In the last months, substantial legal changes took place. For information about the changes, please see the article in the previous edition of TAB. In that article, I explained how by EU law a single parent, providing the daily care for a child with the Dutch nationality in general is entitled to residence in The Netherlands in order to take care of the child. If the Dutch father is denying fatherhood of the child, the fatherhood can be established so the child will be recognized as Dutch. Please read the previous article again because it is important.
When so much development take place, it is good to contemplate how to embrace the changes. As promised in the previous article, I will describe how in my opinion access to the legal system of The Netherlands is available for people outside the EU.
For whom is this article?
It’s relevant for those who live outside of the European Union but have a reasonable legal claim either on the State of the Netherlands or a claim on a legal resident of The Netherlands, including someone with the Nationality of The Netherlands.
The sort of claims it concerns is not limited to a specific subject. However, in the light of the above mentioned changes, the kinds of cases that come to mind first are single mothers with a (potentially) Dutch child. Also, for organizations based outside the EU that are supporting these mothers, this article can be interesting.
In a practical sense, about what cases are we talking?
Imagine a mother is living in Africa with her Dutch child. Maybe because she has been expelled with her child. She might want to return to The Netherlands and may likely need assistance with that. Maybe she has or expects a child of a Dutchman but the man is not willing to acknowledge the child. The mother can then request the court in The Netherlands to establish for once and for all who the father is. Since a child from a Dutchman is Dutch by law, that is relevant. All kind of cases can be thought of but I expect cases like these to be the most common. Maybe she wants to claim alimentation from the father of the child. These claims appear to be realistic but the question is, how can these mothers effectively claim their rights?
Easier said than done?
One might say, talking is easy and that is true. What good are rights if you cannot claim them? That is why our office intends to create a solution for those with a genuine claim who are at the moment not able to accomplish it. Yes, that is easier said than done but with the support from The African Bulletin readers and their network in their countries of origin, I think it can be done. So, let’s start one step at the time, one case at the time.
How can I get access to the legal system in The Netherlands?
One can start by sending our office an e-mail at Mail@advocatenkantoorkleijweg.nl explaining the situation you are in and why you believe you have a reasonable claim. If possible, provide some evidence supporting your claim. Mention your address and contact details so we can reply to you. If you cannot mail, please send a fax or a letter. Calling us is possible, but only if there is no other option available.
What will we do with your message?
We will study the message to see whether there can be a reasonable claim and if we need more information, we will ask for it. Based on the information gathered, we will give an advice if there is a case and if so, how to proceed. Also, we will inform you about the question if subsidized legal aid is available and if there are costs involved and if so, how much. You will of-course not be charged for sending us a message or us sending you an answer.
What to do when you want to visit our office?
Readers who are in need of legal support are welcome to visit our office for free consultation. This of course, only after you made an appointment. For an appointment call 070 427 3215 and explain to our Secretary what your question is.
Do not hold information back because our Secretary will decide if and when an appointment is possible and which of our lawyers is best qualified for the specific problem.
When you come to the appointment, bring all information that is available. Only then can we judge the case and do make good use of the time.
*A.G. Kleijweg, Advocatenkantoor Kleijweg, Koninginnegracht 22 A, 2514 AB Den Haag
Tel: +31 (70) 317 7700 / www.advocatenkantooorkleijweg.nl / firstname.lastname@example.org