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Private & Family Law

Authority and guardianship

When you have a child together, that is a particularly beautiful moment in your life. Despite the fact that you do not immediately think of all kinds of business matters, it is wise to ask yourself if you have arranged everything properly. Because having children also means taking legal responsibility. What happens to the care of your child if one of you suddenly dies? And what happens to your legacy? Meijer Notaries clearly explains what you can do yourself and what matters you need to arrange through the notary.

Often having children is a reason to make the relationship official. When it comes to recognition of the child and (parental) authority, what is regulated by law differs per relationship form. But also, what the possibilities are to get custody of the child. It is important whether or not you are the child’s biological parent. Another determining factor is the composition of your relationship. So, is it a male / female relationship or does your relationship consist of two men or two women?

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Personen- en Familierecht - Meijer Notarissen

Relationship governed by family law

If a child is recognized by you, you are the child’s parent by law. You then have a legal relationship, or a family relationship with your child. This means that you are obliged to support your child until he or she is 21 and that your child is your heir. By recognition you are not the legal representative of your child. This is only when you also have custody of your child.

Custody of the child

Authority is regulated by law. It is the duty and the right to care for and educate children under the age of 18. Usually the authority lies with one or two parents. One of the parents can also have custody together with another person. The authority cannot be exercised by more than two people. A child is automatically recognized by the mother through birth; regardless of the relationship form. If the mother lives with the father, he must recognize the child and then apply for custody together with the mother via Only then do they both have authority over the child. In the case of marriages and registered partnerships between men and women, both parents have authority over the child immediately after birth. That is regulated by law.

Recognize and obtain authority

If the child is not automatically recognized by the partner, you can arrange that yourself. This can be done before or immediately after birth, but also at a later time. This always requires permission from the mother until the child is 16 years old. If the child is 12 years or older, the child’s permission is also required. Does your relationship consist of two women or two men? There are various options for recognizing the child and gaining authority in your situation. Non-biological parents can also gain custody by adopting the child.

Child custody

A guardian is a person who takes care of the minor children if the parents of those children have died. To prevent the court deciding who will become the guardian of your child(ren) after your death, you can appoint a guardian. In this way you also prevent that your children end up somewhere where you would rather not want to or that there is a fight for your children. The advantage of a guardianship arrangement in a will is that you can make more nuances and give instructions to the guardians.

Arrange business in a will

In a will you can arrange a large number of things around custody. Like the finances of the children, whether they have to stay together, whether they have to live with the guardian and much more. The guardian exercises the authority over the minor children and also has the power over the children. In testament you can determine that someone other than the guardian will be in office or that the guardian will also rule until a certain age when the children reach the age of majority.

Would you like more information about the management of custody and custody? Make an appointment to discuss your personal situation with one of our notaries. Meijer Notarissen is happy to advise you!

Section staff members

mr C. Hagendijk - Meijer Notarissen
mr C. Hagendijk
NotaryPrivate & Family Law, Corporate Law, Real Estate+31 (0)20 - 53 170 04
mr M.R. Meijer - Meijer Notarissen
mr M.R. Meijer
NotaryPrivate & Family Law, Corporate Law, Real Estate+31 (0)20 - 53 170 06
mr J. Borren - Mr M.J. Meijer Notarissen N.V.
mr J. Borren
NotaryPrivate & Family Law, Corporate Law, Real Estate
D.G. Meijer
General EmployeePrivate & Family Law+31 (0)20 - 53 170 25