6546 BB Nijmegen
We are a boutique law firm specializing in (international) family 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.
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 such as http://The Hague Court of Appeal ECLI:NL: GHDHA:2015:2288 and http://The Hague Court of Appeal ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2019:2286. She lived as an expat in Cambodia for a number of years working for the UN human Rights Office (UNHCHR). This added some valuable experience tohet 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 board 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. She specializes in family law and has been involved for 20 years in divorce, termination of cohabitation, parenthood and custody, property divisions, settlement of prenuptial agreements, child and partner alimony, and related family law issues.
Monique likes to guide people in separating in a good and respectful way. She prefers to fulfill the role of mediator or consultation (collaborative) lawyer. She helps to find creative possibilities so that a satisfactory arrangement can be reached for and by clients. Because of her broad experience with people in conflict with each other or themselves, and because of her empathetic, calm and non-judgmental attitude, Monique creates the safe space for clients to find solutions together for the future. In this way breaking up can be seen as a new beginning. Many of her clients achieve sustainable solutions.
Monique is a member of the Association of Family Lawyers and Divorce Mediators (vFAS) and of the Association of Collaborative Professionals (VvCP). She is also a registered mediator with the Mediators Federation of the Netherlands (MfN) and a member of the Association for Family and Juvenile Law (FJR). In addition, Monique is trained as an NLP Master Practitioner at NTI NLP and as a Coach (accredited at practitioner level by EMCC/EQA) at Nonons. Her coaching and training is insightful and practical at the same time, from awareness to actually taking actions to achieve the desired goal.
Monique has been appointed by the Bar Association as Intervision Discussion Leader and in that capacity supervises intervision groups of lawyers. This concerns issues, dilemmas or problems that lawyers encounter in their work. The guiding principle in these intervisions is what works best for 'the person behind the lawyer', what he/she can use in his/her work.
Monique has registered the following main (and sub) areas of law in the register of legal areas of the Netherlands Bar Association (NOVA): Family Law, Collaborative Divorce, Divorce, International Private Law, Mediation. On the basis of this registration, she is obliged to obtain ten training points each calendar year in each registered main jurisdiction in accordance with the standards of the NOVA. In addition, mandatory legal points Family Law, Skills and Intervision apply to the vFAS and VvCP. Monique meets all these obligations every year.
Where necessary, Monique works together with other professionals such as tax advisers, civil-law notaries, financial planners, child/adolescent coaches, psychologists, pedagogues and relationship therapists, from a network that she has built up over the years.
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.
6546 BB Nijmegen
(extra meeting location)
Parking is free