8 What does the law provide for the property of registered and non-registered partners?
Registered partnership The Act (1994:1117) on Registered Partnership (The Partnership Act) expired at the end of April 2009. At the same time same-sex couples gained access to marriage. The repealed Partnership Act continues to give rise to legal effects in respect of couples who entered into a partnership before the end of April 2009 and have not converted their partnership into a marriage since then. The deferred community of property system is applied in its entirety as regards registered partners.
Cohabitation outside marriage In Swedish law cohabitation outside marriage is regulated by a special law: the Cohabitees Act (2003:376). The Cohabitees Act applies to two unmarried persons of the same or different sex, living permanently together in a relationship and sharing the same household. The law is intended as a protection regulation for the financially weaker party, and no registration of the relationship takes place. When cohabitation ends § 2), either party may request the division of property within one year (§ 8). Division of property rules according to the Cohabitees Act are based on the division rules of the Marriage Code. However, the property which may be subject to division according to the Cohabitees Act is much less extensive, in that only the cohabitees’ joint home and household goods which are purchased for joint use may be subject to division (so-called cohabitee property). Property used primarily for recreational purposes as well as property acquired before the cohabitation began are excluded. The net value of the cohabitee property is divided and the partner who owns the most cohabitee property may choose whether equalization shall take place by payment of a lump sum or by transfer of assets of equivalent value (§ 17). The cohabitee with the greatest need of the home can be granted the right to take over the dwelling when the cohabitation ends, even if it is owned by the other cohabitee alone, on the condition that the property is held by lease or tenant ownership (in Swedish: bostadsrätt) (§ 22). As with spouses, restrictions on the disposal of the common home apply for unmarried cohabitees (§§ 23-25). The cohabitees may agree that the division of property rules of the Cohabitees Act shall not apply to them (§ 9). The request for division of property must be submitted no later than one year after the relationship has ended (§ 8 para. 2). In addition, unmarried cohabiting couples, as well as spouses, are able to conclude a preliminary agreement on division of property when the cohabitation is about to end (§ 9).
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Couples in Sweden
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