Skip to main content


Cohabitation refers to individuals who are cohabitating but not in a marriage. There is no single law on cohabitation. Instead, the rights of cohabitating people are determined according to various circumstances and policy areas.

Registering cohabitation

Cohabitating people can register their cohabitation with Registers Iceland.

The rights of cohabitating people are affected by whether their cohabitation is registered or not. When cohabitation is registered, the individuals' legal positions are in some respects clearer than they are for those who have not registered their cohabitation. However, they still do not have the same rights as married people.

Rights of cohabiting people

Individuals in cohabitation do not bear any responsibility for each other's financial support, and do not have the right of inheritance towards one another, unless stated in a will.

The civil rights of cohabiting people are often based on having a child together, on the duration of the cohabitation, or on the cohabitation being registered with Registers Iceland. However, in certain areas the same regulations apply to both cohabiting people and married people. Civil rights include:

  • social security,

  • rights on the labour market,

  • taxation and

  • social services handled by the municipalities.