Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

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FriendZ
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:43 pm

Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FriendZ » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm

Hi, I am asking on behalf of a friend - her husband is Finnish, she is the EU citizen, they have a kid who has Finnish passport, they currently reside outside Finland (EU country).

Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland, he says it is easier and he can do it alone (no signature of the other spouse is needed). I find information on internet that it is possible - the petition for divorce could be filed by only one of the spouses. She is worried, that since she does not live in Finland, the process can happen behind her back, including a decision in regards of a child custody and living arrangements/maintenance for a child.

I wonder is this scenario possible?? I read that if only one of the spouses petitions for divorce, the district court serves the petition on the other spouse and reserves him or her an opportunity to issue a written statement containing his or her opinion on the petition. She is afraid, that since she lives outside Finland she might not be delivered a letter, etc.

Many thanks for your insights.



Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

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betelgeuse
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by betelgeuse » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:33 pm

FriendZ wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm
Hi, I am asking on behalf of a friend - her husband is Finnish, she is the EU citizen, they have a kid who has Finnish passport, they currently reside outside Finland (EU country).

Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland, he says it is easier and he can do it alone (no signature of the other spouse is needed). I find information on internet that it is possible - the petition for divorce could be filed by only one of the spouses. She is worried, that since she does not live in Finland, the process can happen behind her back, including a decision in regards of a child custody and living arrangements/maintenance for a child.

I wonder is this scenario possible?? I read that if only one of the spouses petitions for divorce, the district court serves the petition on the other spouse and reserves him or her an opportunity to issue a written statement containing his or her opinion on the petition. She is afraid, that since she lives outside Finland she might not be delivered a letter, etc.
The court doesn’t just, for example, send a letter through first class mail and consider it delivered. It will have to be served to her according to the requirements of her country of residency. If she hasn’t, she could check the information in the population register.

FinlandGirl
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FinlandGirl » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:50 am

betelgeuse wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:33 pm
FriendZ wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm
Hi, I am asking on behalf of a friend - her husband is Finnish, she is the EU citizen, they have a kid who has Finnish passport, they currently reside outside Finland (EU country).

Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland, he says it is easier and he can do it alone (no signature of the other spouse is needed). I find information on internet that it is possible - the petition for divorce could be filed by only one of the spouses. She is worried, that since she does not live in Finland, the process can happen behind her back, including a decision in regards of a child custody and living arrangements/maintenance for a child.

I wonder is this scenario possible?? I read that if only one of the spouses petitions for divorce, the district court serves the petition on the other spouse and reserves him or her an opportunity to issue a written statement containing his or her opinion on the petition. She is afraid, that since she lives outside Finland she might not be delivered a letter, etc.
The court doesn’t just, for example, send a letter through first class mail and consider it delivered. It will have to be served to her according to the requirements of her country of residency. If she hasn’t, she could check the information in the population register.
And the court will not decide on child custody without hearing the other parent and the child.

It might also be complicated to do this through a Finnish court:
1. In which country can you file for divorce?
2. The law of which country will be applied for the divorce?
3. The law of which country will be applied for child custody?
These can be three different countries, even if the divorce is at a Finnish court it might apply the law of the country where you are currently living for child custody and/or divorce.

betelgeuse
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 am

Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by betelgeuse » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:26 am

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:50 am
And the court will not decide on child custody without hearing the other parent and the child.

It might also be complicated to do this through a Finnish court:
1. In which country can you file for divorce?
2. The law of which country will be applied for the divorce?
3. The law of which country will be applied for child custody?
These can be three different countries, even if the divorce is at a Finnish court it might apply the law of the country where you are currently living for child custody and/or divorce.
And even, if the Finnish court were to issue a decision under Finnish law, there is the question whether the judgment can be enforcement in her country of residence.

FinlandGirl
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Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FinlandGirl » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:54 pm

betelgeuse wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:26 am
FinlandGirl wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:50 am
And the court will not decide on child custody without hearing the other parent and the child.

It might also be complicated to do this through a Finnish court:
1. In which country can you file for divorce?
2. The law of which country will be applied for the divorce?
3. The law of which country will be applied for child custody?
These can be three different countries, even if the divorce is at a Finnish court it might apply the law of the country where you are currently living for child custody and/or divorce.
And even, if the Finnish court were to issue a decision under Finnish law, there is the question whether the judgment can be enforcement in her country of residence.
All countries involved are EU, so mutual recognition recognition of all decisions is basically guaranteed.
European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children wrote:A decision relating to custody given in a Contracting State shall be recognised and, where it is enforceable in the State of origin, made enforceable in every other Contracting State.

