Legal expertise center
& cross-border mediation

International contact

International contact

Do you live in another country than your child? It is then important to make clear arrangements with the other parent. There are several methods to apply for a contact and care arrangement. Ultimately, it is up to the parents together to honor the contact and care arrangement.

Find out below which steps you can take. 

1. Contact the Center IKO

Please contact us as soon as possible, before you take any steps. We give you advice and information about the steps that can be helpful in your situation. Not all measures are fit for every case. For example, is there possibly an international child abduction? Be aware that if you file a request at the Central Authority for a contact and care arrangement, there will no longer be a possibility to file a request for the return of your child (if applicable). Therefore it is essential to first seek advice from our legal advisors.

2. (Cross-border) mediation

Try to contact the other parent and try to draft a contact and care arrangement together. If this is unsuccessful, you could consider asking a friend or family member for help. You could also contact a professional mediator and apply for cross-border mediation. For more information, please contact the Mediation Bureau of the Center IKO.



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3. Request for international contact through the Central Authority

Does your child live in the Netherlands or a country that has signed the Hague Child Abduction Convention? Then you have the possibility to file a request for an international contact and care arrangement at the Central Authority. This is possible for children under the age of 16. The Central Authorities work together and try to ensure that the contact and care arrangement can be properly enforced. Also, with a request for an international contact and care arrangement, parents are encouraged to find a solution together, possibly through cross-border mediation. You do not need a lawyer (attorney-at-law) to file a request.

4. Legal proceedings before the court

Has no solution been reached through the involvement of the Central Authority or through cross-border mediation? You also have the possibility to start legal proceedings for an international contact and care arrangement in the country where your child is living. You need a lawyer (attorney-at-law) for this who specializes in international family law. The lawyer in the country concerned can give you more information about the possibilities in that country according to the law.