Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Swedish Divorce Jurisdiction


Jeremy D. Morley[1]

Swedish courts have divorce jurisdiction as provided in the European Union's Brussels II bis regulation, if:
          a. Both spouses are habitually resident in Sweden; or
          b. Both spouses were last habitually resident in Sweden, and one still resides there; or
          c. The defendant is habitually resident in Sweden; or
          d. The plaintiff is habitually resident in Sweden, and either has resided there for at least a year preceding the application or is a Swedish national; or
          e. Both spouses are Swedish nationals.
But the European Court of Justice ruled in the case of Sundelind Lopez v. Lopez Lizazo (Case C-68/07) ECJ 3 338 that, unless another European Union Member State has jurisdiction under “Brussels II,” Swedish courts also have personal jurisdiction if the requirements that are provided by an ancient law from 1904 known as the “law on certain international legal relationships concerning marriage and guardianship.”
Under that law, there are two additional grounds for jurisdiction, as follows:
f. If the plaintiff is a Swedish citizen and is habitually resident in Sweden; or
g. If the plaintiff is a Swedish citizen and has been habitually resident there at any time after attaining the age of 18.
 

[1] Jeremy D. Morley is a New York lawyer, not a Swedish lawyer. He works on many Swedish – U.S. family law cases with Swedish counsel.