If you and/or your spouse no longer wish to live together, either or both of you can apply to your county governor’s office for a separation. It is not necessary for both of you to agree on the separation. The county governor will contact your spouse if you apply alone.

Application for separation

If you wish to get divorced, you first have to apply for separation if you and your spouse still live together or have lived apart for less than two years. You apply for separation to the county governor’s office in the county where you previously lived together. When you and your spouse have been separated for at least one year, you can apply for a divorce. During the separation period, you will still be formally married. Therefore, neither of you may remarry during this period.

Divorce after two years of living apart

You can apply for a divorce without first being separated, if you and your spouce have been living apart for at least 2 years and you both agree that this is a termination of matrimonial cohabitation.


If you and your spouse have common children under the age of 16 years, you must meet at a family counselling office or at an approved counsellor’s office for a mediation meeting. This applies for both married and cohabitants who choose to split up. The counselor will issue a certificate of mediation, which must be attached to the application for separation. The certificate is valid for 6 months.  


Once your divorce goes through, you will still have the surname you had whilst married. If you wish to change your surname, you must send an application to change your name to the Norwegian Tax Administration. They will then process the application.

You can find more information about separation and divorce on the website for County Governors in Norway.  

You may also find the brochure “Separation and Divorce” useful, published by the Ministry of Children and Equality.

If you need a certificate to document that you are separated or divorced, you can order a printout from the National Population Register.



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