What happens in a divorce?
A divorce application is filed at a district court by one of the spouses alone or by both together. After the divorce application has been filed, a period of consideration begins. You can get guidance and help from family mediation and the child supervisor.
A divorce application can be filed by both spouses together or by one of the spouses alone. Divorce is filed at the district court of the home municipality of one of the spouses. There is no need to state the reason for divorce.
The signed application can be taken or posted to the district court or it can be submitted by email. A fee is charged for processing the application. If only one of the spouses files for divorce, the court will inform the other party of it.
A six-month period of consideration begins when the divorce application has been submitted. When the period ends, the spouses or one of them must file for divorce within six months. If a divorce is not filed, the matter will expire. If the spouses have lived separately without interruption for at least the two previous years, the divorce can be granted without a period of consideration.
Couples who are considering a divorce or have already initiated the process receive help free of charge from family mediation, which is provided by municipalities and organisations. Mediation is available regardless of whether the couple decides to divorce or to stay married.
Specialist help in disputes related to the care of the children and visitation rights is available also from the district court.
Parents who are divorcing agree on the custody and maintenance of the children between themselves. They can continue to be responsible for the children together. The children can either live with one of the parents or live alternating with both parents.
The municipal child supervisor provides help in the negotiations. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the matter will be resolved by the district court.
In a divorce, the property of the spouses is divided, which means that the assets are put together and split equally between the spouses. If the spouses have a prenuptial agreement, the agreement is followed.
If the spouses cannot reach an agreement on how the property is divided by the time the divorce enters into force, it is also possible to request the appointment of an estate distributor to divide the spouses’ property, i.e. to carry out the so-called distribution of matrimonial assets, in connection with the divorce. You can request the appointment of an estate distributor in connection with your divorce application or later.