Divorce in Norway: Division of Assets
Divorce in Norway: Division of AssetsUpdated on Friday 22nd February 2019
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In Norway, divorces must follow the procedures indicated by the Civil Code. Before starting the process, a person should get in contact with a Norwegian lawyer in order to become aware of the rights and obligations that he/she has according to the law. An important issue that is going to be decided in a divorce procedure is the division of assets between the spouses.
Our attorneys in Norway are ready to assist you with legal advice in order to support your claims regarding the distribution of property. Our law firm in Norway has the necessary legal expertise in order to represent Norwegian and foreign persons in front of a local court.
Disclosing financial assets in Norway
Before a proper division can take place, the law requires the elaboration of a complete assets declaration. This list should include any kind of properties, income or pension of the two spouses. Other financial resources such as life insurances must also be included in this declaration. The disclosure of the financial assets must be supported by proving documents.
The sale of any kind of property during the last year preceding the divorce procedure must be declared as well. The same rule applies to gifts or any kind of property disposal in which one of the spouses has been involved. Debts must also be declared at this point of the procedure.
The disclosure of assets is an obligation for both spouses and if one of them refuses to comply, the other one has the right to bring the process in court. Our law firm in Norway can help you with more information on the division of assets in this country and our attorneys can propose legal solutions for receiving your claims during a separation process.
Division of assets in Norway
The division of assets during a divorce should not necessarily be decided in court. There are also other legal options which involve less costs and time and that can be utilized for settling the problem much smoothly. Through mediation, for example, the spouses can negotiate the division of their assets and reach an agreement. If this is not the case and the matter cannot be decided by mutual understanding, then the process can continue in court.
What are the main parties involved in a divorce procedure in Norway?
When handling a divorce procedure in Norway and any other legal matter deriving from the Family Law, it is necessary to know that such proceedings are held in private. As mentioned above, when entering a divorce procedure, the first option is to handle the case through a private agreement outside the court, and this is the general tendency in Norway.
However, when the parties do not reach an agreement, the division of assets will fall under the supervision of the County Governor or it will be handled through the Civil Court of Norway. In the situation in which the parties have to address to a legal administrative body that can offer a resolution on the division of assets, the first option is the County Governor. In this case, one of the spouses (or both of them) has to file a form concerning the case with the Country Governor.
Provided that the couple filing for divorce has children, the child maintenance matters are to be decided by the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Organization. Our law firm in Norway can provide an in-depth presentation regarding the rights of the parent who has obtained the custody of a child (or children) following a divorce procedure.
Who can file for divorce in Norway?
In order to have the right to file for divorce in Norway and be able to divide the assets owned by the spouses, several requirements have to be met. Thus, a person can file for divorce with the Country Governor or with the local courts in the following cases:
- • the defendant has obtained the right to residency in Norway;
- • the plaintiff is a resident of Norway or he or she has lived in this country;
- • the plaintiff is a citizen of Norway and has not been able to start the legal proceedings in the country where the defendant is a citizen;
- • the divorce procedure is filed on one of the legal grounds concerning the separation of spouses, as prescribed by the applicable legislation in Norway;
- • the parties filing for divorce got married in Norway and the plaintiff was not able to bring the claims in a court where the other party is a resident.
What are the main procedures for the division of assets in Norway?
Norway has ratified over the years numerous acts applicable at an international level. When discussing the division of property of two spouses, it is necessary to know that Norway applies the regulations of the Norwegian International Private Case Law. Under the stipulations of the law, the division of assets and the manner in which such assets are distributed between the spouses can be decided following the national legislation of the country in which the parties have had their first joint domicile.
The administration of the assets that are to be divided between the couple that filed for divorce is handled by the Norwegian District Court. However, it is necessary to know that the division of assets usually takes place at a reasonable period of time after the divorce was granted. In Norway, the spouses can obtain the divorce without settling matters concerning property and other assets, but it is important to mention that the courts can only decide on the division of jointly held assets.
Separate assets are not included in the procedure regarding the division of assets following a divorce in Norway. However, a party can bring claims against the separate assets held by the other spouse, but this can only happen through a civil lawsuit. The civil lawsuit is also the main option for partners who have lived in cohabitation as, according to the Norwegian law, their assets will not be considered joint assets.
In the situation in which the parties have signed an agreement on the division of assets prior to getting married or during their marriage, when filing for divorce, they will not benefit from a ruling concerning the division of their assets, as they have to be shared as prescribed by the respective document. If a party no longer agrees with the stipulations of the agreement, the main option is to enter a civil lawsuit. Our team of lawyers in Norway can offer legal representation in any type of civil lawsuit regarding legal matters derived from the family legislation.
The body of law which contains provisions regarding the court procedure and criteria used for deciding the division of property is the Divorce Act. According to the law, the court must have evidence on several aspects of the spouses’ lifestyle before the divorce:
- • the earnings of the spouses and their financial prospects for the future;
- • life standard before the initiation of the separation procedure;
- • the age of the spouses and the amount of time they have been married;
- • how each of them behaved along the marriage;
- • the needs of the spouses after divorce in terms of accommodation.
Don’t hesitate to contact our Norwegian lawyers for legal assistance during a mediation process or for representation in court in a divorce trial. We can advise on the rights a party has in a divorce procedure and we can provide information on the division of assets in the situation in which the spouses have had children during their marriage, as in this case, the parties have to enter a mediation procedure with the Family Protection Office, as a first step.