Your application to have your child returned to you must be submitted to the Danish Enforcement Court (“Fogedret”) local to the address or area where your child is being retained. The Court will automatically grant you free legal aid, which covers all legal fees incurred regardless of your income in your country of residence.
The application will usually be transmitted by the central authority responsible in your country of residence to the Danish Ministry for Children and Social Affairs, which is the Danish central authority, and the application will then be forwarded to the Enforcement Court. You will automatically have a lawyer appointed to you, who specialises in this type of case.
It is paramount that you contact the lawyer without any undue delay.
You may informally contact the lawyer as soon as you ascertain that your child has been abducted to Denmark.
Child abduction from a non-convention state to Denmark
Basically, you have no right to demand the return of your child. However, you may apply for shared custody, shared residence or sole custody of the child based on the fact of the abduction, which has taken place.
The application will be processed by the Danish authorities and according to Danish law. You must instigate the process by making an application to the Danish State Administration, which is an administrative authority that handles cases concerning access, residence and sole custody.
You must pay your own costs of making the application. Nonetheless, we recommend that you seek assistance from a lawyer, who may assist you in protection your rights and those of your child.
The State Administration cannot make final decisions in matters of residence and custody, but makes temporary decisions. A Danish court will make the final decision. The processing of your application will usually take a couple of months from the date of submission to the final decision being issued by the Danish court.
You must be prepared to attend the State Administration and the court in person. Legal aid is not available in this type of case; however, you are entitled to make an application to the court for free legal aid – although you are not automatically entitled to receive such legal aid.