Divorce in Sweden - Support for Swedish and Foreign Citizens

Divorce in Sweden

Updated on Friday 18th February 2022

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Divorce-in-SwedenWhen spouses do not get along anymore, separation followed by divorce is often the path people choose. However, in Sweden, divorce laws do not provide for the first stage – staying separated for a longer period, as the dissolution of the marriage can be completed when the couple no longer wants to be together.
Below, our lawyers explain the main rules behind a divorce in Sweden. It is worth noting that the same rules apply to foreigners seeking to terminate their relationships. We invite you to contact our law firm in Sweden for assistance in such matters.

Laws governing divorce in Sweden

The divorce process in Sweden is governed by the Marriage Law and the Parental Code in respect to child custody and maintenance, if a couple has minor children.
Compared to other countries, there is no need to invoke a reason when getting a divorce in Sweden, as the simple request of one of the spouses suffices to start the legal proceedings. However, there are certain exceptions that apply:
  • when only one of the spouses wants a divorce, a 6-months consideration period is granted by the court;
  • the same 6 months period is granted if the couple has children aged below 16;
  • forced marriage is considered a special ground for divorce in this country, if at least one of the spouses is below 18 years old;
  • marriage can also be terminated in case one of the spouses is bigamous.
The rules for divorce in Sweden for foreigners depend on various aspects, however, the proceedings are the same.
Considering the proceedings can only be completed in court, a divorce lawyer in Sweden should be by your side when filing for termination of the marriage.

The divorce process in Sweden

In order to terminate a marriage in Sweden, one or both spouses must file a petition with the court that has jurisdiction in their residential area. The divorce will be proclaimed immediately or no later than 6 months, provided that the consideration period ends, and the parties did not change their decision.
Our lawyers in Sweden can offer support in filing for divorce.

Divorce in Sweden for foreigners

Foreign citizens who want to get a divorce in Sweden can apply for marriage termination the same way as Swedish citizens. The main condition to be met is for the court to have jurisdiction over their legal matter. This can occur in one of the following situations:
  • the parties live in Sweden;
  • both spouses have obtained Swedish citizenship;
  • the last country the spouses lived together was Sweden, and one of them still lives here;
  • if one of the spouses files for divorce, while the party who does want to end the marriage still lives in Sweden;
  • the spouse that applies for divorce has lived in Sweden at least one year before filing the petition;
  • the spouse filing for divorce is a Swedish citizen and has lived in the respective city/region for at least 6 months prior to filing the petition.
It is best to consult with a divorce lawyer in Sweden before filing for marriage termination if you are a foreign citizen. One of our specialists will help you complete the necessary steps.

Child custody after marriage termination in Sweden

One of the unpleasant parts about terminating a marriage in the case of those who have minor children is their custody. In Sweden, divorce laws provide for the court to grant joint custody automatically. However, there can be circumstances where one parent is awarded custody. Oftentimes:
  • the court can rule for one parent to have custody if the children’s welfare is at risk;
  • if one of the parents requests for sole custody and the court decides it is in the interest of children to award custody to the respective parent.
No matter who has custody of children, both spouses are required to watch over their needs and contribute as much as possible to their upbringing.
Just like in the divorce process in Sweden, child custody matters treated rapidly.
When it comes to the division of assets, these are usually split equally between the two spouses, with a few exceptions, that can be explained by our Swedish lawyers.

Divorce statistics in Sweden

Just like in other countries, Swedish citizens also have their issues that lead to divorce. According to data collected by Statista:
  • in 2020, the average age of a marriage was 11.5 years;
  • the same year, the largest number of divorce cases was registered in people aged 40 to 44, there were 8,000 divorces at the time;
  • in 2021, however, the number of divorces dropped by 4,000.
If you need support in divorce in Sweden, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers. They are at your service if you want to file a petition with the nearest court. We can also offer assistance in cases of divorce in Sweden for foreigners.