Divorce issues in Denmark as an expat

Divorce issues can be emotionally and mentally exhausting whether you are initiating the divorce or not. In fact, so many cultures discourage divorce and couples always hope that they will remain true to their wedding vows of “till death do us part”.  But faced with the reality that the marriage is best dissolved and partners walk separate ways, there is little that can be done. Actually, just as many cases of divorce are filed just like many marriages are entered into each day.  

Interracial marriages in Denmark

Like we already mentioned in one of our articles, dating sites in Denmark and anywhere else have made it possible for interracial marriages to happen. Single girls and young men cross borders into Denmark looking to consummate their love and start lasting married life with the Danish mates. So the catch is, you are a foreigner in a new land with so big hopes of starting a family then things come down crumbling- the marriage has to be dissolved. You begin to see how draining this can be? It also involves a variety of financial, legal and practical challenges apart from all the decisions you are required to make. In Denmark, the rules on divorce are pretty different from some other countries. 

Also read: The best online dating sites in Denmark

For starters, to process your divorce, Danish rules dictate that either you or your partner must be a permanent resident. Either that or you should both be Danish nationals. So what do you do if you are a foreigner? Don’t panic. There are easy ways to go about it. 

Divorce in Denmark 

Denmark has a significantly high divorce rate compared to other European countries. The Agency of Family Law  (Familieretshuset) handles all matrimonial issues in Denmark. Thus, any couples seeking legal separation must send an application to the Agency. The application is simple and can be done online. It is also more affordable. 

Divorce issues in Denmark as an expat
In Denmark, if things get irreconcilable, just agree between you to walk separate ways

A divorce that involves a foreigner is typically more complicated. It is also likely to be time consuming and taxing in many other ways.  Couples seeking divorce are allowed to make an appointment with Familieretshuset to negotiate the terms for their separation. You will likely be assigned a case officer to explain the process in detail and help with the procedure. 

1. Where you and your Partner Agree to the Divorce 

In Denmark, divorce is simpler where you and your spouse are in agreement. The law requires you to apply for divorce immediately if that is the case. The Agency of Family Law is also more likely to grant a legal separation if both parties agree on the separation and its terms.

However, under special circumstances like where children below 18 years are involved, you’ll be required to take extra steps. The Agency will give you further instructions depending on your application for immediate divorce. You’ll also be required to go through separation to decide whether you wish to continue the marriage or go through with the divorce. 

If you decide to continue with the divorce, the Agency will expect you to submit a request. The separation continues until the divorce has been processed. If the spouses agree, they will be able to start the divorce proceedings at any given time after the separation.

2. Where you and your Partner Disagree 

The issue comes where either one of you disagrees with the divorce. The good or bad news is that both of you have a right to a legal separation. So, you’ll have to start by applying for separation. You don’t need to provide any proof or reason to get granted with a legal separation. 

Legal separation is followed by a six-month separation period after which either one of you can then apply for a divorce. You could also request for a divorce without prior separation, if you meet one of the following conditions; 

  • Your spouse has committed adultery
  • The spouses have been living apart for at least two years because of disagreements
  • Your spouse has committed acts of violence against you or your children
  • Your spouse is married to someone else (bigamy)
  • Your spouse has abducted your mutual child

Other Terms for Separation from a relationship in Denmark

To obtain a legal separation or divorce, there are terms that must be highlighted and clarified. These terms include; 

  1. spousal maintenance (spousal support)
  2. Rights to a jointly rented home.

However, these issues will be discussed separately from when you apply for a legal separation or divorce. It will likely cost you DKK 650 to apply for a legal separation or divorce with the Agency of Family Law. 

If you decide to hold a meeting at the Agency of Family Law to agree on terms, you will be required to pay an extra DKK 1,630. The Agency will decide for you if you still can’t agree on the terms for separation or divorce. It will need extra case administration and might therefore be more time consuming. 

Division of Assets when divorcing in Denmark

The Hague Conference on Private International Law outlined guidelines for dealing with divorces where foreigners are involved. In Denmark, family law grants you permission to select laws from your home-country when it comes to dividing your assets. This can be problematic though if you are from a Hague Conference non-member country. I would suggest getting yourself a divorce attorney at this point. 

Child Support when divorcing in Denmark

Denmark enforces the rules outlined by the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support regarding this issue. Thus, your partner will still be obligated to honor child support payments regardless of where they or you live. 

What Happens to your Residency in Denmark after Divorce? 

Unless under extraordinary circumstances, your permit may be revoked following your divorce and end of cohabitation. The government will then grant you a residence permit as an accompanying family member. This is considered as a temporary residence. An example of circumstances where your permit might not be revoked is where you suffer from a serious disease.

Fees involved in legal separation or divorce in Denmark

Applying for a legal separation or divorce in Denmark entails a fee that will determine whether your application is processed. Generally, separation will set you back DKK 650 while a divorce will cost DKK 650. On the other hand, a negotiation of terms will set you back an extra DKK 1.630. The fee cannot be refunded irrespective of the outcome of the application.