Marriage

Prenuptial, private property When a person marries, both spouses’ assets, minus debts, become marital property. By having a prenuptial agreement, one can change that and allocate certain property, or all property to private property. Thus, with an eventual divorce or death, the assets are not divided up. If you are a company owner, perhaps you wish to keep the company in case of divorce. If that is the case, then you must prepare a prenuptial agreement. Certain formalities are to be carried out; the action must be signed by both spouses and registered. The prenuptial can be drawn up prior to the marriage. Divorce If you are married and wish to divorce, then you must file for a divorce at the District Court. If the spouses have children under the age of 16, then there is a consideration period of six months. After six months, one must file for the divorce to be completed. Otherwise, they remain married. If both are in agreement and wish to file for a divorce, and there are no children under the age of 16, then the court will grant an immediate divorce. Useful links: www.skatteverket.se www.domstol.se Maintenance between spouses Married couples have maintenance obligation towards each other. After a divorce, each party is responsible for their own support. If one of the spouses needs financial support during the transitional period, then that spouse is entitled to receive maintenance from the other spouse according to what is equitable.   Division of property between spouses upon divorce When married couples decide to divorce, their assets or possessions are divided between them in a so-called division of property. The division of property shall be documented in written form and signed by both parties.  It is important that the division of property document is accurate and includes all assets and liabilities at their true value. If, for example, a real estate property is to be divided, it is important to think about the taxation consequences.   Division of property within the marriage Married couples may also divide assets during their marriage. Maybe only one of the parties owns a residence, but it may be important for both parties to own the residence jointly. Below is an explanation why: If only one of the spouses is the legal owner of the entire property and becomes so seriously ill that he/she cannot manage his/her finances, then the healthy spouse will suffer economic problems. The healthy spouse may not manage matters related to the property by themselves.   •The healthy spouse who does not own the residence, cannot sell the property nor have access to the purchase price in order to buy a new home. •In a sale of the property, the entire sale proceeds must be deposited in the sick spouse’s bank account. •If the healthy spouse owns half the house, then he/she can transfer the profit from the sale into a new home without needing to be taxed on the profit. •Both parties have the right to double “ROT” (a Swedish acronym for reparations, remodelling and extensions) tax deduction equivalent to 100 000 SEK per annum if both are legal owners.   To avoid this, the spouses should divide the mutual property in advance so that both spouses are co-owners. The alternative is to set-up a proxy.