce or registered partnership termination to your marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. See the municipality’s website for more information.

If you got married or entered into a registered partnership abroad

If you got married or entered into a registered partnership outside the Netherlands, you can also have a note added to your marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. You can do this through the municipality of The Hague's Foreign Document Department.

This can only be done if your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership has been converted into a Dutch one.

Find out how you can have foreign official documents converted into Dutch ones