Who on earth are the Danish Agency of Family Law or Familieretshuset?
Now you have embarked on the exciting process of getting married in Denmark you have likely heard or seen "Danish Agency of Family Law" or "Familieretshuset" mentioned in conjunction with the process for your wedding in Denmark. And you have probably wondered what on earth these offices are, as it sounds a bit scary and has the word "Law" in, and Denmark is supposed to be one of the easiest places in the world to get married right?!?!
There is also a video on our website here to explain this!
Do not worry, rest assured Denmark is still one of the easiest places to get married in Europe and the world for all types of International and same sex couples. There is now just a slightly different process than before to get your documentation in place required for marriage in Denmark and to get the Town Hall booked. And it involves completing an application with the Agency of Family Law or Familieretshuset, the channel has changed if you like. Everything is now standardised for every Town Hall in Denmark, and everything goes through this Government office of the Danish Agency of Family Law or Familieretshuset.
They are a small office, roughly around 30 people, and between them they handle around 16,000 wedding applications a year - so these guys are BUSY!! This does mean that it is almost impossible to contact them directly on phone or email - unless you are an Agency, as we have our own dedicated phone and email lines to contact the Marriage team on directly.
And this is also why a good agency is worth the money as they will deal with absolutely everything for you.
We work well together to mutually benefit the wedding industry and ensure that files we put through are correct, good quality and all documents are relevant and required. And apart from anything else we love working with the Danish Agency of Family law as they are really lovely people also! We have been speaking to them since it was all formed in January 2019, so have a good relationship in place.
Why is the process now different and the Agency of Family Law or Familieretshuset in place?
Getting married in Denmark is so incredibly easy, that it has unfortunately in the past been abused by some couples who are not in love, but wish to get a residency permit in Europe. As if you are a NON EU Citizen and you marry an EU citizen it would give you claim for EU residency or Citizenship. And this was ruining the reputation for Denmark, and also creating issues with an increase in EU residency that people were not entitled to.
The Danish Agency of Family law was introduced into the process to handle applications and eliminate the sham or fake Proforma marriages (as they are referred to).
Are the Danish Agency of Family Law and Familieretshuset different offices or things?
The Danish Agency of Family Law and Familieretshuset office are actually one and the same thing, and look after 3 areas of Family Law within Denmark all of which falls under "Social Affairs and the Interior" and as well as handling the applications for your marriage in Denmark, these areas of jurisdiction are listed below and the full list is on their website Here.
- Child support and child protection, custody, Guardianship
- Separation and Divorce, conflict management
- International marriages - (the bit we are interested in!)
What is the process with the Agency of Family Law/ Familieretshuset?
Once you have decided to get married in Denmark you need to firstly apply for a Certificate of Marital Status (which is your approval from the Government office, and not to be confused with a document saying you are single!!).
You can do this directly on the Agency of Family Law website if you would like www.familieretshuset.com but you need to be aware that what the Danish Agency of Family Law are NOT is an advice service, or a help service, or an information service. There are guidelines on the website of what you may potentially need, but there are also things you will likely be asked for that are not on the website. So you need to be pretty confident of what you are doing, and be prepared for many obstacles.
As we mentioned before, the Danish Agency of Family law is a very small, very busy office, and also the office covers 3 other Government services. If you ring it is unlikely you will get through, and if you do they are not there to give specific case advice or information, they are a lovely bunch of people, but they are busy and there is only so much they can do. The Danish Agency of Family Law are not there to do anything except process the documents that are presented to them in an application for a marriage or wedding in Denmark. Very much like a passport checking service or similar Government office, you will get a file or forms rejected but not actually be told why. It is not the job of the Agency of Family law to advise, guide and support you on making the application - the Agency of Family Law just processes the application.
+45 72 56 70 00 is the number to ring for General enquiries.
They are targeted and measured on coming back to you and responding within 5 days of an application being submitted. But if a document is required to be resent, or missed off the application, or just asked for as an additional document - there is then no set guideline or time for the Danish Agency of Family Law to re-look at the file. They will prioritise the newly submitted applications first as this is what they are targeted and measured on as a Government office.
What role do Agencies play with working with the Danish Agency of Family Law if we can apply directly?
As mentioned above it is almost impossible to get through to the Danish Agency of Family law.... Unless you are an Agency! We have our own dedicated phone lines and email contact with the office, so we can get issues resolved very quickly. We also at the outset work with you on your file and documents, so there is minimal chance of you getting anything back but an approval straight away, which means you can marry quickly.
There is nothing more of a stressful joy vacuum in general than doing anything with a Government office. Let alone one in a foreign country and for the most important event of your life, so it is not something you should try and save money on. We have so many couples come back to us who tried to save the small fee for our support and it has taken them hours in trying to call and contact the Danish Agency of Family Law unsuccessfully. VISAS and permits are expiring, the party back in the home country is all booked and the date advancing, just not understanding why documents they sent are being rejected over and over again. It is so common we actually have a service for it called the Handheld service.
Is everything secure and our documents are safe with the Danish Agency of Family Law?
Yes everything is secure and your documents are safe, everything is sent through secure links as electronic scanned documents, which are accessed by a code being texted to you, and this is the only way that documents can be sent to the Danish Agency of Family Law. You cannot visit the Danish Agency of Family Law in person (unless you are called for an interview), you cannot post or send original documents (Always keep your originals with you and just use electronic scans!).
What are the chances of being called into Odense Danish Agency of Family Law for an Interview?
The Danish Agency of Family law request roughly 10% of couples come in for interviews, so it is rare but not unusual - and if this is the case you will have to take your original documents with you, and you are questioned separately as to the validity, longevity and nature of your relationship, or it could be for a documents check. You rarely hear straight away the outcome, it is normally 1-8 days later the decision is sent. If you are using an Agency we can advise how to handle the Interview, what to expect, what documents to take in support.
When do we get our approval from the Danish Agency of Family Law?
This can be as quickly as a few days after your application, and you are then able to marry as soon as you have your Certificate of Marital Status and there is availability in the Town Hall that you selected on application. Some venues like Copenhagen City Hall and Tønder are more booked up than others such as the Danish Island of Aerø.
You will receive an email link to open, and within that link will be your approval - and your Agency can then book your wedding!
Your approval will also always have a date on it, issued date and expiration date. If you do not have a VISA/Permit or Schengen stay to take into account then it will always be 4 months, for example - "Issued on 14th May 2020" and then "until 14th September 2020" so you can pick your wedding date at your leisure and convenience during those dates. If you do not marry by the expiration date you will need to re-apply and pay for a new application fee of €217. The Danish Agency of Family law give no refunds or credits. And if you wish to appeal a decision that they make you need to contact them directly to do this.
Who can help with contacting and working with the Danish Agency of Family Law?
If you wish to try and do the application alone then only you will be able to try and contact the Danish Agency of Family Law. But if you get stuck you can enlist the help of an Agency like Marry Abroad Simply and we will issue you with a Power of Attorney to have the file transferred over to us immediately, and we can take over and contact the Danish Agency of Family law for you.
We are happy to provide advice and a free no obligation documents list of which documents you will require to get married in Denmark or Get married in Gibraltar – just contact us on any of the methods below.
Have a look at our awesome YouTube channel for short information Vlogs on how easy it is to elope and get married abroad!
We would love to hear from you!
We would love to hear from you and help be the smallest part in your largest day, to ensure the time between Engagement and Wedding is stress free. We have years of experience with Government documents, paperwork, applications, International couples, Decrees and Death certificates from all over the world and the Legalisations needed - and how to work with the Danish Agency of Family law.