The divorce statistics are based on data on granted decrees of divorce transmitted to the Population Register Centre by courts of law. The statistics also include cases where a permanent resident of Finland is granted a divorce by a foreign court. If the divorce is granted abroad, it must be reported to the register keeper for registration of divorce. Exceptions are divorces granted to Finnish citizens in Sweden, on which the Swedish register keeper notifies the Finnish counterpart directly.
A divorce granted to a Finnish citizen abroad usually requires validation by the Helsinki Court of Appeal before registration. Divorce decisions given in the Nordic Countries and in the EU countries as of 1 March 2001 can be registered without validation.
As of 1980 'divorces' refer to the divorces of females permanently resident in Finland, unless otherwise indicated.
The amendment to the Marriage Act (411/1987), effective from 1 January 1988, simplified divorce proceedings. Divorce figures began to rise towards the end of 1988, when the first divorces (after a reconsideration period of six months) became effective under the new legislation. The Marriage Act no longer has regulations on 'cancellation of marriage' or 'nullification of marriage'. Before the new act came into force in 1988 these were in separate groups, now among divorces.
Validity of the definition