FrågaFAMILJERÄTTÄktenskap och äktenskapsförord24/03/2018

Dividing assets in event of divorce

Sorry for the English but my Swedish is not good I have owned my house in Malmö for 10 years and lived on my own there for 9 years last year my then girlfriend moved in and 3 months ago we got married she has never had any income i support her and pay ALL the bills and the morgauge on the house she also has many debts if we get divorced can she claim half of my house we have no Children together

Lawline svarar

Hello and thank you for reaching out to Lawline with your question!

First of all I need to define two terms in Swedish marriagelaw. "Enskild egendom", which can be translated to "private property". And "Giftorättsgods", which roughly translates to all assets that would be split in event of a divorce. If something isn't explicitly "enskild egendom", then it by definition is "giftorättsgods" in the eyes of the law, except for personal effects to a reasonable degree. It says so right here.

Onwards to your question, the answer is that it depends. In Swedish law the house you own (for example) becomes "giftorättsgods" the second you marry someone and haven't drawn up a prenup that would exclude the property in the event of a divorce. It says so right here. The way the division of assets work is that anything that is "giftorättgods" that respective party owns is used to settle any personal debts before it is lumped into one big stack and split down the middle. It says so here.

BUT, since she has no income and you've supported her while paying all bills & debts that would most likely be weighed in by the court (if you decide to go to court) when deciding how the assets should be divided.

However it's an allround risky situation since it relies on the court finding it unreasonable that she should be entitled to half of your house and any other assets considering your efforts to sustain both of you. If you want to be sure to protect your house & other assets you might not have thought about (like bank accounts!) then I would suggest writing up prenupagreement and/or consulting a lawyer that is knowledgeable in family law.

If you wish to contact someone here at Lawline, our phone number is 08-533 300 04 and our offices are able to take your call Mon-Fri, 10-16. If you wish to initiate contact by e-mail, the e-mail is:

I hope that I've been able to help you with your question!

Best regards,

Stefan BlomqvistRådgivare
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