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Unsure future


Hello - I think that it may be the end of my relationship and there are the matters of moving out, etc,etc. More importantly the question of our kids. We are not married and are not registered as a "couple" in the eyes of the law - we are just two adults living together in a house. The children have the father's name. Both parents are EU nationals (one naturalised). What are the parent's rights concerning of the children? can a 50/50 split of time be awarded - 1 week with mother/1 week with father? What "restrictions" can be placed on the movement of the children - ie - one parent wants to take the children on holiday - does there need to be an agreement in which protects the children from being "taken" and not returned? Also, if one adult walks out can they be deemed "blameworthy" to splitting the family as they left? what rights do they have? Thanks in advance - pardon my use of language as this is a difficult time to think straight.


Whether you are married, in a cohabitation agreement or just living together doesn't matter. You are the parents, so both of you have obligations and rights.

Personally, rather than give you possibly incorrect advice here, I would suggest that you really need to speak with a lawyer specialising in family law.

But basically both of you need to come to an agreement that will be legaly enforceable over the custody and care of the children. Either you can make that agreement voluntarily between the two of you, or you can get a court to impose one.

The system is designed here so that practically whatever is agreed between the two of you will be approved by the courts.

However if you don't agree between the two of you, then you will end up in a very difficult and long process in the courts. And ultimately, the courts have a preference to award 50/50 in most case, unless there are very unusual circumstances.

As for "blame", the system here in Belgium is remarkable for the fact that blame is almost irrelevant in these case, unless violence is involved.

Dec 1, 2011 11:27