Divorce in Finland - Guide for Finnish and Foreign Nationals

Divorce in Finland

Updated on Monday 20th February 2023

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Divorce in Finland
Divorce in Finland is governed by the Marriage Law. According to it, marriage termination can occur by filing a petition with a Finnish District Court by both of the spouse or by one of them.
Below, our divorce lawyers in Finland explain the procedure related to marriage termination in this country. Our Finnish law firm is also at the service of foreign citizens seeking to complete such procedures here.

Filing for divorce in Finland

In Finland, the District Court with jurisdiction over the location of either spouse's domicile or primary residence will hear a divorce case.
A petition is required to start the divorce process, and it can be filed by either party alone or by both parties jointly. The court must allow the other spouse a chance to be heard if only one spouse submits the petition.
Before pronouncing the termination of marriage, the court will grant the spouses a 6 month-period for reconciliation. However, if the spouses have been living separately for at least 2 years, the reconciliation period will no longer be considered.
 If you need support in filing a petition with the nearest court, you can rely on our divorce lawyers in Finland who can also supervise how the case is going.
Our lawyers can also advise in cases related to divorce for foreigners in Finland. Here is an interesting fact to know when moving to Finland: the government makes a clear distinction between citizenship and nationality. While the latter means the ties an individual has with a certain country, Finnish citizenship implies having specific rights in this country. 

Grounds for marriage termination in Finland

Getting a divorce in Finland is a rather simple procedure, as the petition does not require to provide any justifications for the divorce.
The personal relationships between the spouses or the grounds for filing for divorce are not examined by district courts. So, if you are considering filing for marriage termination, you can rely on our attorneys in Finland who can handle the entire procedure as simply as possible.
We can also help you immigrate to Finland. Among our services are advice on choosing the type of permit that enables you to emigrate and support in filing your paperwork. Once you come here, you can rely on us for assistance in formalities to complete in order to benefit from the advantages of becoming a Finnish resident. You may be qualified for Finnish residency after staying here continuously for at least 4 years following employment, but also studentship. This is often the case with foreign citizens who have been working here constantly and have not left or spent a lot of time abroad. Contact us to check if you are eligible for permanent residence.
In most cases, poor language abilities are the main cause of rejection when applying for citizenship in Finland. This is one of the usual cases where an applicant must be thoroughly informed before filing the application for a Finnish passport. For details on all requirements, you can discuss with our consultants.

The most important aspects to consider about getting divorced in Finland

Just like in other countries, getting a divorce in Finland implies settling various aspects before the court makes a decision. These matters can be agreed upon by the two parties or can be decided by the judge.
Here are the most important things to consider:
  • a decision that specifies which spouse will be allowed to remain in the common residence;
  • a decision regarding child custody, the place where the child or children will live, and access rights for the other parent;
  • a decision regarding whether maintenance will be paid to the child or the spouse;
  • the appointment of an estate distributor to handle the distribution of matrimonial property.
The aforementioned matters may alternatively be heard and decided in a separate trial at the district court. Our divorce lawyers in Finland can offer representation in such cases.

Divorce for foreigners in Finland

There are many foreign citizens living in Finland, which is why marriages between Finnish and foreign nationals are often met. However, mixed couples can also file for divorce in Finland.
The application for divorce can be lodged as long as at least one of the spouses has a legal residence address in Finland. From there, the procedure implies the same steps as for Finnish nationals.
Please remember that your residency can be affected by the termination of marriage, if you are a foreign citizen.
Our immigration lawyers in Finland can offer more information on this aspect.

Divorce in Finland in numbers

Here is the latest information on the number of marriages terminated in Finland in the past few years:
  • in 2019, 13,365 marriages ended in divorce in Finland;
  • in 2020, the number was slightly higher reaching 13,478 divorces;
  • at the level of 2021, the number dropped to 12, 166.
Do not hesitate to contact our divorce lawyers in Finland for representation before the court. We are also at your disposal in cases related to divorce for foreigners in Finland.