Divorce or separation?

If you have decided not to live together any longer, separation is the first thing to be done.

However, there are exceptions enabling you to divorce immediately without a prior period of separation:

  • in case of adultery
  • if you have lived away from each other for the past 2 years due to disagreement
  • in case of violence
  • if a child of the marriage has been kidnapped to a foreign country
  • in case of bigamy – i.e. when a spouse is married to more than one person at the same time

If none of the above conditions exists, you must normally be separated first. Following 6 months of separation, you can become divorced. You must apply for a divorce, otherwise you will stay separated.

Divorce in Statsforvaltningen (national administrative entity) or in court?

Most couples become divorced in Statsforvaltningen, provided they agree on the terms of the divorce. Read more about the procedure in the divorce paper – divorce application.

If you do not reach an agreement, it may become necessary to go to court. This is a longer and usually more expensive procedure.

When do you need a lawyer?

If you are to become separated or divorced in court, you will usually need a lawyer.
It may also be an advantage to have a lawyer help you get a clear picture before becoming divorced or separated through Statsforvaltningen. The terms agreed upon in Statsforvaltningen will have long-term consequences for your financial situation for many years ahead, and usually so many elements are to be agreed upon that it may be difficult to understand the consequences.

Read more under divorce – financial situation, debts, pension schemes.

CONTACT: Divorce lawyer Claus C. Hansen