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Family law

Designated guardian

Designated guardians act on behalf of children in judiciary or extra-judiciary contexts.

‘Designated guardian’ (bijzondere curator) in the sense intended in Article 1:250 of the Dutch Civil Code (1:250 BW)

The court may appoint a designated guardian in the case of a conflict of interests between the child and its parents or guardian. A conflict of interests arises in the case of mutual conflict between parents or between a child and his/her parents or guardian. This must be a substantial conflict; for example, about the parental access arrangement between the child and his/her parents. 

The court could also appoint a (mandatory) designated guardian in an ongoing legal procedure related to divorce, access, guardianship and custody, family supervision order and custodial placement. 

The court will determine the exact duties of the designated guardian at the time of appointment. The designated guardian will, in any event, consult all the stakeholders. The judge will issue a report to the court to state his/her intention. The designated guardian can recommend mediation. The designated guardian can also represent the child in a legal procedure.

‘Designated guardian’ (bijzondere curator) in the sense intended in Article 1:212 of the Dutch Civil Code (1:212 BW)

The court will always appoint a designated guardian in cases concerning descent. This will often concern requests for substitute consent for recognition in cases where the mother refuses to give her consent for the recognition or legal determination of the child’s father. 

The designated guardian will also consult all the stakeholders in cases concerning descent and report the outcome to the court. In addition, the designated guardian will also state his/her opinion as to whether the request should or should not be granted in the interest of the child.

Do you need a designated guardian?

Do you believe your situation calls for the intervention of a designated guardian? Or do you need more detailed information to help you make this decision? If so, please do not hesitate to contact one of our family law specialists.

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Coen van den End


Margreet Ruijgrok


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