Divorce in Norway: Division of Assets - Get Legal Support from Our Lawyers

Divorce in Norway: Division of Assets

Updated on Wednesday 13th March 2024

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Divroce in Norway Division of Assets

In Norwaydivorces 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 divorce lawyers 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

How can you end a marriage in Norway?

In Norway any person has multiple options regarding the way in which the separation procedure can start. Either spouse may demand separation for a year if she/he considers cohabitation is not possible anymore. After this period the separation can continue in divorce. There are also several legal procedures for ending a marriage:
  • separation agreement – can be signed by the spouses when they are in agreement about the terms of their separation;
  • judicial separation – is a legal procedure which applies in the cases in which the couple does not reach a mutual understanding on the terms of the separation. A decree of judicial separation can be drafted by any of the spouses and filed to the Norwegian court together with proofs of previous attempts to mediate and settle the problem.  
  • divorce – implies the brining of the separation in court and requires representation by a lawyer for each of the parties involved. 
Our divorce lawyers in Norway can offer you several legal services such as representation in court and legal counseling about the terms on which the court establishes the custody of the children.
Our immigration lawyers in Norway can explain the divorce procedure for foreign citizens.

The legal context for divorce in Norway

The citizenship of the persons is a decisive factor for the recognition of a marriage in Norway and for the way the divorce procedure can take place. If the two persons are of different nationalities at least one of them must be from Norway in order to start a separation procedure in this country. 
The request for divorce can be sent either together, in a joint application, either separately, in a petition directed to the County Governor of Norway. As Norwegian citizens you have also the possibility to start a divorce in the country where you have lived together for the last six months or in the stare where you have been living separately, for the last year. 
Before the elaboration of any petition we advise you to discuss the procedure with one of our divorce lawyers in Norway and to look for legal assistance for any issues regarding the properties that you have together. In case you intend to obtain as well the custody of your children, you can elaborate together with a local attorney a strategy regarding the negotiation of custody and visiting rights. 
For legal separation procedures you can confidently get in touch with our family lawyers in Norway that can help you along this process with legal advice and court representation. Our local attorneys will do everything possible to help you settle the legal separation as smooth and convenient as possible.   They can also advise on immigration to Norway.
You can also rely on us if you plan to move to this country. Obtaining a residence permit in Norway is not difficult, however, there are certain aspects that need to be considered before applying for it, such as the reason for relocation. The validity of your visa may depend on it, so contact us for guidance.

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. 



Separation followed by divorce in Norway

If the spouses are still living together or have not been apart for more than 2 years, one of them must file for separation before he or she can file for divorce in Norway. One must submit an application for separation to the Governor's Office of the county in which the couple was previously living. It is possible to file for divorce after the spouses have been apart for a minimum of a year. They will remain legally married during the separation time. Also, both of them are prohibited to get married again during this time.
It is important to understand that divorce and separation are two different legal situations in Norway. As a sort of interim phase, a separation is frequently the initial stage of the divorce procedure.
Divorce, on the other hand, officially dissolves a marriage and permits either party to get married again. The petition of divorce can be filed following the 2-year separation.  If you and your spouse have been living apart for at least 2 years and you both agree that this is the case, you can file for divorce without first being separated. You can rely on our law firm in Norway for representation in this case.

Mediation, an important part in divorce in Norway

If the spouses have children together who are younger than 16, they will need to schedule a mediation appointment at either an authorized counsellor's office or a family counseling center. This applies to both persons in civil partnerships as well as married people who decide to separate. A certificate of mediation will be issued by the counselor and attached to the separation application. The certificate is valid for 6 months.
You can obtain more information on mediation following divorce proceedings in Norway from our attorneys.

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 can help you with more information on the division of assets in this country and our divorce lawyers in Norway can propose legal solutions for receiving your claims during a separation process.
We also have a team of immigration lawyers in Norway at your service, if you want to relocate here. 

Division of assets in Norway

The division of assets during a divorce in Norway 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
We can also advise on immigration to Norway, should you be interested.


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 family 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.

What situations are covered by the Family Law in Norway?

In many cases the Family Law in Norway works as a reference point for the settling of conflictual situations. Moreover the Family Law regulates as well the rights and the obligations implied by the relations which are formed with the construction of a family. The following list shows several examples of the topics covered by the Family Law in Norway:
  • marriage and divorce procedures;
  • adoption;
  • child custody;
  • paternity;
  • reproductive rights;
  • domestic violence.
The Family Law in Norway provides as well regulations concerning financial responsibilities, and eligibility criteria for custodial rights. 
Our family lawyers in Norway are ready to offer you legal tips on the Family Law in Norway and even represent you in court in the eventuality you encounter a difficult family-related moment. Our attorneys can assist you as well with the signing of a pre-nuptial agreement or in the division of assets along a separation procedure.  

Other procedures covered by the Family Law in Norway

The Family Law in Norway is the reference point as well in case of adoption procedures, providing conditions and criteria which must be satisfied in order to be eligible as an adoptive parent. The same law states the rights of children, such as for example to obtain knowledge of his or her biological parent after reaching the age of 18. The family law is also very important for regulations regarding traveling abroad with children. 
Another area in which the Family Law in Norway has a word to say is the reproductive rights, including birth control, abortion and artificial conception.  

Arrangements for children in the case of a divorce

When parents get a divorce in Norway, they have to decide where the children will reside in the long term. The children must only have one address listed in the Norwegian National Registry, even if they have a divided residence or the parents have shared custody. Also, parents should notify minors under the age of 18 of any address changes.
Even if a parent and child do not live together, the parent who does not have custody is still required to pay child support.
Divorce and child custody are two sensitive matters, so if you need counselling in these situations, do not hesitate to ask for support from our attorneys in Norway.

Documents required in the divorce process in Norway

There are several documents the spouses need to gather in order to move forward with the divorce. These could consist of:


  • the marriage license;
  • the Norwegian residency permit, if applicable;
  • financial documents, such as tax returns and bank statements;
  • records regarding shared obligations and assets.

Having these records on hand will speed up the procedure and help you get ready for any unforeseen legal obligations. Feel free to address our Norwegian law firm for support in gathering the necessary papers for a divorce.
You should also note that there are several expenses associated with divorce, including  court fees and attorney fees, and potential spousal or child support. 

Divorce statistics in Norway

The latest statistics on divorces in Norway are for the year 2022. According to data:
  • the highest divorce rate was recorded among women aged 20 to 24 (16.7 divorces per 1,000 females);
  • in the case of men, the highest rate was registered in the 45 to 49 age group (14.6 divorces per 1,000 men);
  • in the age group 30 to 34, there were 12.8 divorces per 1,000 men, and 14.7 divorces per 1,000 women.


Don’t hesitate to contact our family lawyers in Norway 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.