Family Law

The Policy Area

Family law sets the parameter for the family broadly and is characterized by dealing with matters of a private law character.

The area of family law includes: Marriage, the matrimonial property regime, paternity and co-maternity, names, legal separation and divorce, custody, the child’s place of residence, access, child and spouse maintenance, adoption and also international child abduction.

All citizens are affected by family law during their life course. Already from birth paternity is registered, when the child is given its name. Later in life, family law plays a part for example when a divorced couple needs the authorities to decide on for instance custody or access.

Different authorities are involved, among others the State Administration that deals with specific cases, the National Social Appeals Board which is responsible for complaints concerning decisions made by the State Administration, the courts, the municipalities, the parish register and the Ministry for Social Affairs and the Interior.

The Ministry is responsible for coordinating the policy area. This includes developing policy proposals and drafting legislation, and the Ministry is also responsible for providing the Minister and the Danish Parliament the best possible basis for policy making. Finally, the Ministry is designated as Central Authority for international child abduction cases.