We are a boutique law firm specializing in family and child law, located near the Amsterdam city center. Our lawyers, who are also mediators, are members of the Dutch Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS). Our services include mediation, collaborative divorce, legal advice and the initiation and execution of legal proceedings. Cross-border and international cases are among our fields of special expertise.
We are committed to providing a high-quality yet affordable strategy for your case, based on your preferences. Remaining independent and critical, we will suggest alternatives you may not have thought of yourself.
We realize that a divorce, separation or any other legal family issues are emotional cases that cause uncertainty and have an impact on your personal life. Moreover, the interests of the children involved are a major stake. Our services aim to ensure that, once your issue or conflict has been solved, you can face the future in full confidence.
If required, we collaborate with other family-related professionals, including tax consultants, accountants, special needs pedagogists, (developmental) psychologists, retirement experts and notaries.
BSS Familierecht works with the therapists at ScheidingsWIJS (www.scheidingswijs.com). The creation of the Amsterdam Divorce Cafe 'Scheidingscafe020' is one of the outcomes of this partnership (www.scheidingscafe020.nl).
Catelijne Boshouwers has been a lawyer-mediator since 2007 and is a zealous specialist in the field of family law. In addition to assisting clients in 'regular' family law cases, she regularly represents (previous) expats in a wide range of international disputes, such as international divorces, parental authority issues and cross-border alimony cases. Catelijne regularly conducts procedures under the 1980 The Hague Child Abduction Convention and represented clients in a number of high-profile court cases: The Hague District Court (22 December 2017), ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2017:15521 and The Hague Court of Appeal (15 February 2018), ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2018:252. She lived as an expat in Cambodia for a number of years working for the UN Human Rights Office (UNHCHR). The fact that she herself has – successfully 😉 – completed the eligibility procedure for foreign child adoption ('procedure beginseltoestemming') also added some valuable experience to her legal practice.
With a view to the children's best interests, Catelijne will first try to reach collaborative solutions, through mediation or a 4-way meeting (with both clients and their lawyers). But where needed, she will use her extensive litigation experience to reach the best for her clients in court.
Catelijne is not just a seasoned legal practitioner; she also has a background in mental health care, which makes her an especially skilled mediator. Her experience with conversational techniques and the interventions required in specific situations are clearly reflected in her mediations, as well as her sense of compassion for clients at a critical stage of their lives. Parties usually feel positive about the future on completion of the mediation process.
Catelijne passed the super specialization course of the Dutch Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS) with great pleasure, and makes sure she regularly participates in continuous learning programs on family law and mediation. Catelijne is also a member of the Association of International Child Abduction Lawyers (https://diallawyers.org/nl/ ) and the chairperson for the Southeast Asia focus group of L4L, the Lawyers for Lawyers Foundation.
Monique Schellekens has been acting as a lawyer since 2002. As a family-law specialist, Monique handles divorces, the termination of cohabitation, the division of marital community or joint property, the settlement of marriage contracts, parenting plans, child support and alimony, parental authority and related family-law cases.
As a (collaborative) lawyer and mediator, Monique's aim is to facilitate her clients in separating in a constructive and respectful way. This includes a search for creative options that enable them to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. By combining her specialized legal know-how with people skills, Monique helps create sustainable solutions her clients are happy with – not just now, but for years to come. Monique's extensive court experience and cutting-edge case-law expertise guarantee solid professional support, also if legal proceedings are inevitable.
Monique is a member of the Dutch Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS) and, as a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer, of the Dutch Association of Collaborative Professionals (VvCP). She is also a registered mediator at the Dutch Mediators' Federation (MfN) and a member of the Association for Family and Child Law (FJR). Monique co-founded Scheidingscafé020, the Amsterdam Divorce Cafe.
If required, Monique collaborates with other professionals, such as tax consultants, financial planners, child and t(w)een coaches, psychologists and pedagogists from the network she developed over the years. Monique is also a trained NLP Master. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) deals with effective communication: how to get your message across and achieve your goal. NLP offers a skill set that is especially useful in a family-law context.
