Information about marriage
The conclusion of a marriage affects the spouses’ rights and responsibilities in a number of ways. Getting married affects especially the couple’s financial matters.
Entering a marriage will not affect the spouses’ properties or debts during the duration of the marriage. Anything that you own before marriage will also be yours after you get married. While you are married, you and your spouse may obtain property that either belongs to one of you or both. You will not be responsible for your spouse’s debts, unless the debt was taken out to buy the home that you share, or things for the home.
However, when the couple gets married, the spouses get marital rights to the other spouse’s property. When a marriage ends in divorce or death, each spouse’s property will be added up and divided equally. This process is called distribution of matrimonial property.
- Distribution of matrimonial property is explained on the page Planning your finances when your relationship ends.
- The division of the property is explained on the page Division of wealth after a spouse's death.
However, the couple may make a prenuptial agreement to determine in advance that marital rights to some or all of the spouses’ property will not apply. For more detailed information about a prenuptial agreement, see the page How do you make a prenuptial agreement?
The spouses have a mutual maintenance obligation. Both spouses must take responsibility for their joint financial affairs and also support each other financially.
In Finland, people pay taxes individually. However, if you are married, this will affect certain tax deductions. For example, your marriage can affect the deduction you receive for any temporary work-related accommodations.
Ask the Finnish Tax Administration for more detailed information about taxation.
Being married may affect many of the benefits granted by Kela, such as the national pension, student grant, and conscript allowance. Kela’s page Conclusion of marriage (in Finnish) explains how getting married affects the benefits received by you and your spouse.
You may also for example receive spouse’s pension if your married spouse dies. Read more on page Pensions and benefits for widow(er)s.
For example, getting married affects the following matters:
- If the parents are married when their child is born, paternity does not need to be separately confirmed.
- Married spouses are also considered one another’s next of kin. For example, both have the right to receive information on each other’s state of health and participate in the decision-making process concerning their spouse’s treatment if the spouse cannot do so themselves.
- The spouses have the right to use each other’s surnames.
Finnish citizens have the obligation to notify changes in their personal data to the Finnish Population Information System. Notify a marriage concluded abroad to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
If a Finnish citizen marries a citizen of some other country and the couple is going to live in Finland, the spouse who comes to live in Finland usually has a right to a residence permit. This also applies to registered partnerships.
The My spouse is in Finland page on the Finnish Immigration Service’s website explains in more detail when and how it is possible to get a residence permit on the basis of family ties.
Note that if you are a citizen of an EU state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need a residence permit. In that case, it is usually enough, that you apply for the registration of your right of residence.
Marriage with a Finn does not entitle a person with a foreign background to Finnish citizenship. There are specific conditions for applying for citizenship. However, the fact that your spouse is Finnish may affect the conditions for citizenship.
Read about obtaining citizenship on the Finnish Citizenship page of the Finnish Immigration Service’s website.