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this will change as of 1 January 2023

Not married and not a registered partnership? Then only the mother will automatically have authority over the child. For joint custody, you then have to arrange a few things. That will change from 1 January 2023.

This is what you need to know about it.

Law must change

At the moment, joint custody is only automatically arranged if parents are married or have a registered partnership. And that has to change, says the government. According to them, the law is no longer in line with today’s society, in which more than half of the first-born children have unmarried parents. Moreover, the regulation does not apply to all forms of parenting, such as surrogacy or co-mothers, also known as co-mothers.

Apply for parental authority

Not married and not a registered partnership? In that case, only the mother will automatically have custody of the child, and joint custody must therefore be arranged separately. The problem? Many parents don’t. Annoying, because this can cause problems, for example if parents split up. Just look at the situation between ex-lovers Lil Kleine and Jaimie Vaes, who are involved in a complicated legal case, about belongings and caring for son Lío. Lil Kleine would have recognized Lío, but had no parental authority. According to the Ministry of Justice and Security, not arranging joint custody can lead to all kinds of ‘undesirable situations regarding custody that are not in the best interest of the child’. For example, a parent with authority may just move with the child without the consent of the parent without authority.

Also read: What should you consider if you have children and are getting divorced?

New law from 1 January 2023

To prevent such unpleasant situations and to make the arrangement of joint parental responsibility as accessible as possible, the law will change on 1 January 2023. From that moment on, unmarried and unregistered partners will automatically receive parental authority when their child is recognised. They no longer have to request this from the court, as they do now. Do you already have older children? Then the amendment to the law will not change anything for you. If you want to apply for parental authority, you still have to arrange this yourself with the court.

Source: Ministry of Justice and Security

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