At the beginning of the 21st century, Dutch family law is considered to be both trend-setting and straggling behind at the same time. This proposition seems to be ambiguous. However, to put it succinctly, Dutch family law is unique in two ways: On the one hand, the Netherlands became the first country in the world where two partners of the same sex can enter into a marriage. On the other hand, the Netherlands is still the only country in the world where the universal community of property is the applicable legal matrimonial property regime. In this report an attempt is made to provide a brief overview concerning the current state of affairs of Dutch family law by concentrating on the following four main issues: (1) marriage and registered partnership; (2) divorce, dissolution (of a registered partnership) and transformation of a marriage into a registered partnership and vice versa), (3) the matrimonial property regime and (4) parents and children. Each paragraph contains both a brief description of the present state of the law and of the bills and drafts, which are currently being prepared. At the end of the report, an attempt is made to present an outlook for the future of Dutch family law. At this point, it is argued, among other things, that within Europe it is necessary to harmonise selected fields of family law.
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