Voices of minor children heard and unheard in judicial divorce proceedings in the Netherlands

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

Abstract

Under Dutch divorce law, children in theory have ample opportunity to make their voices heard: the petition for divorce must state how the children have been involved in preparing a parenting plan; all children aged 12 or 16 (depending on the context) or older have the right to be heard by the judge, and the judge may additionally hear younger children; the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child; and the child has the right to seek informal access to the court (by letter or telephone, for example) which may lead to an ex officio decision that changes the arrangements agreed by the parents in a divorce settlement or an earlier judicial decision. In practice, however, there is no guarantee that children's voices will actually be heard in divorce proceedings. Notably in the case of separation after an informal relationship (other than marriage or registered partnership) the opportunities given to children to be heard are often a dead letter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Welfare and Family Law
Volume2014
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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