International marriage – when is it possible to apply for divorce in Denmark?
It is important to consider where you should apply for divorce, if you wish to end an international marriage. An international marriage can be a marriage that is consummated outside of Denmark, or if one or both spouses do not have a Danish citizenship.
The conditions for applying for divorce in Denmark
In Denmark, an application for divorce can be send to “Familieretshuset”, if one of the following conditions are met, cf. the Danish code of judicial procedure, article 448 f:
the spouse who is not seeking divorce has Denmark as their place of residence
the spouse who is seeking divorce has Denmark as their place of residence, and have stayed there for at least 2 years
the spouse who is seeking divorce is a Danish citizen and cannot file for divorce in their country of residence
both parties of the marriage are Danish citizens and do not oppose that the lawsuit is ruled under Danish jurisdiction
the divorce is filed on the grounds of a separation which were announced within 5 years in Denmark
To sum up, this means that there usually is jurisdiction to process a divorce lawsuit, if one of the parties has Denmark as their place of residence. If the spouse who is not seeking divorce is unreachable, condition nr. 2 is applied. If the spouse who is seeking divorce is not currently living in Denmark, but has previously done so, the same condition applies.
A lawsuit regarding separation or divorce between to persons of the same gender can also be processed in Denmark, if the marriage is consummated in Denmark, and none of the spouses currently live in a country with a law corresponding to the Danish regarding same-sex marriage. The spouses can have their marriage ended in Denmark, even though none of them reside in Denmark, if it would not be possible for them to apply for divorce in their home country.
When is Denmark your “place of residence”?
The term “place of residence” is to be understood as the place where the person concerned is intending to stay permanently, or at least without intending for the residence to be temporary. You do not lose your status of Denmark as your place of residence if you are temporarily posted outside of Denmark.
If both parties are foreign citizens and have no affiliation with Denmark, but the marriage was consummated in Denmark, a divorce lawsuit must be filed in the country of residence
Date: 08/02 2022
Authors: Line Stecher & Asger Søderberg
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