More mediations due to separations of cohabitants
Social conditions, welfare and crime
meklingfam, Mediation for parents, mediation, relationship breakdown, separation, divorce, parental responsibility, access rights, family counselling offices, family counselling services, external mediators (for example solicitors, ministers, psychologists)Child welfare and family counselling , Social conditions, welfare and crime

Mediation for parents2008



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More mediations due to separations of cohabitants

In total, there were 18 659 completed mediations in 2008. Of these, 5 500 were due to separation of cohabitants, 1 000 more than in 2007.

Mediation - for whom and when

Mediation is mandatory in connection with separation or divorce (Marriage Act) and in connection with separation of cohabitants (Children Act).


Mediation is also mandatory in connection with court decisions on parental responsibility, children’s place of residence and access arrangements, and this is registered as mediations according to the Children Act. The court may refer parents to further mediation, which is registered as returned from court system (Children Act).


The purpose of the mediation is to reach an agreement on parental responsibility, access arrangements or the child/children’s permanent residence. The child’s needs are emphasised in this respect.


One mediation session is mandatory for parents in connection with separation/divorce and separation of cohabitants, but the parents can have up to seven sessions.

Mediation in connection with separation or divorce accounted for 39 per cent, or 7 300, of all mediations in 2008. Disagreements between the parents about parental responsibility, place of residence and access arrangements (mediations according to Children Act) were the reason for 31 per cent, or 5 835, mediations. Few cases are referred back to mediation after they have been referred to the court system; this only applied to 12 mediations in 2008. Whereas 67 per cent of both mediations in connection with separation/divorce and separation of cohabitants had been completed after the first mandatory session, in 55 per cent of the cases where the parents wanted to take their case to the court one mediation session were sufficient.

The family counselling offices are the core unit in the Norwegian mediation service, and meditation is a major task in the family counselling service. In 2008, the family counselling offices carried out approximately 12 500 mediations, 67 per cent of all mediations in Norway. External mediators conducted the other 33 per cent, 6 191 mediations. Most of these mediations were carried out by social/health institutions (49 per cent) and lawyers (20 per cent),

Three quarters of all mediations were in progress within three weeks, and 91 per cent were completed within two months of the first session.

Amending legislation results in changes in mediation statistics

As of 1 January 2007, mediation was made mandatory also when cohabitant couples with joint children aged below 16 split up. This resulted in changes in the mediation statistics, and as of 2007 only completed mediations are registered in the statistics, not all mediations started. This means that mediations started but not completed at the end of the year, are included in the statistics the following year.

As of 2007, statistics on the number of mediation certificates will no longer be available. As of 2007, a certificate is issued after the first session, irrespective of whether the parents have reached agreement or not.


Thus there is a break in the time series, and statistics from 2007 is not comparable with previous years.

For more figures, go to StatBank Norway .