20 October 2021

Breaking up after living together: what needs to be arranged for the children?

By Lucienne Diaz Murillo

If you have been living together (cohabiting) and your relationship ends, making arrangements for the children can be a challenge.

You are no longer partners, but you will remain the parents of the children. For example, agreements will have to be made about when the children are with whom and what financial contribution must be paid.

Parenting plan – joint parental authority

If you have joint parental authority, you are obliged to draw up a parenting plan. In a parenting plan, agreements are laid down about the primary residence of the child(ren), the division of care and tasks relating to the upbringing of the child(ren), the way in which information about important matters concerning the child(ren) is shared and how important decisions are made. Agreements must also be made about the contribution that one parent must pay to the other parent towards the costs of care and upbringing of the child(ren). You can make the parenting plan as detailed as you want.

Contact arrangements – no parental authority

If you are the legal parent, but you do not have parental authority, in principle you have no say in important decisions regarding the child(ren). You do however have the right to be informed by the other parent about important developments concerning your child(ren). In addition, you have the right – and the obligation – to visit with/contact your child(ren) and you are liable for child maintenance.

Agreements will therefore have to be made about contact arrangements, the obligation to provide information and the contribution to the costs of care and upbringing of the minor. Even if you are not charged with parental authority, it may be wise to record these agreements in writing in a kind of parenting plan.

Involving the children in the appointments

Your child(ren) will have to be involved in making the agreements in an age-appropriate way. If you are unable to make agreements with each other or if you prefer to have legal assistance , a (lawyer) mediator or lawyer can assist and advise you. If it is not possible to reach agreements in mutual consultation, the judge can be requested to make a decision.

Did you know that?

Did you know that it is a misunderstanding that children from the age of 12 are allowed to choose who they want to live with? Children from the age of 12 are allowed to express their opinion on matters that concern them. In the event of a dispute between the parents, they are heard by the judge.


Do you have a question about making arrangements for your children at the end of your relationship? Please contact us for assistance.

Lucienne Diaz Murillo

Lucienne Diaz Murillo


Lucienne works as a lawyer within the Family & Inheritance law section.

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