Legge 09 marzo 1999
Legge 9 marzo 1999: “The Formation and Dissolution of Marriage Act”.
1. A person who is under 18 years of age may not contract marriage without the
permission of the County Governor’s Office (statsamtet). When giving a young person
under 18 permission to marry the County Governor’s Office may lay down conditions to the
effect that despite the marriage the young person is still a minor and consequently legally
incompetent until he or she attains the age of 18.
2.(1) A person who is under 18 years of age and has not previously been married shall
not marry without the consent of the parents.
(2) If either of the parents is dead, of unsound mind, mentally deficient or does not share
custody or if his statement cannot be obtained without special difficulty or delay, the other
parent’s consent shall be sufficient.
3. A person under guardianship according to section 5 of the Danish Guardianship Act or
under guardianship involving deprival of his legal capacity, cf. section 6 of the Danish
Guardianship Act, shall not be allowed to marry without the consent of the guardian.
4. Where consent is refused under sections 2-3, the County Governor’s Office (statsamtet)
may give permission to the marriage if there is no reasonable ground for the refusal.
6. Marriage between relatives in lineal ascent and descent or between brothers and sisters
shall not be allowed.
7. Marriage shall not be contracted without the permission of the Minister of Justice
between persons, of whom one has been married to the other person’s relative in lineal
ascent or descent. If there are children of the former marriage, permission may only be
granted if it is not undesirable in the interests of the children.
8. An adopter and an adopted child shall not be allowed to marry as long as the adoptive
9. A person who has previously been married or has been a party to a registered
partnership shall not be allowed to marry as long as the former marriage or registered
10. A person who has been married or has been a party to a registered partnership shall
not be allowed to remarry until the administration of the estate of the deceased spouse by
the court or by an administrator has been commenced, or the administration out of court
has been closed. However, this shall not apply if community of property did not exist
between the spouses or exemption from administration is specially authorised. Further, the
Minister of Justice may permit that the provision in the first sentence be derogated from
where there are special reasons which make it desirable.
11. Marriage shall not be allowed without either party having declared to the other party
and the authority which is to examine the marriage conditions whether the person
concerned has or is expecting children with another man or woman. The duty of disclosure
shall include adopted children but not children whom the party concerned has had adopted
to somebody else.
Examination of marriage conditions and marriage ceremony
12. Before marriage is contracted, it must be proved that the marriage conditions are
satisfied. The Minister of Justice shall lay down rules thereon.
13.(1) The examination of the marriage conditions shall be carried out by the chairman of
the local council. In municipalities with a corporation system or a form of government
where the administrative management is divided, cf. sections 64 and 64 a of the Danish
Local Government Act, the local council may decide in the government by-laws that the
examination shall be carried out by a member of the corporation or a committee chairman
(2) The examination shall be carried out at the place where either of the parties is resident.
Where neither party is resident in this country, the examination shall be carried out at the
place where either of the parties is staying.
(3) On the lodging of a request for examination of the marriage conditions, an amount of
DKK 500 shall be paid if neither party is resident in this country.
(4) The Minister of Justice may lay down rules governing payment of the cost of translating
documents required in connection with the examination of the marriage conditions.
Furthermore, the Minister of Justice may lay down rules on the payment of the cost of
interpreter assistance in connection with the examination of the marriage conditions in
cases where neither party is resident in this country.
14. If desired by the parties, banns can be published from the pulpit. Rules thereon shall
be laid down by the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
15.-(1) Marriage may be contracted as a religious or civil marriage.
(2) Spouses may have their civil marriage blessed by a minister of the Danish National
Church. Rules thereon shall be laid down by the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
16.-(1) A religious ceremony can take place:
1) within the Danish National Church if either of the parties is a member of the
2) within recognised religious communities if either of the parties is a member of the
religious community concerned.
3) within other religious communities if either of the parties is a member of the
religious community concerned and the religious community has ministers who are
authorised by the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs to perform marriage ceremonies.
(2) The Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs may determine that members of foreign
Evangelical Lutheran communities shall be treated as the members of the Danish National
Church with respect to the right to a religious ceremony.
17.-(1) Religious marriage ceremonies within the Danish National Church shall be
performed by its ministers. The Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs shall lay down rules
specifying which ministers of the Danish National Church may perform religious marriage
ceremonies and in which cases they are under an obligation to do so.
(2) A religious ceremony outside the Danish National Church shall be performed by
ministers specially authorised for this purpose.
