What is the difference between marriage and a registered partnership?

In the Netherlands, a registered partnership is almost equal to marriage. The rights and responsibilities between married couples and registered partners are the same, as are the conditions and requirements you have to meet and the documents you have to provide.

 

Marriage

Partnership

  • You give the municipal council official notice of your intent to marry

Yes

Yes

  • You need at least two witnesses

Yes

Yes

  • It concerns two people of a different or the same gender

Yes

Yes

  • In community of property, unless you have made other arrangements (all property is jointly owned)

Yes

Yes

  • If you wish the property to be kept separate, a lawyer can draw up the papers.

Yes

Yes

Children

 

 

  • Partners have shared custody of any children born

Yes

Yes

  • The mother's spouse or partner will be father to any children who might be born.

Yes

Yes

  • If there are any children born, they will take the father's surname.
    If the couple chooses to use the mother's surname, this can be recorded before the birth in a legal document specifying the choice of name.

Yes

Yes

  • If children are born to a female couple, they will be given the surname of the biological mother.
    If the couple chooses to use the surname of the mother's spouse or registered partner, this can be recorded before the birth in a legal document specifying the choice of name.

Yes

Yes

  • In the case of a donor registration, the child will be given the surname of the biological mother's spouse or partner.
    If the couple chooses to use the biological mother's surname, this can be recorded before the birth in a legal document specifying the choice of name.
  • When recognising parentage of the first-born child, mother and non-birth mother can decide which surname the child will be given.

Yes

Yes

Abroad

 

 

  • This form is accepted in all other countries too. You will encounter no problems during holidays or when applying for a visa, or if you wish to emigrate.

Yes

No

Termination

 

 

  • Can be terminated by a judge

Yes

Yes

  • If there are no minor children, can be terminated by a declaration of mutual consent. A lawyer or notary public can draw up this declaration.
    Take note: this form of terminating a registered partnership is not accepted in other countries.

No

Yes