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Separation and divorce

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    Spouses or registered partners who no longer wish to live together can file for separation and divorce. Neither separation nor divorce requires the parties to agree. It is sufficient for just one partner to no longer wish to stay together.

    Target group

    Couples who are married or registered partners.


    The only condition for separation is for one or both parties to no longer wish to live together. Divorce can be granted on two different grounds:

    • If the couple has been formally separated for at least one year. The parties must file for divorce themselves.
    • If the couple has lived separately for two years without formally being separated by obtaining a certificate or judgement. This depends on the parties agreeing and that they both sign the application or express agreement to the conditions.

    Married couples with children under the age of 16 must attend mediation before the case is brought before the court or the county governor. The purpose of mediation is to reach an agreement regarding custody, visitation rights or where the child/children will live.

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    Guidelines – applying for, or receiving the service

    File for separation or divorce by using a form from the Ministry of Children and Equality. The county governor will be able to provide you with further details about the procedure.


    A marriage certificate and valid mediation certificate. A mediation certificate must be enclosed with the application only in cases where the couple has a child under the age of 16 which they have had together.

  • Saksbehandling

    Administrative procedure

    Once the county governor has received the application, the parties can be summoned to appear in person if the county governor deems it appropriate. In all cases where possible, the county governor will obtain confirmation that the couple has lived separately during their period of separation and that they have not resumed living together. If the conditions for divorce are met, the county governor can grant a divorce certificate.

    Time taken to consider the application

    The county governor will process the case as soon as possible. If a decision cannot be reached on the case within one month, you will receive a written message stating the reason as to why. You will also be informed of when the decision is expected to be made.

    Possibilities to appeal; procedure

    Either party may appeal the decision within a deadline of three weeks from the date on which they received it. Send your appeal to the county governor. Indicate in your appeal what part of the decision you wish to be changed and provide justification for the changes. The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs serves as the administrative appeal body. Before the appeal is sent there, the county governor will consider whether there is any reason to change the decision. 

    The parties can waive the right to appeal the decision in advance.

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    Tjenesten oppdatert: 16.02.2018 16:32

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