Agnes Spoormans started working as a family lawyer in 2003. Her first years were spent in The Hague, where her activities included successfully pleading various cassation cases in Supreme Court. She then joined a renowned corporate-law firm in Amsterdam as a family-law expert, focusing on the financially more intricate divorces of entrepreneurs, CEO-stockholders (DGAs), expats and self-employed professionals such as medical specialists, consultants or accountants. She very much enjoyed successfully completing various specialization courses in family law and mediation. As a divorce mediator, Agnes is a member of the Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS) and registered with the Dutch Mediators' Federation (MfN). She also acts as a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer and is a member of the Association of Collaborative Professionals.
Agnes is keen to apply her extensive knowledge and experience within BSS to achieve sustainable solutions for her clients. While she has solid court experience, she prefers her clients to solve their cases in joint consultation. Being a child of divorced parents herself, as well as a mother of four, Agnes is firmly convinced of the need to keep communicating. Based on her specific field of expertise, Agnes provides her clients with a clear outline of the relevant legal frameworks and insights, enabling them to work towards a solution themselves. With her people skills, analytical insight and sensitivity to emotions, Agnes monitors and facilitates this process so that a full, mutually satisfactory solution can be achieved within a reasonable timeframe. She does not only handle cases where parties are terminating their partnership or marriage, but also helps draw up or modify agreements that mark the start of a new phase in a relationship, such as cohabitation contracts, pre- or post-nuptial agreements (marriage contracts) and any other family law arrangements.
All our lawyers are also mediators. This means that we can help you settle your dispute in joint consultation with your ex-partner, but we also handle cases where this is not feasible and both parties have their own lawyer. Being both lawyers and mediators, we are able to facilitate and finalize the entire procedure for you in collaborative situations. Unlike many other mediators, we are also able to provide you with specialized legal advice during and after the mediation process, making sure that the agreed solutions are both realistic and legally enforceable so that you will not need another lawyer to implement the agreements afterwards.
Mediation is feasible when both parties are prepared to look for solutions in joint consultation. A collaborative agreement generally proves to be more satisfactory (and less costly) than a court decision. The mediator remains neutral and independent, and informs both parties about potential legal and business arrangements and their implications. Emotional aspects as well as the interests of the children are also taken into account. The mediator does not make any decisions or provide solutions: This is done collaboratively by the parties themselves, guided by the mediator. The current relationship and communication between parties is an important aspect of mediation. Past and present issues and conflicts are transformed into agreements for the future, so that the parties involved can continue their lives in a way that is acceptable and constructive for all. This is especially essential when children are involved, as this means that former partners will always remain connected as parents. Mediation takes this connection as a starting point and tries to find the best possible arrangement for all concerned
When mediation is not an option for you or your case, we can act as your lawyer to represent your personal interests and provide individual legal support. In such cases, the other party will generally engage their own lawyer. This, however, should not have to lead to a hostile dispute with legal proceedings as the only way out. As lawyers, we will try our utmost to resolve your issue or conflict in consultation with the other party or his/her lawyer. If both parties are prepared to collaborate, yet mediation is not feasible due to differences in expertise or insights, then a collaborative divorce procedure may be the appropriate course of action. Both parties have their own collaborative lawyer to represent their interests and provide individual legal advice, but these professionals commit to finding a mutually acceptable solution and not bringing the case to court. If joint consultation and negotiation are just not feasible, or in cases where they do not lead to a satisfactory solution, requesting a court ruling may be inevitable. Our experienced lawyers also possess the skills and expertise to effectively represent your interests during legal proceedings.
From Amsterdam Central Station Tram 1: stop Rhijnvis Feithstraat (on Overtoom) Tram 17: stop Surinameplein, 5-minute walk (direction city center: walk down Overtoomse Sluis, across Kostverlorenvaart)
From the A10, take exit S106 (direction Overtoomseveld).
Paid parking is possible at Overtoom, on Amstelveenseweg (near Vondelpark entrance) or around Surinameplein.