What is child support (maintenance)?
Parents are financially responsible for their children until the month the child turns 18. When a parent does not live together with the child, they must pay child support for the child’s upkeep to the parent with whom the child lives. This applies, for example, after a divorce. The child support is to cover the expenses relating to the child’s maintenance and education.
When the child lives you, and you are responsible for the child’s everyday care, you are regarded as the recipient of child support (the custodial parent). When you do not live together with the child, you are obliged to pay child support, so you are the payer (the non-custodial parent).
Child support is usually arranged in a private agreement, but if the parents cannot agree, the child support can be established by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, NAV.
If you as parents have agreed on shared residence for the child, in certain cases child support can be paid to one parent.
How is the child support agreed?
If the two parents agree on child support, you can make a private agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement, you can contact NAV, which will establish the child support for you.
How is the child support calculated?
The parents must share the cost of supporting a child. The cost (maintenance cost) comprises consumption expenses, housing costs, and any child care costs. How much or how little is to be paid varies from family to family. The cost of maintenance increases as the child grows older.
When calculating child support, NAV takes the following into account:
- Costs of supporting the child
- The parents’ incomes
- The child’s income
- The ability of the non-custodial parent to pay
- Visitation rights
- Shared residence for the child
If you cannot agree when calculating the child support
Both parties in the child support case can appeal NAV’s decision. This applies to both NAV’s decision on establishing child support, and decisions in connection with collection by NAV’s Collections Centre (NAV Innkreving).
How long must you pay child support?
The child support is to be paid from the month in which the parents no longer support the child together. If you have made a private agreement, you can decide when the child support payments will begin.
The duty to pay child support continues until the month in which your child turns 18. However, if your child is in upper secondary education, child support may continue after the child has turned 18.
The child support is collected by the NAV Collections Centre (Norwegian Tax Administration, Skatteetaten).
If the non-custodial parent does not pay on time
If the non-custodial parent, i.e. the parent with the duty to pay, does not pay the child support, the case is notified to the NAV Collection Centre, which follows the matter up. In certain cases, the custodial parent, i.e. the recipient of the child support, may receive advance child support from NAV.
If one of the parents is moving or lives abroad
You are regarded as living abroad if your actual place of residence is in another country. This applies regardless of whether you are registered as living in Norway in the Population Registry or not. If you or the other parent lives abroad, the child support may be established in one of the following ways:
- You can make a private agreement on child support
- The child support is established by NAV
- The child support is established by the authorities in the country where one of the parents lives
If the custodial or non-custodial parent moves to another Nordic country, this has no signficance for the established child support. If the child support has already been established, it can be collected in Norway if the non-custodial parent lives here.
The tax regulations in the country in which the non-custodial parent lives may affect the child support.
Contact NAV if one of you lives abroad or is planning to move abroad.
Child support in special situations
In situations where special expenses are required, such as a confirmation, purchase of glasses, or dental braces, you can apply for an allowance for special expenses. Both the custodial and the non-custodial parent can apply for establishment of an allowance for special expenses.
Who should you contact if you have questions?
Contact NAV if you have questions about child support.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.