Marriage and Divorce Information

Disclaimer: This information is supplied to American citizens planning to get married in Sweden. The information also covers cases where an American citizen plans to marry a Swedish citizen/resident. It is accurate according to Swedish law, but may be subject to change. The Embassy can therefore not assume legal responsibility for the information herein. U.S. citizens seeking detailed advice on marriage in Sweden should contact the Swedish Tax Authorities (Skatteverket), which may be reached at phone number 0771-567 567 (from within Sweden), or at phone number +46 8 564 851 60 (from overseas).

Getting Married in Sweden

According to Swedish law, all non-residents/non-citizens of Sweden who wishes to get married in Sweden should present a document from their home country stating their marital status. Since in there is no national registry in the U.S., no equivalent national document can be obtained from the U.S. However, certain states/counties may issue a document regarding a person’s marital status, or a so-called “Record of No Record”. Check with your local County Clerk’s office, or Vital Statistics office, to find out if such a document is available. If not, ask the office, if possible, to put in writing that no such document exists in the particular state. You may easily find the websites of these offices by using a search engine, such as Google.

The Swedish tax authorities are aware of the difficulties in obtaining a document relating to marital status from the U.S. If no such document is available from your home state, and the county clerk’s office or Vital Statistics office, would not give you a written statement regarding the unavailability, the Swedish tax authorities (Skatteverket) may waive this requirement. Make sure to check with the tax authorities.

In addition, the following regulations should be considered if applicable:

  • If previously married – Evidence of termination of previous marriages is required in the form of a certified copy of the final divorce decree or a certified copy of the record of death of the deceased spouse. The officiant may require that the divorce decree be authenticated by the issuing agency. (For more information regarding authentications, please see Notary Public Services.) Swedish law may also require that the divorce be confirmed by a Swedish Court of Appeal (Hovrätten);
  • If a minor – Parents’ or Guardians’ consent is required of an American citizen who is a minor (under age 18). Consent must take the form of an affidavit executed by both parents, or by the guardian;
  • If serving in the US armed forces – Members of the U.S. Armed Forces should check with their Commanding Officer regarding the necessity of permission to marry.

Make sure to contact the Swedish tax authorities well in advance of your planned wedding to make sure you are in possession of all necessary documents.

In addition to the U.S. document concerning your marital status previously described, the Swedish tax authorities will ask you to submit information regarding the regulations of marriage in your state. The Embassy can unfortunately not assist in obtaining the marriage laws from individual states in the U.S. You should contact you county clerk’s office and ask for a certified extract of the rules governing marriage in your particular state/county (i.e. what the requirements are to obtain a Marriage License). The regulations must be certified and signed by an authorized official, and be stamped and dated. The Swedish tax authorities will accept a faxed copy.

Both groom and bride will also complete a form regarding marital status, Hindersprövning, which is obtained from the Swedish tax authorities (Skatteverket). A personal appearance is needed to submit the paperwork.

Please note: Make sure to contact the Swedish tax authorities well in advance of your planned wedding to make sure you are in possession of all necessary documents.

Each U.S. state has its own set of rules regarding marriage, and the Embassy can unfortunately not provide marriage information for the individual U.S. states. For information on U.S. marriage requirements, please contact the appropriate state office directly, usually the office of the county clerk or a marriage license bureau.

You may also visit the U.S. Government website, or you may find useful information on the About.com website.

If a marriage, or divorce, is valid according to Swedish law, the marriage/divorce would also be considered valid in the U.S. No special forms or applications have to be filed. The same applies to U.S. marriages/divorces; if the marriage/divorce is valid according to U.S. law, it would also be considered valid in Sweden. However, if you get married/divorced in the U.S., your marriage/divorce will not be automatically registered in Sweden. You need to contact the Swedish tax authorities (Skatteverket), phone number 0771 567 567 (from overseas +46 8 564 851 60), in order to have your marriage registered in Sweden.

If you wish to register your Swedish marriage in the U.S., you need to request an English version of your Swedish marriage certificate, which is a so-called “Personbevis” from the Swedish tax authorities which lists both spouses’ names, and obtain an Apostille certification from a Swedish notary public (found in the phone book under “notarius publicus”), and send that to the Office of Vital Statistics of the appropriate U.S. state. Contact information to the different Vital Statistics offices.

If you wish to register your Swedish divorce in the U.S., you need have your Divorce Decree from the District Court (Tingsratten) translated by an authorized translator, and obtain an Apostille certification from a Swedish notary public (found in the phone book under “notarius publicus”). Send the translated Divorce Decree to the Office of Vital Statistics of the appropriate U.S. state. Contact information to the different Vital Statistics offices.

Regardless of place of marriage, the U.S. or Sweden, you may file for divorce in either country. No documents are needed from the Embassy in these matters.

In order to get divorced in Sweden, your marriage must be registered with the Swedish tax authorities, and you need to contact a District Court, “Tingsrätt.” Please visit this website for contact information to the different District Courts in Sweden.

Bans of Marriage – Publication of Bans of Marriage is voluntary. If the prospective bride and groom decide to have the bans read, the bans must be read on three successive Sundays in the parish where the application has been made.

Wedding ceremony within the Church of Sweden – 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. The parish office can provide you with further details on this subject. For a civil ceremony, you can obtain information from the Local Tax Administration.

Marriage Officiant – A marriage officiant has to be contacted as soon as possible to organize a time and date as certain times of the year get booked very quickly. In Stockholm, you can contact the following:

a) Stockholm County Administration Office (Länsstyrelsen), Box 22067, Hantverkargatan 29. Tel: 46-8-785 4008, email: stockholm@lansstyrelsen.se.

b) Stockholms Tingsrätt (Rådhuset), Scheelegatan 7, 112 28 Stockholm. Tel: 46-8-657 5720, email: stockholms.tingsratt.administrativa@dom.se

c) The Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset), Ragnar Östbergs Plan, 105 35 Stockholm. Tel: 46-8-508 29006.

Official Marriage Certificate – After the marriage has been performed, contact the Swedish tax authorities again bringing the document from the ceremony (“Vigselbevis”), in order to obtain the official registration of your marriage.

Marriage and Immigration – The alien spouse of an American citizen must have a visa prior to entering the United States to reside. You should contact the Immigrant Visa Unit of the Embassy for further information on visa requirements.