Both husbands and wives have the right to demand separation if they do not wish to continue living with their spouse. The valuables they own in common are divided evenly between them in connection with the divorce proceedings. Children have the right to spend time with both their parents. This is also the case after a divorce has taken place.

You have the right to a divorce even if your spouse is against it. If you agree on the divorce, it can take place immediately or after a period of separation. If you do not agree about the divorce, it can still take place, but only after a separation period of at least six months. However, this is not the case, for example, if the reason for divorce is violence, coercion or infidelity, in which case you can get divorced immediately without a prior separation period - and even if you disagree.

If you agree about the divorce you have to file an application with the State Administration (i.e. Statsforvaltningen). It will subsequently grant the divorce. You must agree on the division of your property, on who is to get custody of your child(ren), if applicable, visitation, child support, alimony and on who is to stay in the home.

If you cannot agree on the divorce, the State Administration will help you.


The State Administration

You have to file for separation and divorce with the State Administration. The State Administration can help with advice if a couple cannot reach an agreement about getting divorced, custody, child support, alimony, visitation or the division of property.

The State Administration has nine divisions around the country.

Telephone: 72 56 70 00

For information regarding its current opening hours, please visit the State Administration's website:

Citizen Service Centre

An application for divorce or separation has to be filed with the State Administration by e-mail. At the Citizen Service Centre you can get help in doing so. If you visit the Citizen Service Centre's website you will find information about separation and divorce.

Information is also available at lifeindenmark.borger.dk


Rights and duties

You have the right to separation if you do not wish to continue living with your spouse. Separation means that you stop living together but remain married. If you start living together again, the separation is annulled. 

You can obtain a divorce without prior separation if

  • You both agree to the divorce.
  • Your spouse has been unfaithful.
  • There is violence in the marriage.
  • Your spouse has brought your children to another country illegally.
  • Your spouse has married someone else.
  • You have not lived together during the previous two years.

Spouses are obliged to support one another and their children. If you separate, one of you can be instructed to pay alimony to the other. Both men and women can apply for alimony.

Unless the spouses reach an agreement that it is to continue, the duty to support one another is annulled in connection with separation and divorce. If the spouses disagree, the courts step in and carry out a ruling on the matter.

In the case of divorce, the parties must share their property equally if both parties own more than they owe. You must calculate what each of you own and owe. If you own more than you owe, you are obliged to share half of the surplus with your spouse. The State Administration can advise on the division of property. 

According to Danish regulations a divorce is valid regardless of whether one has had a religious divorce or not.

Parents have custody over their children until the children are 18 years of age. This means that the parents have to look after and provide for the child and that they have authority over the child. If you are married when the child is born or get married to one another later on, you automatically have joint custody. Joint custody means that the parents must agree on important matters in the child's life such as choice of school, or whether the child is to move abroad, or not. Joint custody continues after a divorce. If the parents agree that one parent is to have sole custody, this can be agreed with the State Administration. The State Administration will help with counsel and mediation between the parents.

Parents are under obligation to support their children. This still applies if parents get divorced. If the parents do not live together and one of them does not live up to her or his duty to support her or his child, the State Administration can impose a charge that she or he pay child support on having received a request to this end.. Child support is a financial contribution paid by one parent to the other towards the cost of the child's upkeep. The State Administration can provide guidance in matters concerning child support.


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