Names, Laws and Important Details

The legal aspects of getting married in the Netherlands...


Married partners may use each other's surnames or a combination of both surnames if they wish. This is an informal practice however and it is extremely difficult to officially change a name.


In case of divorce the marriage can only be dissolved in court (registered partnerships may be terminated by the partners themselves as long as no minor children are involved). Legal separations are also possible.

Civic integration examination

Nationals of certain countries (not including nationals of EU member states and most anglophone countries) wishing to settle in the Netherlands - including for reasons of marriage or partnership - are required to take a civic integration examination in their country of residence. This exam tests knowledge of the Dutch language and Dutch society. It is held orally, in Dutch, at the Embassy or Consulate General of the country of residence.

Further Information