Spousal Support

If a married couple move apart or are separated or divorced, can one party in some cases require alimony from the other. For example, if his/her ability to provide for themselves is impaired as a result of marriage or caring for children.

Spousal support may be established in a private agreement between the parties, in a court settlement or in a court order. If both spouses agree upon it, NAV may in some cases establish spousal support in an administrative decision.

When can spousal support be established?

The mutual obligations of spouses cease to exist upon cessation of cohabitation, and spousal support is therefore rarely established.  If one of the spouses has not been occupationally active during the marriage, he or she is expected to make use of his or her working ability when the marriage ends. If one of the spouses has a reduced ability to support him- or herself due to taking care of children, or the way they shared the common tasks during their cohabitation, the other spouse may be obliged to pay support. Otherwise spousal support may only be established in very special situations.

The parties do not have to be divorced or legally separated for spousal support to be established. If the other required conditions are fulfilled It is sufficient that they no longer cohabit.   

Can NAV handle an application for spousal support?

NAV can handle an application for spousal only when both parties agree to it. If NAV receives an application from one of the parties, the other party will be informed about the claim and be requested to agree or disagree to NAV handling the application. If the other party disagrees the claim will be rejected.

How is spousal support calculated?

Spousal support shall be established by discretion based on the receiver’s need for support and the payer’s ability to pay. 

How longs shall spousal support be paid?

As a main rule spousal support is to be paid for a period not exceeding three years. However, in special situations or if the marriage has lasted a long time, support may be payable for a longer period or with no time limit. If the receiver remarries, the right to spousal support ceases.

Can NAV modify a decision for spousal support?

If NAV has established support in an administrative decision, NAV may modify or terminate the decision if one of the parties makes a claim to do so. If both parties agree upon it a claim for modification may rather be brought before the court. If a previous decision has been made by the court, NAV may only modify this decision if both parties agree to it.

Spousal support and tax?

The receiver of spousal support shall pay tax on the amounts received. Likewise the payer can deduct the amounts paid on his/her taxes. 

How is spousal support paid?

Payments may be made privately, but NAV can assist with the enforcement. An application for enforcement does not have to be put forward at the same time as an application for establishment or modification. An application for enforcement must be sent to NAV and NAV Innkreving will be responsible for the enforcement.  If you have any questions in this regard you must contact NAV Innkreving.

Can NAV enforce a foreign decision for spousal support?

If a decision is made in the USA, one of the other Nordic countries or in a country that has ratified one of the Hague conventions on enforcement of maintenance decisions, the decision can usually be enforced in Norway. If you have any questions regarding recognition of foreign decisions for enforcement in Norway you must contact NAV.