Family Law

The Policy Area

Family law sets the overall framework for family life, including matters of 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 spousal maintenance, adoption, and international child abduction.

All citizens are affected by family law in the course of their lives: From the very beginning of a child's life, paternity is registered along with the official namegiving of the child. Later in life, family law plays a part for example when a divorced couple needs the authorities to decide matters as custody or access.

Different authorities are involved, including the State Administration, which 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 Children and Social Affairs.

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.