You come home to find a note on the kitchen table. The house is practically empty, and your partner has left.

What should you do? Where do you start? Divorce is usually hard on the heart and significantly occupies your mind. It’s a natural human response to fight, flee, or freeze in the face of danger.

The divorce lawyers at RWV Advocaten look forward to working with you to transform that reflex into focused action.



Divorce is often associated with marriage, but civil partners can also separate, as well as people who ‘just’ live together, whether they have a cohabitation agreement or not.

Even when things are still rosy with your partner, knowing your marital status is a good idea. This knowledge is crucial when dividing houses, stocks, money, belongings, debts, liabilities, and pensions.

You may be married in a community of property, which means there are differences depending on whether you married before, on, or after 1 January 2018. The same applies to civil partners.

If a notary drew up a marriage contract for you, reviewing it is a good idea.

If you are ‘only’ living together, the terms of your cohabitation contract are important. Courts will apply ‘normal property law’ if you don’t have one. In other words, it’s a matter of whether you’re considered to have made agreements with your partner.


You may have an obligation to pay spousal support to your ex-partner.

For how long?

This depends on:

  • the duration of the marriage or civil partnership
  • age, and
  • whether there are young children involved.

How much?

This depends on your ex-partner’s needs and what they can earn versus what you can afford. In practice, this depends on the individual situation.

For those who ‘only’ live together, spousal support is not required unless stipulated in the cohabitation agreement.



If you are getting divorced, you must draw up a parenting plan. This is also advisable if you are cohabiting. The plan should at least state:

  • where the children will be registered as living
  • when the children are with whom
  • who pays what amounts for the children
  • who receives any benefits.

It also outlines how to keep each other informed and discuss matters concerning the children.



Divorce is often not particularly difficult legally and financially, but emotions, thoughts, and outside influences can complicate matters.

The divorce lawyers at RWV are authentic, optimistic, and committed. Intellectual and empathetic, each of them possesses a broad perspective on divorce with unique qualities that set them apart.

Anne-Mar Bootsma

Anne-Mar is an expert at calculating maintenance payments. She specialises in international divorces and is also a qualified pedagogue.

Read more about Anne-Mar
Anne-Mar Bootsma | echtscheidingsadvocaat

Birgitte Schelvis-Neuteboom

Birgitte is a mediator with comprehensive knowledge of wills, gifts, and inheritance law. An accomplished athlete, she strives for the top.

Read more about Birgitte
Birgitte Schelvis-Neuteboom | echtscheidingsadvocaat en mediator

Charlotte Houben

Charlotte is pragmatic and does not shy away from a legal battle in the courtroom.

Read more about Charlotte
Charlotte Houben | echtscheidingsadvocaat

Ciska Elsinga

Ciska is a mediator and expert in collaborative divorce: two lawyers, a psychologist, and a financial expert swiftly arrange everything concerning the divorce with the parties involved.

Read more about Ciska
Ciska Elsinga | echtscheidingsadvocaat en mediator

Bob Heeren

As a mediator, Bob combines his legal expertise with a genuine interest in emotional matters, drawing from his business experience to provide personalised attention.

Read more about Bob
Bob Heeren | echtscheidingsadvocaat en mediator


In any case, the break-up of a relationship leads to tunnel vision, albeit temporary. Emotions flare in directions they shouldn’t or can’t. Choose to respond rather than provoke.

Working with one of RWV’s divorce lawyers means creating space for feelings and thoughts, gaining clarity, insight, and peace of mind. This allows you to lead the way rather than trailing behind.

Take ownership. Reframe your divorce. In Leiden, with RWV.