Apply for a divorce, all steps to break up if you want a divorce

You have decided to divorce, now what? When you no longer see a future in your marriage, you are thinking about a divorce, and most likely you have no idea what all this entails. A divorce is a tough decision with far-reaching steps, and a lot of arrangements. You determine the amount of guidance you receive when arranging the divorce yourself or together with your (ex) partner. You can opt for full guidance, independent arrangements and an intermediate version.

What all needs to be arranged when you apply for a divorce?

The divorce actually starts the moment you have made the decision to divorce. From that moment on, a lot has to be arranged, such as the division of joint assets and debts, and handling the finances. A parenting plan is also very important. If you have joint children who are minors at the time of your divorce, a parenting plan itself is mandatory.

Arranging a divorce sounds very easy, but practice shows the opposite. Especially if you have a lot of joint assets and/or debts, or if you have a company together. In addition to the ‘business’ transactions, it is very important that you can consult with each other. If this is no longer possible, then there is a disputed divorce. In this case, the divorce will be difficult, lengthy and financially very expensive.

The steps of requesting a divorce

In broad terms, the following steps are discussed in a divorce.

Step 1: The decision to divorce is made and discussed with the (ex) partner.

Step 2: Looking for the right (legal) help during the divorce process.

Step 3: Make joint agreements about the distribution. Drafting the parenting plan, with joint children and the handling of you

Step 4: Draft divorce settlement

Step 5: Submit the divorce request to the court

Step 6: The decision of the divorce by the judge

Step 7: The divorce must be registered in the registers of the civil state of the municipality where you got married.

The divorce

Arranging a divorce therefore depends on the situation you find yourself in, and which process you want to enter into to settle the divorce. Do you want to arrange this under supervision or independently? When you are in a so-called conflict divorce, there is no other option than to arrange the divorce with both your own divorce lawyer. This way of separating is the most expensive form, which will also take a lot of time.
If you can talk about the divorce together and are able to make good agreements, you qualify for cheaper options, including online divorce. If you would still like to involve an independent person in arranging the divorce, then mediation is the solution. You will then make use of a person who will offer you legal support in applying for a divorce.


Mediation is a way of divorce in which both partners come to the agreements that are discussed in the divorce together. In this way of divorce, the mediator has the role of supporting and guiding both partners during the divorce. The mediator is independent and completely neutral throughout the process. Because mediation is financially beneficial in the area of ​​divorce, there is an increasing demand for this form of divorce.

Mediation in various forms possible

In mediation, the (former) partners can determine the pace of the divorce themselves. In addition, mediation has the advantage that it can take place remotely, in this way it saves a lot of travel time to the appointments. In this form of mediation we speak of online divorce.

If you prefer to speak to the mediator face to face, that is also possible. This will extend the duration of the divorce, but the divorce will be arranged more personally. Depending on the intensity of the guidance, there are 3 gradations in mediation:

  1. The separation is carried out completely independently
  2. The divorce is arranged itself, but the documents drawn up for the court are checked by a mediation.
  3. The divorce is fully supervised

There is a difference in costs per chosen degree of separation. The more things are arranged independently, the more favorable the costs of the divorce. Nowadays there is a lot of information available online so that a lot can be arranged yourself. In practice, there is still more demand for the option of independent divorce, but then with a final check by a mediator. In this way, the costs of applying for a divorce are limited, but you still know that the divorce has been properly arranged.

Legal support necessary

After you have decided to get a divorce, it is important to look for legal help. In the Netherlands you cannot independently submit a request for divorce to the court. Only a divorce lawyer is authorized to do this. Whatever method of divorce described above you will use, a divorce lawyer will present your request to the court for all different forms of divorce.

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