Divorce - separation

Spouses and registered partners can ask for a public administration of an estate at a court of justice. This is necessary if they can`t agree on how to split their capital and assets after a separation or a divorce. Below you will find information on how to proceed. 

Partition of property

When a relationship ends, there will often be capital and assets that needs to be divided when the divorce proceedings start. However, it may be agreed specially by a pre-marital agreement that division is not to take place. Gifts/inheritance from others than the spouse can normally be held outside the division.

The main rule is that each spouse is to first withdraw means to cover for the debts each of them might have, and then each of them is to have half of each other’s property. The time of calculating the assets and capital is the so-called time of division, which means the time the parties separated.

Each of the spouses may bring the assets to court by claiming public administration. Before a public administration will be opened there will normally be held a so-called preparatory court meeting. Both parties and their lawyers will attend this meeting. Usually the previous spouses manage to agree at this meeting upon the matters of disagreement, or the situation may be somehow cleared up, and it is made clear what they are still disagreeing about. Possible legal disputes will be decided upon in court after the public administration has been opened.

Preparatory court meeting

Before the courts sets a public administration of the assets at a separation or divorce, there may be held a preliminary court hearing. The goal of this meeting i s to reach an agreement. Both the parties and their lawyers (if they have any) will be represented in such a hearing. Advance payment of court fee, preparatory court meeting costs 2 050;- NOK.

In many cases, former spouses manage to reach agreement on their differences, or can at least agree on what they continue to disagree on.  If a public administration of an estate is opened, the court will normally appoint a lawyer as administrator. The parties will have to cover the costs of the administrator in addition to the court fee. Once a public administration of an estate is opened, the court will decide what the parties disagree on.

In a public administration, the court will need:

· Name, address, date of birth, preferably national identity number, for both the previous spouses.
· Previous common address.
· Information about agreements, marital agreement and other matters. The capital and assets that are to be divided must be brought forward.
· Best possible outline of each of the parties’ assets and capital at the time of separation (account transcripts and tax returns for previous year are appropriate)
· Copy of separation/divorce order from the county governor.

Worth noting

If there is an existing agreement on distribution, public administration cannot be applied for. In the event of a dispute concerning interpretation, enforcement etc., a case can be referred to the courts. This is done by one of the parties taking out a civil indictment.

 Who can annul a marriage?

All separations an most of the divorces are heard by the County Governor (Fylkesmann). A request for separation or divorce must therefore brought to the County Governor where the couple lives.