Property in a divorce
When a marriage ends in divorce, division of property can be a complex process. You and your spouse may agree how to divide your property and debts. You can also ask a lawyer for help.
If you have a mortgage, it is important to agree on how to divide it. You may also agree which one of you will be allowed to live in the family home for the time being.
Help in dividing property
If you and your spouse are not able to agree on how to divide your property, either party can ask for a division of property (ositus). Division of property can be done immediately after the first divorce application has been filed. You do not need to wait for the six-month reconsideration period to pass.
After you have requested for division of property, the District Court will appoint an executor who will divide your property. The executor will be paid for his or her work.
At the beginning of the division process, an account on the property and debts of each spouse must be given.
In the settlement of assets and debts, you should use the help of an expert. A lawyer, for example, can help.
Information on legal matters related to divorce is provided by the state legal aid offices (oikeusaputoimisto), private solicitors and other lawyers.
Will the property be divided equally or not?
In divorce situations, property is usually divided equally among both spouses. In exceptional cases property is not divided equally. In these cases, division of property is often mediated. This means that it is considered what is reasonable in the situation at hand. For example, if the marriage has lasted less than five years, property is not necessarily divided equally.
Division of property can only be mediated if one of the spouses so requests.
If you have signed a marital contract, this affects how your property will be divided in divorce.
If you or your spouse has an international background, some legal matters may be affected by the laws of another country.
You can ask for advice from a lawyer who has experience in dealing with these matters.