Separation and divorce

You can apply online for separation, divorce without separation or divorce after separation

Read more and self-services

If you and your spouse wish to separate or divorce, you must fill in and send an application form to the Agency of Family Law (Familieretshuset).

You must apply online for separation or divorce. If you are unable to do this online yourself, you can get help from your municipality’s citizens service, the library or the Agency of Family Law.

You can choose to attend a meeting at the Agency of Family Law to negotiate the terms of the separation or divorce, where a case officer will explain to you what it means to become separated or divorced.

If you agree that one of you should pay spousal maintenance (spousal support) to the other and – if you live in rented accommodation – which one of you should continue to live in the property, you can become divorced or separated by attending the meeting to negotiate the terms. If you are unable to reach agreement, the Agency of Family Law will reach a decision concerning the issues which you disagree on.

This will require more case administration and it will therefore take longer for you to divorce or separate.

If you are able to reach agreement concerning this yourselves, you will not need to attend the negotiation of terms.

You can divorce without being separated first if you both agree to divorce. If you do not agree, you will normally have to be separated for six months before you can divorce. It costs DKK 650 (2020) to have an application for separation or divorce processed. If you decide to have a meeting to negotiate the terms for the separation or divorce, an additional fee of DKK 1,630 will be payable (2020).

The same rules apply to separation and divorce in a registered partnership as for marriages.

The period of reflection was abolished on 1 July 2020, but it is still possible to use the ‘SES’ (Cooperation After Divorce) digital process. This process includes information, knowledge and practical tools to support you in the best possible way in working on your continuing relationship as parents.

The digital process also involves understanding your children's responses and supporting your children both during and after your divorce.

The SES process can be initiated at any time.

Divorce may be granted immediately if one of the special grounds stipulated in the Marriage Act applies, regardless of whether or not you agree or whether or not you have joint children under 18 years of age.

These grounds are:

  • two years’ separation
  • adultery
  • acts of violence, including psychological violence and sexual assault
  • bigamy
  • child abduction. 
Start Apply for separation and divorce

In order to divorce immediately, without any of the special grounds stipulated in the applicable Marriage Act, there are many conditions which must be met:

  • You must agree to divorce immediately,
  • You must agree on whether spousal support will be paid, and
  • If you have lived together in rented accommodation, you must agree on which of you will continue to live in the property.

The separation process is omitted in the case of divorce without prior separation.

Start Apply for separation and divorce

If you request a divorce after legal separation, before the period of six months’ separation has elapsed, you must reach agreement on all aspects of the divorce.

When you separated, you reached a decision on two conditions, i.e. whether one of you should pay spousal support to the other and, if you have lived together in rented accommodation, which of you would continue to live in the property.

If you agreed that the condition of spousal support should also apply in the event of subsequent divorce, the decision that you took regarding this matter will continue to apply.

However, if you agreed that the condition of spousal support should be reconsidered in the event of subsequent divorce, you must review your decision and decide whether you wish it to continue to apply.

It costs DKK 650 (2020) to have an application for separation or divorce processed by the Agency of Family Law.

If a meeting is held at the Agency of Family Law to negotiate terms, you will need to pay a further DKK 1,630 (2020).

If you are unable to reach agreement on the terms for the separation or divorce, the Agency of Family Law will reach a decision concerning the issues that you disagree on.

This will require more case administration and it will therefore take longer for you to divorce or separate.

When you marry someone else, you will normally enter into what is known as ‘community property’ or ‘community of property’. This means that your property will be divided between you if you subsequently separate or divorce. However, this will not apply if you have agreed separate ownership. You will also inherit the other spouse’s property if they die and vice versa.

When you become separated or divorced, the community of property will cease. This means that you must divide up your property between you. Once you are separated, you will no longer inherit each other’s property. However, you are still married, even though you are separated, and this means you will not be able to marry anyone else until your divorce is concluded.

The separation assumes that you stop living together. However, you can continue living together for up to two or three months if one of you has to find somewhere else to live. If you move back in with each other during your period of separation, the separation will cease to apply. This means that the reciprocal obligation to be faithful to each other will apply again, that your property will be jointly owned and that you will inherit your spouse’s property if they die.

There are no special rules concerning the division of estates and paperless relationships. In principle, this means that you take with you what you own and that you must repay your own personal debts separately.

However, there are exceptions, e.g. if you have purchased a property together, bought high value items, or one of you is the sole owner of real property which you have both lived in and contributed to.

If you live in rented accommodation and have lived together for at least two years, one of you will be entitled to continue living in the property and take over the tenancy agreement. If you are unable to agree which of you should continue to live in the property, the court can decide which spouse has the greatest need to continue living in the property.

One spouse cannot be ordered to pay spousal support to the other when the spouses have lived in a paperless relationship. You should also consider your pension schemes, group life insurance policies and early retirement pension (ATP). If necessary, contact your pension company and insurance companies to find out more.

If you disagree, you must attend a meeting at the Agency of Family Law. The aim of this meeting is to negotiate the terms of your separation or divorce. At this meeting, we will discuss what you disagree on and explain the rules that apply. If you reach agreement, you can divorce or separate immediately.

If you still disagree after the meeting, the Agency of Family Law can reach a decision on the issues on which you disagree. Before the decision is made, you will be given the opportunity to present additional arguments or information. The Agency of Family Law will then reach a decision. In this situation, you have four weeks to appeal against the decision and thereby refer the decision to the family court.

When you become separated or divorced, your common wealth will normally be divided equally between you. If you have drawn up a marital property agreement which gives one or both of you separate ownership of specific items or wealth, these assets must be excluded from the estate before it is divided up and shared between you.

Your net wealth, i.e. the assets that are left in the estate once any debts have been deducted, will be shared equally. However, if one of you has personal debt, the other person will not take over half of the debt.

You will normally retain the right to your own pension savings. This also applies to instalment pensions and capital pensions.

If you are unable to agree on the division of the estate, the probate court will decide the matter.

If you wish to appeal against a decision concerning separation or divorce, you must send your appeal to the Agency of Family Law.

The appeal must normally be submitted via the Agency of Family Law’s appeal form. We will first consider whether we should review the case or refer it to the family court to consider.

You have four weeks to appeal determined from the date on which you received the decision. If you submit your appeal more than four weeks after you received the appeal, your appeal will not be considered and the decision will stand.

Last updated: 12 December 2020