University of Denver

Denmark Rolling Back Quick, Online Divorces for Parents

IAALS Intern

Denmark has been known for allowing quick access to many official documents and services online, including $60 online divorces within a week. But starting next year, Danish couples with kids who want to get a divorce will have to undergo a three-month “reflection period” with free counseling before they can officially divorce. Couples without children and couples where abuse is present can still opt for the faster divorce process.

One goal behind the new reflection period is to better protect children by ensuring parents have time to make adequate arrangements for them. This change is designed to remove some of the conflict seen in Danish divorce cases. The children will also receive counseling during their parents’ reflection period. 

It is also interesting that Denmark has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe, as The New York Times reported. Some hope that the upcoming rule change will make parents more thoughtful regarding the decision to end their marriage. Others criticize the government for “patronizing” parents who want a divorce and have already carefully considered their decision.

Heather Buchanan is a second-year law student at the University of Colorado Law School and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to iaals@du.edu.