Enable Javascript in your browser for an improved experience of regjeringen.no

Divorce and breakup of relationship

When a spouse no longer wants to live together with the other spouse, he or she may apply to the county governor for separation. After a separation of one year, either one of the spouses can apply to the county governor for a divorce.


Spouses who move away from each other without being separated can apply to the county governor for a divorce two years after the breakup of their relationship.

Spouses with children under 16 years of age must attend mediation before they can apply for separation or divorce. A spouse may demand a divorce if the other spouse has intentionally attempted to kill him or her or their children or wilfully exposed them to severe maltreatment. The same applies if the spouse has behaved in a manner that is likely to arouse grave fear of such conduct. Under section 23 of the Marriage Act, a divorce can be filed for by judicial decree without preceding separation or breakup of the relationship. Mediation is not required.

Dissolution of forced marriage and bigamous marriage
Both spouses may institute proceedings to have a marriage dissolved or to obtain direct divorce if it was entered into under force. A demand for divorce must be made within six months after the spouse has escaped the forced circumstances. If more than five years have passed after the parties married, they cannot institute proceedings based on force, but must apply for separation.

If a marriage is bigamous, both parties may demand that it be dissolved. If neither of the spouses institute proceedings, the county governor shall institute proceedings for dissolution of the last marriage entered into.

Go to the top