18.-(1) The right to a civil marriage is open to everybody. The marriage ceremony is
conducted by the authorities mentioned in section 13(1).
(2) The authority examining the marriage conditions may authorise one or more persons to
perform the marriage ceremony at its responsibility.
19.-(1) No marriage ceremony shall be performed until one of the authorities mentioned in
section 13(1) has certified that the marriage conditions are satisfied. The certificate shall
have been issued within the last four months.
(2) Where, however, due to the illness of either of the parties, there is a serious risk that a
postponement of the marriage ceremony will cause it not to take place, the marriage
ceremony may be performed even though the marriage conditions have not been
examined or only partially examined.
(3) A marriage ceremony may never be performed if the marriage authority is aware that
the marriage conditions are not satisfied.
20.-(1) A marriage ceremony shall be conducted in the presence of at least two witnesses.
(2) Appearing simultaneously the parties shall when asked by the marriage authority
declare their willingness to marry each other, after which they are pronounced man and
(3) The rules of procedure governing marriage ceremonies in the Danish National Church
and civil ceremonies shall be laid down by the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs and the
Minister of Justice respectively. Recognised religious communities shall be subject to their
own special rules. For other religious communities the procedure governing marriage
ceremonies under paragraph 3) of section 16(1) shall be approved by the Minister of
(4) The Minister of Justice may lay down rules on the payment of the cost of interpreter
assistance during the marriage ceremony in cases where neither party is resident in this
21.-(1) A marriage shall only be valid if it is conducted by an authority which according to
the Act may conduct marriages, and in compliance with the provision in section 20(2).
(2) A marriage which is void under subsection (1) may be approved by the Minister of
Justice as valid where there are special reasons which make it desirable.
22.-(1) The Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs may lay down rules on the right of Danish
ministers to perform marriage ceremonies abroad.
(2) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may lay down rules on the right of diplomatic and
consular officers to perform marriage ceremonies abroad.
(3) The provisions of the Act on marriage conditions and marriage shall apply to marriage
ceremonies performed under subsections (1) and (2). The marriage conditions may be
examined by a diplomatic or consular officer authorised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs
for the purpose.
(4) By an agreement with a foreign State it may be determined that marriages conducted
by the ministers of the country concerned or diplomatic or consular officers in this country
shall be valid in Denmark.
23.-(1) A marriage shall be annulled by a judicial decree if contracted in contravention of
section 6 or section 9.
(2) However, a marriage contracted in contravention of section 9 cannot be annulled if the
former marriage was dissolved before proceedings were instituted.
(3) Annulment proceedings may be instituted by the Minister of Justice or anyone
authorised by him for the purpose or by either of the spouses. If the marriage was
contracted in contravention of section 9, the spouse of the former marriage may also
24.-(1) A marriage may also be annulled by a judicial decree based on a claim made by
1) if at the time of marrying he was in a state which made him unable to
manage his own affairs;
2) if he was forced to contract marriage;
3) if by mistake he was married to a person other than his fiancée or without
being willing to marry; or
4) if he was induced to contract marriage, being misled by the other spouse
through false information or fraudulent non-disclosure of the truth about who
the other person was or about such circumstances in the other person’s
previous life which would with reasonable cause have deterred him from
marrying and which must still be considered to be of such significance to the
relationship between the spouses that the marriage cannot reasonably be
required to be maintained.
(2) Proceedings shall be instituted within six months after the state or force mentioned in
paragraphs 1)-2) of subsection (1) has stopped or after the spouse has become aware of
the facts mentioned under paragraphs 3)-4). Proceedings shall be instituted within three
years after the marriage was contracted.
25.-(1) Annulment shall have the same legal effects as a divorce.
(2) The provisions in section 69 of the Danish Administration of Estates Act shall apply to
the division of property.
26. If a marriage is annulled and if, at the time when the marriage was contracted, either
spouse was in good faith with respect to the ground for annulment while the other spouse
knew or ought to know it, the decree may award the former spouse compensation which
shall be fixed having regard to both spouses’ financial and other circumstances.
27.-(1) In the event of the death, before annulment, of either of the parties to a marriage
which could be annulled under section 23, the surviving spouse or any of the heirs may
demand application of the provisions of section 69 of the Danish Administration of Estates
Act and the spouse may demand compensation under section 26.
(2) The spouse who may institute proceedings under section 24 shall have the same right
if the other spouse dies before the marriage has been annulled and before the expiration
of the time-limits set out in section 24(2). Where proceedings have been instituted and the
spouse thereafter dies, any of the heirs may demand application of the provisions in
section 69 of the Danish Administration of Estates Act.
