Do I need to give her 50% of the value of the summer house?


I am from Australia and moved to Sweden with my girlfriend who is Swedish. After two years of living in Sweden i decided to sell my house in Australia and buy a vacation house in Sweden. I put 1.2 million SEK of my money and she put in 200.000 SEK.
We lived in the middle of the city, but when we bought the summer house I registered as living in the summer house. She was registered and lived in our apartment in town, so we had like a särbo-relation. We started to have many problems after the birth of our child and I decided it was good for us to have some space, so I practically moved to the summer house.

Now 5 years later we are separating and she wants me to sign a “bodelning” in which it is stated that we bought this house with the intention to be a permanent residence, which is not true. She works in the city and our son goes to school in the there, so for them to live in our summer house would have been impossible as it is 1 hour drive south.

I have found out that the reason she wants to claim that it is a permanent house is because a fritidshus is not a part of the 50/50 sambo law you have here in Sweden.

My question is: do I need to give her 50% of the value of the house despite me putting 6 times more deposit money? Please be aware that it is a fritidshus and not a permanent residence

Hi. Thank you for your question,

In a Swedish estate division (bodelning), only so called cohabitant property (samboegendom) is included. A cohabitant’s remaining property is his or hers to take from the split without sharing.

The cohabitant property consists of the cohabitant’s shared residence and household goods. To qualify as cohabitant property, the residence and household goods also have to be originally obtained with the intention to be used by the cohabitants together.

Based on your description of your situation, the summer house you bought was never intended for you to be used as your common permanent residence. The summer house is therefore not cohabitant property. Consequently, the summer house is not to be included in the estate division.

Even though the summer house is not be included in the estate division, you still own the house together if you bought it together. Additionally, if you took loans together in order to purchase the house, both of you are still responsible for those loans. Consequently, your split does not effect your ownership of the house.

Finally, if it is more than a year since you ”practically” moved out from your shared apartment to the summer house, the rules applying to cohabitants might not be applicable in your case at all. When you and your girlfriend stopped living together, you also stopped being cohabitants. According to Swedish law, a former cohabitant must demand estate division within a year from when he or she ceased to live as a cohabitant. If this is the case in your situation, then you are able to refuse estate division.

If you and your girlfriend cannot agree on what to include in the estate division, or whether she is right to demand estate division at all, you may apply for an estate distribution executor (bodelningsförättare) at the district court.

Kind regards,
Zeijersborger & Co

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