MARRIAGE IN SWEDEN
Marriage in Sweden is governed by "The Marriage Code (Äktenskapsbalken) SFS 1987:230". A marriage in Sweden is often compared with a partnership. However, the same-sex marriage is legal and termed as 'Partnership'. The same-sex couple can enjoy the rights of married couple with except few as enunciated in the code. The Swedish law considers 18 years or above to be a marriageable age for both man and woman.
A wedding in Sweden may take place either in a church or before a civil authority. But the same-sex-marriage is prohibited in a church.
PROCEDURE FOR SWEDEN MARRIAGE
In most cases the local district court is the site of civil weddings. A civil marriage is performed by a judge at a district court or by a special officer appointed by the county administrative board to perform civil marriage ceremonies. The ceremony is often short. To be able to get married in Sweden the couple must first complete a procedure for an investigation into possible impediments (hindersprövning). The Local Tax Office (Lokala skattekontoret) handles this procedure in the district in which the parties are registered. They give the certificate thereto.
What are the Impediments to the marriage?
- Man and woman below the age of 18 years.
- Persons of direct blood relation
A person who is already married or a registered partner may not enter into a new marriage while such marriage or partnership subsists.
Registration of marriage and Marriage Certificate
Civil marriage ceremonies are performed after filling the prescribed form. There are two prescribed forms. The bride and bridegroom are free to choose one of the forms to be used in the ceremony.
Application for marriage in Sweden must be made by personal appearance at the Local Tax Administration ("Skatteförvaltningen") where the bride or groom-to-be has permanent or temporary residence in Sweden.
After the marriage has been performed the Local Tax Authority has to be contacted again with the document from the ceremony, in order to obtain the marriage certificate.
A CHURCH WEDDING
A marriage can also be performed within the Church of Sweden or within another religious community that has obtained a special permit from the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency to perform marriage ceremonies. A church wedding in the Church of Sweden (a Lutheran State Church) can be undertaken only if one or both parties to the marriage is/are registered with the Church of Sweden. Only a Swedish citizen or a foreign resident of Sweden may be a member of the Church. Further details on this subject may be obtained from the parish office. If the prospective bride and groom decide to have the banns read, the banns must be read on three successive Sundays in the parish where the application has been made.
The bride and bridegroom must possess or arrange the following documents prior to their marriage so as to furnish on demand by the authority solemnizing the marriage at the time of marriage:
- For Identity
- Certified birth certificate, showing the completion of 18 years of age.
Proof Of Being Single
A certificate of no impediment (hindersprövning).
If Previously Married
- If the event of death of the spouse, the person marrying has to provide a certified, notarized copy of the death certificate.
If the person marrying is divorcee, has to provide a certified, notarized copy of your final decree of divorce.
PROCEDURE FOR MARRIAGE BY FOREIGNERS
The Procedure for a civil marriage to be followed by foreigners as described above in procedure for marriage and the documents that are to be furnished may include the following:
- A valid passport
A birth certificate
If married before, evidence of termination of the previous marriage.
If divorced, the divorce decree, which may have to state the date it became effective.
- May also need the marriage certificate of the previous marriage.
- If widowed, then the death certificate of your former spouse and may also need the marriage certificate of the previous marriage.
The documentation must be presented, in the form that is required (i.e. original or certified copies, with or without apostille stamp), in the necessary language.
Documents must be in the applicants legal name, or where you have changed your name you need to provide affidavits.
Proof of being free to marry: Every person who will marry in Sweden shall present a certificate (Hindersprövning) concerning his civil status in his home parish. However, if a person is not registered in any Swedish parish, and if such certificates are not available in the country, the Swedish official will customarily accept an affidavit by the person(s) in place of the "hindersprövning". The affidavit must generally be executed and sworn (or affirmed) to before the consular officer at the respective Embassy of the foreigner. The notarial fee for the affidavit is vary from embassy to embassy. If it is inconvenient to have the affidavit signed at the Embassy in Stockholm, it is suggested that it be signed before a Swedish notary public "notarius publicus", provided this is acceptable to the Local Tax Administration.
However, the documents that are to be submitted vary from country to country (and often between states, districts and counties within a country).