Getting a divorce in Sweden is quick and relatively straightforward. The first step is to submit an application for divorce to the district court (Tingsrätten). The district court then dissolves the marriage through verdict.

There are two ways to apply for divorce, jointly or individually. A joint application implies that both parties are in agreement and both parties sign the application. The procedure is as follows:

1. You contact Skatteverket and order birth certificates with the purpose of divorce. The easiest way is to call 0771-567 567, or order directly via Skatteverkets website.

2. Then you fill in the "joint application for divorce" (gemensam ansökan om äktenskapsskillnad)

3. These documents (birth certificates and the application) must be sent or delivered to the district court where you were last registered as resident in November previous year.

4. The application fee, currently 900 SEK, should also be paid to the district court to which you are sending documents. Note that the proceeding takes place only when payment is received.

If only one party wants to divorce the same application is used but only one party sign and submit it to the district court. There is therefore no requirement that both parties must sign the application for divorce. The district court will after they received the application for divorce communicate that to the other spouse, a so-called lawsuit.

Divorce with reflection time

The district court cannot pronounce a divorce until a time of reconsideration of at least six months has passed if:
• any of you live permanently with your own child under the age of 16 and has custody of the child
• both spouses request reconsideration

Reconsideration time always runs on a marriage if the application is single. Once you have submitted an application you will receive a notice from the district court. This states what day the reflection time begins and which days are the first and the last day that you can complete the application, and the district court case number.

To complete the application means that you must resubmit an application to the district court where it shows that you still want a divorce. In the application, you must state that you wish to pursue the application for divorce and quote the district court case number.

If you complete the application, you must submit a new birth certificate for both of you. If neither of you proceeds with the application within one year after the reflection period started, the case will be dismissed at the district court and you then remain married to each other.

When the six months have elapsed, the court may notify the decree of divorce if any of you proceed with the application. In this case there is no requirement for both signatures, it is sufficient that one of you are submitting a completed application.

Divorce without reflection time

The district court may pronounce a divorce between you without reflection if:

• neither of you has custody of and lives permanently with your own children under 16 years or:
• you have been living apart for at least two years, whether you have kids under 16 or not. If you have lived apart for at least two years you must be able to prove this. This may include extracts from the population register.

The day the divorce application is made is also called the critical time, or cut-off date (brytdag) as it is commonly called. A division of property will be based on property relations as they looked at the cut-off date, assets and liabilities that existed at the cut-off date shall be included in the division of property to the value they had at that date.

Separations of cohabitation (sambos) takes place completely formless, no court or authority needs to be involved.

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