Spousal support


Married couples are under obligation to support each other financially. When separating or divorcing, neither spouse is automatically entitled to spousal maintenance (spousal support), but under certain circumstances one of the spouses may be required to pay spousal support to the other. (Please note that spousal support is not the same as child support).

If separation or divorce is arranged in the State Administration, the couple themselves must agree whether spousal support is to be paid or not. If, on the other hand, an agreement has not been reached, and the case is brought before a court of law, the decision is left to the court. The court will then decide if a maintenance obligation exists. The court will also decide on the duration of the obligation. The court does not, however, determine the amount that is to be paid.

If an agreement on the amount cannot be reached between the parties, the parties have the option of submitting an application to the State Administration which will then set the amount.

Duration and amount

The duration of a maintenance obligation will typically be between one and ten years and will normally not exceed ten years. The obligation ceases if the person receiving support remarries.

The spouses may decide on the amount to be paid. If they cannot reach an agreement, the amount can be set by the State Administration. The decision by the State Administration will be the result of an estimate and will be based on the gross income of both parties. Usually, the spousal support constitutes approximately one fifth of the difference between the respective gross incomes of each spouse. However, minimum and maximum limits to spousal support have been set.

Spousal support and taxation

Support paid to a former spouse is tax-deductible.

Support received from a former spouse is considered personal income and must be included on the recipient’s income tax return.

Assistance from the authorities

If support is not paid, application to Udbetaling Danmark may be made for help in collecting the debt.

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Senest opdateret 14. mar 2017
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