FriendZ
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:43 pm

Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FriendZ » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:24 pm

Thank you all. Do I understand it correctly that you could check on the Population register whether a divorce was filed in your name?

betelgeuse
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by betelgeuse » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:44 pm

FriendZ wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:24 pm
Thank you all. Do I understand it correctly that you could check on the Population register whether a divorce was filed in your name?
You can’t. The information there should be checked to verify current address.

Upphew
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by Upphew » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:43 am

FriendZ wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm
Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland
And Finnish court should see if they have jurisdiction on the case. They might not: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/f ... dex_en.htm
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FinlandGirl
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:10 am

Upphew wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:43 am
FriendZ wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm
Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland
And Finnish court should see if they have jurisdiction on the case. They might not: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/f ... dex_en.htm
Finland is not among the 17 countries partiticipating in Rome III, so most of this information is not applicable.

Upphew
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by Upphew » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:23 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:10 am
Upphew wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:43 am
FriendZ wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm
Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland
And Finnish court should see if they have jurisdiction on the case. They might not: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/f ... dex_en.htm
Finland is not among the 17 countries partiticipating in Rome III, so most of this information is not applicable.
Thanks for correction.

What about avioliittolaki 119 §? It seems that you need to live in Finland to use Finnish legislation and courts for divorce.
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FinlandGirl
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:57 pm

Upphew wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:23 pm
FinlandGirl wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:10 am
Upphew wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:43 am

And Finnish court should see if they have jurisdiction on the case. They might not: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/f ... dex_en.htm
Finland is not among the 17 countries partiticipating in Rome III, so most of this information is not applicable.
Thanks for correction.

What about avioliittolaki 119 §? It seems that you need to live in Finland to use Finnish legislation and courts for divorce.
At the end it says that Brussels II (2201/2003) has precedence, which has rules similar to Rome III that you file for divorce in Finland when both partners are Finnish citizens.

FinlandGirl
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:17 pm

FriendZ wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:57 pm
Hi, I am asking on behalf of a friend - her husband is Finnish, she is the EU citizen, they have a kid who has Finnish passport, they currently reside outside Finland (EU country).

Her husband wants to file for a divorce in Finland, he says it is easier
He might not be able to file for divorce in Finland unless she is also a Finnish citizen.

It is unlikely to be easy when a Finnish court might have to handle the divorce based on a foreign law, and child custody based on the law of the country where the child is currently living.

For definite information she should consult a lawyer specialized on international private law.

FriendZ
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:43 pm

Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FriendZ » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:23 pm

Thank you. It's still not clear to me :( My friend says her current husband keeps threatening her to file for divorce in Finland and she cannot do anything. Is there any website where she could check information whether the divorce application has been filed? Whom she should notify of her current address? Many thanks again

FinlandGirl
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:31 pm

FriendZ wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:23 pm
Thank you. It's still not clear to me :( My friend says her current husband keeps threatening her to file for divorce in Finland and she cannot do anything.
What is actually the threat?
If he wants to divorce her that is fair enough, and there is no point in staying in a marriage when the other spouse wants out.

She should ask a lawyer in the country where they are currently living what divorce terms would be most favourable for her.
Filing for divorce might have to happen in the country where they are living.
They can likely agree together to choose which law to use for the divorce. Whether this is better for her than the law of the country where they are living depends on the country and her situation. Divorce under Finnish law tends to be fast and with no payment obligations to the other spouse, other countries often have slower divorces and more payment obligations.
Child custody and alimony will likely be decided based on the law of the country where they are currently living.

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mrjimsfc
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Re: Divorce behind a back. is that possible in Finland??

Post by mrjimsfc » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:11 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:31 pm
Divorce under Finnish law tends to be fast and with no payment obligations to the other spouse, other countries often have slower divorces and more payment obligations.
Child custody and alimony will likely be decided based on the law of the country where they are currently living.
Thus it would be an advantage(for any female) to get divorced almost anywhere but Finland. :lightbulb:
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