Understand the process at the Family Court Centre in minutes

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Kim P. Nyberg
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Understand the process at the Family Court Centre in minutes

Indlæg af Kim P. Nyberg » 16.07.2023 16:45:12

Understand the process at The Agency of Family Law
in minutes

If you are unmarried and do not live together, it is a requirement for family reunification that you get married to each other. If you choose to get married in Denmark, you must go through the Danish Agency of Family Law first. To do this, go to www.familieretshuset.dk and click on "International marriages". Here you must undersign a §11b declaration by which you declare that both of you are aware of the provisions mentioned in the declaration, which govern spousal reunification under section 9 of the Danish Aliens Act, see section 11b of the Danish Formation and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

You must also apply for a test certificate. In 2024 the fee for the certificate will be 1.900 kroner. On the Danish Agency of Family Law website it says that the expected processing time is 5 days, but this is not accurate. Most people wait up to 5 weeks. This is primarily due to the fact that the Agency of Family Law has been understaffed from the start and that politicians have not wanted to add more resources to this authority.

You cannot arrange a time and place for the wedding with either the municipality or a clergy office until you have received the test certificate, and depending on the popularity of your chosen place, the time of year etc. you must expect at least two weeks further waiting time.

As a Dane living in Denmark, you do not need to provide documentation that you are unmarried. The Agency of Family Law can retrieve this information from various registers. However, if you live or have lived abroad, you must provide a civil status certificate from each of the countries you live or have lived in. Your future spouse must always bring a civil status certificate from each of the countries they live or have lived in. In addition, you must be able to document your relationship, for example by attaching copies of letters sent to each other or printouts of your social media/e-mail communications. If you are previously married, you will also need to provide a divorce certificate, and if you are widowed, you will need to provide a death certificate.

If you choose to get married in Denmark and the marriage is recognised by the Agency of Family Law in the form of the issue of the probation certificate, SIRI and the Danish Immigration Service do not need to investigate whether the marriage is genuine or pro forma, as the Agency of Family Law has already carried out this investigation. However, SIRI and the Immigration Service may still try the validity of the marriage, but they are not obliged to because the Agency of Family Law has already done it.

If you married abroad, the marriage must be recognised in Denmark. If the marriage took place within the EU/EEA, a translation of the marriage certificate into at least English is sufficient. It does not need an Apostille-stamp or to be legalised. If the marriage ceremony took place outside of this area, the marriage certificate must be translated into at least English, and both the original and the translation must be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country where the ceremony took place for either an apostille or a legalisation; if the country in question is not part of the Apostille Convention, the document must then also be submitted to the Danish embassy or consulate general. In both places, the documents must be stamped. They can then be used in Denmark.

Note that if you or your partner go almost directly from one marriage to the next, you should expect the Danish authorities to not recognise the marriage. There is no fixed rule for how long you must have been completely free from one relationship before entering the next, but practice shows quite clearly that if less than a year passes between divorce and a new marriage, the relationship is rarely recognised. There is, however, no fixed rule that you MUST wait at least a year. The most important thing is that you can document your relationship.

I have seen several examples where a person has found a new partner while still married to someone else. The authorities do not recognise this because bigamy is illegal in this country. Both you and your partner must be completely free of previous relationships before the authorities will recognise you as lovers and fiancés. The authorities will find out if your relationship began while one or both of you were still married to someone else, so you cannot use such a relationship as proof. However, if you have cheated or attempted to cheat, the only thing that will happen is that the authorities will calculate your relationship from the point in time when you are both completely free of previous relationships.

One last thing: You can get married even if you are both under the age of 24. Getting married has nothing to do with the 24-year rule. The 24-year rule only prevents you from being reunited with your family before you have both reached the age of 24.
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