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  • When people live together as a couple but are not married, they are cohabiting. ​
  • You can register cohabitation at the National Registry of Iceland. ​
  • Individuals can then, for example, use their partner's tax card for tax deduction but do not have the same rights as married couples. ​


  • A married couple can apply for a legal separation jointly or separately (living in separate places). A divorce can be applied for six months after a legal separation. You can do this at the District Commissioner's Office. ​
  • In the event of a divorce or legal separation, an agreement must be made with the district commissioner for the custody of children, determination of legal residence and child support payments. The District Commissioner calls the parents in for a meeting or an online hearing. ​
  • When couples who have children together divorce, the parents normally get joint custody. ​
  • In the event of a divorce, a residence permit on grounds of marriage is no longer valid. A new residence permit on other grounds must be applied for if there is interest in continuing to live in Iceland.

Child Support Payments

  • A parent in the child's legal residence can claim child support from the other parent to meet the cost of supporting the child.​
  • Basic child support from 1 July 2023 is ISK 43,700. ​
  • Child support is the child's right and shall be used to feed, clothe and provide housing for the child.
  • If a child is born out of cohabitation or wedlock, parents can make a child support agreement.​
  • Parents can handle the collection and payments of child support themselves.​
  • The State Social Security Institute can also act as an intermediary for payments to the parent at the legal residence, upon request. Apply here
  • Information at

Violence in Relationships​

  • Violence is prohibited by law in Iceland. That includes within families, in romantic relationships, with partners and spouses. ​
  • What is considered violence according to law?​
    • Abusing another human being physically, sexually, physiologically and/or financially.​
    • Causing another human being fear or injury.​
    • Isolating another human being or breaking them down psychologically.​
    • Spanking children or slapping them.​
  • Violence in intimate relationships (domestic violence) occurs when the perpetrator of the violence is related or connected to you, e.g., a partner, ex-partner, family member, friend or caretaker. ​

 ​Violence and Aid​

  • The Icelandic police takes domestic violence, as well as other violence, seriously. You can always call 112. ​
  • At you can participate in a real-time online chat with an emergency operator and get help and information. ​
  • 1717 is the Red Cross' emergency phone number and the online chat at They provide psychosocial support and guidance on resources. ​
  • Violence is when somebody does something that hurts you or causes you discomfort. Violence occurs irrespective of gender, age, sexuality or other. Violence is, f.ex., psychological violence, physical violence, sexual violence, financial violence and digital violence.​
  • Kvennarádgjöf (counselling for women) is operated. There, they provide free legal and social counselling for women and men. There is no need to provide personal information.
  • Kvennaathvarf (women's shelter) is operated in Reykjavík for women and children who have had to leave their home due to violence. You can stay there and receive counselling and support.
  • Bjarkarhlíð in Reykjavík and Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri are centers for victims of physical, psychological or sexual violence. These centers are available to both men and women and provide consultation, education, and support. og
  • Stígamót is a counselling and support center for both women and men over the age of 18 who have been the victims of some form of sexual violence
  • Heimilisfriður is a knowledge center for violence that takes place within close relationships and a treatment center for male and female perpetrators of violence.

 Effects of Violence

  • Being the victim of violence can have long-lasting negative effects for the victim. ​
  • Children are badly affected by bearing witness to violence in the home, for example violent behavior between their parents. The effects can last a long time and can cause the children and adolescents to develop feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and fear. ​
  • In Iceland, it is considered abnormal and wrong to subject other family members to violence. Although these matters can often be a sensitive subject, everyone stands to benefit greatly; whether it be the perpetrators, victims or children; from seeking help and no longer having to live in a violent environment. ​
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