Dissolution of cohabitation

When cohabitation is dissolved, the property of the spouses is divided, i.e., separated. The spouses may conclude a written agreement on the division of property, i.e., a separation agreement, a compensation agreement, or other document.

We record these agreements. However, registration is not obligatory, and it has no effect on the validity of the agreements.

Who are cohabiting partners?

Cohabiting partners refer to partners who have lived in a joint household for at least five years or who have, or have had, joint custody of a child.
Married couples are not cohabiting partners. 

What are separation and the separation deed? What about the compensation agreement?

The separation of property takes place when cohabitation ends in a breakup or death. Separation of property means that both cohabiting partners keep their own property. This can be requested by the partner or an heir of the deceased partner. A separation agreement is a document in which the division of property is recorded.

Sometimes spouses will not retain their own property entirely. Instead, one will give compensation to the other. This may be the case, for example, if one cohabiting partner has helped the other cohabiting partner to build up their assets through their contribution to the household. In this case, the partner who has accumulated property would gain an unjustified advantage if both partners kept their own property. A separate compensation agreement may be created or agreed upon in connection with the separation agreement.


How do I make a separation or compensation agreement?

You can use the services of a lawyer or a public legal aid office in the preparation of the agreement. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency cannot help in formulating the prenuptial agreement.

For a separation or compensation agreement to be valid, it must be 

  • in writing 
  • dated 
  • signed 
  • witnessed by two impartial witnesses.

However, the witnesses only need to certify the authenticity of the signatures, and they do not need to be present when the document is signed.
You are disqualified as a witness if the person making the agreement is, for example

  • your current or former spouse or cohabiting partner
  • your sibling 
  • your parent 
  • your child 
  • a family member of one of the above.

The witness must be aged 15 or over and understand the significance of witnessing.

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency does not comment on the content of the agreement.

In other words, you must ensure that the content and form of the agreement sent to us are expedient. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency does not ensure that the witnesses are impartial or otherwise check the content of the agreement or any formal errors.

Please, note as well that the registration does not correct formatting errors. It is therefore possible that a registered agreement may not be valid if it contains formal errors.

When should I register a separation agreement or compensation agreement?

Registration is only worthwhile if one of the partners has handed over their property to the other or paid considerably more compensation than they would have been obliged to do. In fact, if they subsequently go bankrupt or go through debt recovery procedure, the cohabiting partner who has received too much property or compensation in the division may be subject to a recovery claim. Registration may provide protection against such claims.


Do the following 

1. Draw up the separation agreement. You can use the services of a lawyer or a public legal aid office in the preparation of the document. By using the services of a professional, you can ensure that the agreement meets all legal and other formal requirements. Unfortunately, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency cannot help in the preparation of the agreement. 

2.  Print out and complete the application for registering the separation agreement. If you use an agent, they need a power of attorney to apply for registration. However, a power of attorney is not required if the agent is an attorney, a public legal counsel or a licensed legal counsel.

Application form (the form is in Finnish) 

3. Send the application and the original deed of division to the address below or bring them to the mailbox of any of our service locations. Do not send any documents by email because we need the original documents. 

4. We will return the original deed of division to you by post. The registration certificate and the invoice for the registration will be sent separately.


In 2024: EUR 82.

Additional information https://dvv.fi/en/invoicing

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