(3) Claims under subsections (1)-(2) shall be made within six months after the death.
28. Where a spouse who has contracted a marriage in contravention of section 9 dies
before the marriage has been annulled, any right against a third party to compensation,
pension or any other financial benefit accruing to a surviving spouse by reason of the
death shall accrue to the spouse of the first marriage unless the circumstances require
29. A spouse who feels unable to continue the marital cohabitation shall be entitled to legal
30. The effects of legal separation shall lapse for the future if the spouses resume or
continue the marital cohabitation.
Divorce after legal separation
31.-(1) A spouse shall be entitled to a divorce after one year’s legal separation.
(2) Spouses shall be entitled to a divorce after six months’ legal separation if they agree on
Living apart for two years
32. A spouse shall be entitled to a divorce if the spouses have lived apart for the past two
years due to disagreement.
33.-(1) A spouse shall be entitled to a divorce if the other spouse has committed adultery
or has participated in equivalent sexual relations. However, divorce cannot be demanded if
the spouse has agreed to the act or may later be deemed to have waived his or her right.
(2) A divorce cannot be granted because of sexual relations which took place during the
spouses’ legal separation.
(3) An application for an administrative divorce decree shall be lodged or legal
proceedings instituted within six months after the spouse having become aware of the act
and within two years after it was committed.
34.-(1) A spouse shall be entitled to a divorce if the other spouse has intentionally
committed violence of a serious nature against the spouse or the children.
(2) An application for an administrative divorce decree shall be lodged or legal
proceedings instituted within one year after the spouse having become aware of the act
and within three years after it was committed.
35. A spouse shall be entitled to a divorce if the other spouse has remarried in
contravention of section 9.
36. – 41. (Repealed).
Procedure for obtaining legal separation or divorce
42.-(1) Legal separation and divorce shall be granted by a judicial decree or an
(2) An administrative decree can only be granted if the spouses are agreed on a legal
separation or divorce by an administrative decree and on the conditions set out in sections
46, 49 and 54-56, cf., however, section 45.
The spouses may refer the question of the amount of maintenance payment to the County
Governor’s Office (statsamtet) for determination.
(3) Where it is found to be inadvisable to grant an administrative decree, the grant of a
decree shall be refused.
42 a.-(1) An administrative decree shall be granted by the Minister of Justice or by the
County Governor’s Office (statsamtet) as authorised by the Minister of Justice.
(2) On the lodging of an application for an administrative divorce decree DKK 500 shall be
paid to the County Governor’s Office.
(3) If, however, the applicant has lodged an application for divorce within the last three
months, for which payment has been made, no new payment shall be made.
43.-(1) If desired by both parties, mediation may be carried out by a minister. Rules
thereon shall be laid down by the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs in consultation with the
Minister of Justice.
(2) The Minister of Justice may lay down rules on voluntary counselling of spouses before
a legal separation or divorce is granted.
Negotiation of conditions concerning legal separation or divorce
44.-(1) Before a legal separation or divorce is granted, a negotiation of conditions shall
take place. If, however, divorce is desired under section 31 and the conditions of the legal
separation also apply to the period following the divorce, no negotiation of conditions shall
(2) Rules on the negotiation of conditions shall be laid down by the Minister of Justice.
These rules may provide that the negotiation of conditions shall not apply to a spouse who
is not resident in this country.
Legal separation and divorce conditions and change of the conditions etc.
45. Any conditions determined in a judicial separation decree granted in this country shall
also apply to the period following a divorce, achieved on the basis of the legal separation.
However, the judicial separation decree may determine otherwise as regards any
46. The provisions in the Danish Custody and Access Rights Act shall apply to the custody
of the children in connection with a legal separation or divorce.
Change of agreement or decision on custody
49. In connection with a legal separation or divorce, a decision shall be made as to
whether a spouse shall be under an obligation to pay towards the maintenance of the
50.-(1) If the spouses make no agreement thereon themselves, the court shall decide the
question of maintenance obligation, including the question of duration of the obligation
while the County Governor’s Office (statsamtet) shall determine the amount of the
payment. Unless special circumstances exist, the court may only impose a maintenance
obligation on a spouse for a specified period not exceeding ten years.
