The father and mother are Brazilian. They came to live in the Netherlands in 2018 because of the father’s work. The children are young, the oldest has just started school. Parents are in a divorce.
The mother is unhappy in the Netherlands. She cannot find a job there, cannot pay for a good house and has no social life there. She doesn’t speak the language.
The father has a new (Dutch) partner with whom he is expecting a child. He doesn’t speak the language either, but wants to continue living there.
The court sees them as expats, who only live in the Netherlands because of the father’s work. Therefore the court finds that the woman cannot be held to continue living in the Netherlands after the relationship has ended. She has the right and a legitimate interest to rearrange her life and return to her family and homeland.
Father has chosen to live his life as an expat
Mother has prepared and thought through the move well. The move will have consequences for the contact between the father and the children. However, mother’s interest entails that certain consequences as far as that contact is concerned are acceptable. It is taken into account that the father has chosen to organize his life as an expat which is linked to the fact that he has to travel or video call to maintain family relations. The father is already used to this with his older son who is living in Brazil.
The court also took into account that the children are at such an age that they will be able to integrate flexibly and easily into a new environment.
The Child Protection Board had offered to investigate, but indicated that it would be complicated to get a good picture of the children’s perspective in Brazil. The court did not consider an investigation necessary and considered itself sufficiently informed to make a decision.
Working on line
It is noteworthy that the court noted that the father did not argue that he cannot continue his job in Brazil (online), as if the possibility of working online from another country is nowadays an assumption rather than an exception.