How Family Law Works In Sweden And The Nordic Countries

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Posted: 6th December 2023 by
Lawyer Monthly
Last updated 12th July 2024
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Family law is an interesting and complex area within the law.

It’s also an area that is changing alongside the development of culture and family structures. So, how does family law work in Sweden and the Nordic countries today, when do you need a family lawyer – and how do you become one yourself? Here you’ll find a 360° on the topic of family law.

Family law is an interesting and ever-changing area of law. In countries like Sweden and other Nordic countries, family law is trying to keep up with the changes that are happening in the field of family and private life in these years. 

All Nordic countries have various statutory provisions that ensure that citizens need to follow to stay within the boundaries of the law. In Sweden, for example, both parents are obligated to participate in supporting their child until the child turns 18 years old as it is stated by law. But when it comes to family law, much of the work doesn’t necessarily revolve around violations of the law but disputes, conflicts and discrepancies within the family sphere. 

A family lawyer deals with the legal aspects of family situations like divorce, child custody, adoption, prenuptial agreements etc. There are many subspecialties that a family lawyer can undertake within this field. For example, some family lawyers specialize only in the field of marriage and divorce. In Sweden and other Nordic countries, there are plenty of family lawyers covering many areas. But when is it relevant to hire a family lawyer? 

When is it relevant to hire a family lawyer

There are quite a lot of different situations where it might make sense to hire a family lawyer. In the Nordic countries, it is not quite so common to hire lawyers as in the US, for example. Most families like to manage things on their own if possible or use lawyers to a minimum degree. 

But of course, there are lots of times when a family lawyer is needed. In Sweden, one of the popular choices is Familjens Jurist, specialists in family law. They help Swedes with all kinds of legal matters whether bypassing or long-lasting. They make it easy to read up on the relevant topics beforehand and get answers to many of the questions one might have before actually hiring a lawyer. They also prioritize making it easy to contact them online, so there's a minimum of inconvenience involved. 

Often, it’s relevant to hire a family lawyer, if you are in the middle of a family dispute that needs assistance or you have legal matters evolving family law that need to be taken care of. If you’re discussing child custody, going into an abortion process or separating assets within a family about situations like divorce or death, you should have a lawyer to help you out with the proceedings. 

How to find the right family lawyer in Sweden

There are several ways to go about it if you decide that you want to hire a family lawyer in Sweden. There are lots to choose from, so you can find one that fits your preferences and needs of expertise. 

Their specialization should be at the forefront of your decision. You should choose one that has a lot of experience within the field you need them for. Considering the area, you will probably be glad if you choose someone with an office in your area. 

This makes it much easier to deal with in everyday life. Try to also pick someone who you have a good connection with. Especially, if you’re in an uncomfortable legal situation, you are going to need a lawyer that understands you and that you understand. 

This is why it can be a good idea to do some research and look around before choosing a family lawyer. Today, you can easily go online and take a look at the selection of family lawyers in Sweden or any other Nordic country. It’s never been easier to find and contact a lawyer if you need legal representation of some kind. 

Is it expensive to get legal representation in Sweden?

Just as it is in most other countries, hiring a lawyer in Sweden is no cheap matter. But lawyers do charge depending on a variety of factors. So, the hourly rate will depend on the lawyer you choose and their experience level. 

If you do have a complex case it will be more expensive than if you just have a straightforward standard family law case. It’s possible to apply for legal aid if you don’t have the funds to pay for a lawyer. Lots of lawyers do pro bono cases, so this is something to consider. 

When will a case of family law go to court?

Most cases go to court. If there’s any form of paperwork that needs to be filed with the court, it’s officially gone to court. So, if you’re getting divorced, for example, it is the court that needs to decide to dissolve the marriage. 

But the difference is whether it’s gone to trial. In Sweden and other Nordic countries, very few family law cases go to trial. When they do, it’s to settle the disputes between two parties, this could be two parents fighting for custody of their child. 

Understanding how family law works

It’s not an easy task to understand the finer workings of family law or any other area of the law. This is why you should always contact a lawyer to help you understand whether and how to proceed in legal matters. 

Whether it’s regarding marriage, divorce, civil partnership, finances, property, division of assets, child support or custody, there might be some area of the law that you as a layman aren’t aware of. Many lawyers offer a free consultation to clarify whether hiring a lawyer is the right choice for you in the specific situation and which type of lawyer you should go with.

What you can do is try to research Swedish family law and the specific area you’re dealing with to find some government guides, and brochures on how to proceed. They will inform you of the basic rules and the potential changes that have been to them in later years. 

You can easily read up and understand the basics of family law but if you’re dealing with a more complex matter, it’s always recommended to consult a family lawyer with expertise in that particular field. 

To sum up

When discussing family law in Sweden or other Nordic countries, the topics in play are such as marriage, divorce, prenuptial agreements, adoption, child custody, division of assets within a family or other disputes within a family. The lawyers working in this field in Sweden are often specialized in a specific field. 

This is why you should always make sure to contact a lawyer if you think you might need legal representation of some kind. Even though it is expensive to hire a lawyer, the expense depends on your situation and the expertise needed. When trying to understand family law, you must consult experts on the topic.

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