Living in Finland


Avioliiton ja parisuhteen ongelmat
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Problems in marriage and relationships

Relationship problems

Relationship problems can be dealt with in couple’s therapy and family therapy. Such problems can include communication difficulties, infidelity or jealousy, i.e. the fear of losing your partner. Couple’s therapy and family therapy are provided by family counselling centres (perheneuvola) and family mediators (perheasiain sovittelija), the Church Family Counselling Centre (Kirkon perheasiain neuvottelukeskus) and the Finnish Association for Mental Health (Suomen Mielenterveysseura). The Church Family Counselling Centre provides free-of-charge assistance in English and Swedish even if you do not belong to the church.

More information on violence in the family or in a relationship is available on the InfoFinland web page Violence.

linkkiThe Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland:
Information on family counselling provided by the churchFinnish | Swedish

Help in relationship problemsFinnish

linkkiMinistry of Justice:
Information on family mediationFinnish | Swedish | English

Divorce and custody of children

Divorce applications can be filed with the district court of your municipality of residence. You can file for divorce independently or together with your spouse. Divorce must be applied for twice, i.e. in two phases. Upon the submission of the divorce application to the district court (käräjäoikeus), a six-month reconsideration period begins. Once this period is over, divorce must be filed for within six months. The divorce will not become official until the second application has been approved.

If you have children under 18 with your spouse, their situation can be resolved at the same time as applying for the divorce. It can be agreed upon who will take custody of the children, where they will live and when each parent can see them. At this time, you can also agree upon maintenance, i.e. financial support, paid by one of the parents for the child/children. You can settle the issues with your spouse or contact your local social office (sosiaalitoimisto).

If your marriage ends, you may require both mental support and legal aid. Legal aid can be requested at the Public Legal Aid Office (oikeusaputoimisto). Mental support can be received, for example, in various support groups intended for divorcees. These activities are organised by parishes and various organisations, for example.

More information on matters related to the custody of children is available on the InfoFinland pages Divorce, Single parent families and What is a family?.

linkkiJudicial System:
Filing for a divorceFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiJudicial system:
Legal Aid OfficesFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiThe Finnish Bar Association:
LawyersFinnish | Swedish | English