Marriage and family

Men and women alike have the right to choose whom they wish to marry. In Denmark it is common for couples to live together without being married. To force someone into marriage is punishable by law.

Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, whom you wish to marry, is your choice alone. Whether you choose someone of the opposite gender or someone of the same gender as your own, is entirely up to you. Having the freedom to choose your spouse means that others are punishable by law if they try to force you to marry someone against your will. One type of family is not more correct than another. You can also choose to live together and have children without being married. You can have children together, or bring children from previous relationships into a new relationship.

Husbands and wives have the same rights and duties in marriage. It is a married couple's duty to provide for one another and you are automatically given joint custody if you have children. It is the parents' joint responsibility to support their children and to make sure that their children thrive, go to school and have an active life outside of school.


Citizen Service

If you visit the citizen service website you can read more about the conditions for marriage, apply for marriage and apply for a marriage licence.

Information in English is also available at

LOKK National organisation of crisis centres for women

You can get help here if you are the victim of violence in your family

24-hour hotline: 70 20 30 82

Information in English is also available at

RED-Safehouse provides young single people of both genders and young couples with crisis-centre placements if they are subjected to honour-related violence within their families.

Telephone: 45 11 78 00

New in Denmark

If you are new in Denmark and wish to bring your spouse to the country, you can read about the rules for family reunification on the website.

The Danish Immigration Service

The Immigration Service is responsible for processing applications regarding residency permits for citizens from countries outside the Nordic Region and the EU/EEA, who need a residency permit in order to reside in Denmark, amongst other things. The Immigration Service also processes cases regarding family reunification with a spouse and children.

Telephone: 35 30 88 88, e-mail:,


Rights and duties

It is your right to choose your partner in marriage. A marriage can only be entered into if both parties agree to it of their own free will.

In Denmark, forced marriages are illegal. If someone feels forced into an unwanted marriage, she or he can get help from LOKK or from her or his municipality.

The punishment for forcing someone to enter into marriage or non-legal religious wedlock by means of violence, or threats of violence, is up to four years in jail. Foreign citizens who are punished for having forced someone to enter into marriage, or non-legal religious wedlock, may be deported.

It is illegal to marry if you are

  • already married
  • under 18 years of age
  • closely related to the proposed partner

If you are not married according to Danish law, you cannot be divorced under Danish law. Religious ceremonies are not legally valid in Denmark.

Men and women have the same rights and duties in marriage. They are under obligation to support one another. Both parties are obliged to contribute to the support of the family. This could be in the form of an income or by taking care of the home and children.

If you are married, with one spouse living abroad and the other in Denmark, it is possible to obtain family reunification. You can read about family reunification on the website, and you can receive guidance from The Danish Immigration Service on how to go about applying for it.


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