(2) Decisions under subsection (1) shall be made having regard to the extent to which the
person requesting payment can maintain himself or herself adequately having regard to
the standard of living enjoyed by him or her and whether the other party is able to pay a
maintenance payment having regard to his or her financial conditions and other
circumstances. Further, account shall be taken of the duration of the marriage. In addition,
account may be taken of whether the person requesting payment needs support for
training or the like.
51. The maintenance obligation shall lapse when the person entitled to maintenance
remarries or either of the spouses dies.
Change of agreement or decision on maintenance payments
52. An agreement made by the spouses on the maintenance obligation or the amount of
the maintenance payment may be changed by a judicial decree if, by reason of materially
changed conditions, it would be unreasonable to maintain the agreement.
53.-(1) A decision made by a judicial decree on the maintenance obligation of the spouses
may be changed by a new judicial decree where there are materially changed conditions
as well as other special reasons which make it desirable.
(2) A decision made by the County Governor’s Office (statsamtet) on the amount of the
maintenance payment may be changed by the County Governor’s Office where the
circumstances of the case require it.
54. The special rules of Danish legislation shall apply to the right to a spouse pension after
55.-(1) The provisions of Danish rent legislation shall apply to the right of the spouses to
continue the lease of a common flat.
(2) If a flat in a building which belongs to the property contributed by either of the spouses
or to his or her separate property and which contains several flats has so far served as the
family home, the court may in connection with a judicial separation or divorce decree order
the spouse to lease the flat to the other spouse and determine the lease conditions.
56. Where a spouse has had separate property and where the matrimonial property, the
duration of the marriage and circumstances in general make it particularly desirable, it may
be determined, based on a claim made by the other spouse in connection with a judicial
separation or divorce decree, that either spouse shall pay to the other spouse an amount
to ensure that that other spouse is not placed in an unreasonably bad financial position
after the legal separation or divorce. This rule shall also apply to rights which are not
assignable or otherwise of a personal nature and which are not included in the division of
Temporary provision concerning custody
Change of certain agreements on conditions etc.
58. Where, on the occasion of a legal separation or divorce, spouses have agreed on the
division of the property, the maintenance obligation or any other conditions, the agreement
may be changed by a judicial decree or held not to be binding if at the time of its making it
is deemed to be unreasonable for either spouse.
Commencement provisions etc.
59. This Act shall enter into force on 1 January 1970.
60. The provision in section 21(2) shall also apply to marriage ceremonies performed
before the entry into force of the Act.
61.-(1) Where, before the entry into force of this Act, proceedings for legal separation,
divorce or marriage annulment have been instituted or application for an administrative
separation or divorce decree has been lodged, the provisions of the previous legislation
(2) Where, however, both parties so request before a final judicial or administrative decree
is granted, the provisions of this Act shall apply.
(3) Where a marriage contracted before the entry into force of this Act is annulled, the
provisions of the Act concerning the effects of marriage annulment shall apply.
62.-(1) The provisions of the previous legislation shall apply to the right of spouses to
obtain a divorce on the basis of a legal separation granted before the entry into force of
(2) However, notwithstanding the provision in subsection (1) either spouse may demand a
divorce from 1 January 1971.
(3) Otherwise the provisions of this Act may at the request of both spouses be applied in
whole or in part.
63. The provision in section 48 shall also apply to agreements and decisions on custody
made before the entry into force of this Act.
64.-(1) The provisions in sections 52 and 58 shall only apply to agreements made after the
entry into force of this Act.
(2) Any change of decisions on maintenance payments made before the entry into force of
this Act shall be made in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
65. From the entry into force of this Act, cf., however, sections 61, 62 and 64, the following
Regulation and Acts shall be repealed:
1) Regulation of 30 April 1824 on the Duties of Ministers relating to Marriage;
2) Act of 13 April 1851 on Marriage outside the Danish National Church;
3) Act No. 79 of 19 February 1892 on Marriages Conducted by Danish Consuls Abroad;
4) Act No. 269 of 14 December 1906 on Agreements concerning Marriages Conducted by
Diplomatic or Consular Officers;
5) Act No. 276 of 30 June 1922 on the Formation and Dissolution of Marriage; and
6) Act No. 140 of 25 May 1956 on Adoption, section 26.
66. Provisions governing the relationship between Danish legislation and another State’s
legislation on the formation and dissolution of marriage may be laid down in an agreement
with a foreign State or by the Minister of Justice.
67. This Act shall not apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland but may by Royal Decree
be made effective in whole or in part for these provinces subject to such deviations as are
dictated by the special circumstances of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.