Jump to navigation
Jump to search
Jump to main content
Turn on/off screen reader friendly version
Practical information from public agencies
Print page

Family life and the law

Family life involves many legal aspects. By 'family' is normally meant parents who live together with their children, but childless married couples and single parents are also families. We mainly distinguish between two kinds of families: the nuclear family and kin, or blood relatives. Legal problems are largely related to the former. Blood relatives are usually only of legal significance in questions of inheritance.

The parties do not have to be married to belong to a nuclear family. In Norway, cohabitants and registered partners are also regarded as nuclear families. There are two sets of legal rules that regulate these family constellations: the rules regarding marriage/partnership and the rules concerning the relationship between parents and children, including the rules relating to inheritance.

Two people who enter into marriage or partnership take on a mutual commitment to each other to display financial responsibility as regards joint expenses for housing, household expenses and raising children.  Material assets, such as a car, household contents and a house or apartment, are shared.

Living together also entails mutual ethical obligations for the partners, often in connection with attitudes to unfaithfulness, gender equality, helpfulness, friendliness and ensuring that both partners have a chance to develop as people and as members of society.  This applies in particular if there are children involved.

Tip a friend

Tip a friend about this page by email