Marriage and cohabitation

Marriage can be entered into between two people of the opposite sex or of the same sex. Marriage is of legal importance to the spouses in a number of areas.

Marriage

Entry into marriage

Marriage can be entered into between two people of the opposite sex or of the same sex. Marriage is of legal importance to the spouses in a number of areas. A wedding may take place after the tax office has stated that the conditions for marriage have been met. If you have any questions regarding the regulations and individual cases, ask your local tax office.
See also the information on the Norwegian Tax Administration's website.

Registered partnerships

The Registered Partnerships Act, which entered into force on 1 August 1993, gave a homosexual couple the right to enter into a registered partnership. A registered partnership has on the whole the same legal effects as a marriage.

The Registered Partnerships Act was repealed when the new Marriage Act was passed. This means it is no longer possible to enter into new registered partnerships. An existing registered partnership can be converted into a marriage if both parties so wish. The National Registry takes care of this conversion. An application for conversion is to be sent to the tax office on a separate form that can be found on the Tax Administration's website. A registered partnership that is not converted will remain in force. A registered partnership has on the whole the same legal effects as a marriage. A registered partnership entered into abroad under foreign law may still be recognised according to Norwegian law.

Cohabitation

The legislation does not generally treat cohabitants and spouses as being the same. Cohabitants are treated as spouses in some areas and as single people in others. Whether or not cohabitants are to be equated with spouses is determined within each set of regulations. The same applies to who is to be counted as a cohabitant (the definition of a cohabitant). The Children Act equates cohabitants with spouses. This applies, among other things, to parental responsibility, the rights and duties of children and parents in the case of disputes between parents and contact arrangements. The main rule in the financial sector is that each party in a cohabitant relationship is counted as being a single person. The regulations are based on the fact that cohabitants can regulate their financial relationship through agreements. Cohabitants have no duty to provide reasonable maintenance for each other, unlike spouses. As from 1 July 2009, cohabitants with common children are entitled to a limited inheritance from each other and to remain in undivided possession of their estate. This also applies to cohabitants who have had or are expecting a child together. Cohabitants who do not have a common child are not entitled to inherit according to the law.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security is responsible for rules concerning the financial relationship between spouses, apart from the maintenance payable to a spouse, see above.