Father: "It is not my biological child, can I therefore disinherit the child?"

Published by: Fabrizia de Wit-Facchetti posted on 4 August 2016 reading time

Sometimes a child is born during the marriage, while the father of the child is another man than the man the mother married. For example, because the mother was already in a relationship with a new partner (the child's father), but at the time of the birth, the marriage between her and her ex-husband had not yet officially ended.

In that case, the law gives the (legal) father the option of denying the child's paternity. This is only possible if the child actually has another biological father than the one it has according to the law. The (legal) father must also not have known about the pregnancy prior to the marriage.

The terms for denying paternity are short: for the (legal) father the term is one year at the most. This year starts after he becomes aware that he is probably not the biological father of the child. If the judge grants the request for denial of paternity, the child is in any case no longer his legal child and therefore no longer his heir.

If the father has died, this request for denial of paternity can only be made by his 'real' children, partner or parent. If they are not there (anymore), it stops.

Once the one-year period has passed, the only remaining option is to have a will drawn up by a notary. By means of a will, the child can be disinherited. Please note: complete disinheritance is not possible in the Netherlands. After disinheritance, the disinherited child is still entitled to half of his original share of the estate.

Do you have any questions regarding the above? Please contact Fabrizia de Wit-Facchetti.