Child interview in The Netherlands
The Hague Convention on Child Abduction does not demand the court to talk to the minor. However, EU countries (exept Denmark) are bound by the Brussel II bis regulation. Article 11 of his regulation states that in an abduction court procedure, the child must be given opportunity to be heard.
In normal family court procedures in the Netherlands, courts normally invite children of the age of 12 and above to give their opinion, in a letter of through a short child interview with the judge(s). The child’s opinion is not decisive, but is taken into account.
If the child chooses to make use of the opportunity to talk to the judge, the child is usually invited to a meeting on the same day as the hearing. The judges will be wearing their normal clothes and they will adjust to the age of the child. The parents and the lawyers will not be present. The guardian ad litem can be present to support the child. The child interview will take about 10 minutes. During the court hearing, the judge gives a brief summary of what was discussed between the minor and the judge.
In abduction procedures, the limit is lowered to 6 years and above. Parents can specifically ask the court to invite their child, if it is under 6.
Read more about the child interview on the website of the Dutch courts
Read more about International Child Abduction
Read more about child relocation
Read more about child relocation and child abduction in the Netherlands