Structural decoupling problem, i.e. predicting dynamic behavior of a particular substructure from the knowledge of the dynamics of the coupled structure and the other substructure, has been well investigated for three decades and led to several decoupling methods. In spite of the inherent nonlinearities in a structural system in various forms such as clearances, friction and nonlinear stiffness, all decoupling studies are for linear systems. In this study, decoupling problem for nonlinear systems is addressed for the first time. A method, named as FRF Decoupling Method for Nonlinear Systems (FDM-NS), is proposed for calculating FRFs of a substructure decoupled from a coupled nonlinear structure where nonlinearity can be modeled as a single nonlinear element. Depending on where nonlinear element is, i.e., either in the known or unknown subsystem, or at the connection point, the formulation differs. The method requires relative displacement information between two end points of the nonlinear element, in addition to point and transfer FM at some points of the known subsystem. However, it is not necessary to excite the system from the unknown subsystem even when the nonlinear element is in that subsystem. The validation of FDM-NS is demonstrated with two different case studies using nonlinear lumped parameter systems. Finally, a nonlinear experimental test structure is used in order to show the real-life application and accuracy of FDM-NS. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.