Visitation right

According to the Parental Code (föräldrabalken), all children have the right to contact with both parents. It is a very important principle in Swedish law. This right applies even if one parent has sole custody.

How the child's right to maintain contact with both parents are met may differ depending on the child's and the family's situation. Children's needs are different depending on age, schooling and how the child is as a person. The important thing is that the child's contact with the parents is adapted to the child´s needs. Contact means direct interaction between child and parent, but also other forms of contact such as contact via telephone or video calls.

In situations where the parents live far apart, it may be difficult for the child to live alternately with them. The need for contact with the parents may in such cases instead be met by a regular and comprehensive access to the parent with whom the child does not live. Parents can also make sure to settle large weekends and holidays so that the child gets the opportunity to spend them with both parents in different years.

In some cases it might be necessary for an external person to attend visitation. Social services can in such cases provide a visitation support so that the child and the parent are able to meet in a safe environment. If considered necessary, the social services can in exceptional cases, assist in the handover of the child.

If parents have difficulty agreeing on issues regarding the child it is primarily the social services (socialtjänsten) that organizes mediation meetings (samarbetssamtal). The purpose of these meetings is to give the parents an opportunity to come to an agreement. If no agreement is reached through these meetings, either parent can go to the district court and apply for a lawsuit. Before a lawsuit is made, it is recommended that you review the matter with a lawyer. A lawyer can also help in mediation.

Children may also require regular contact with someone other than their parents, such as grandparents or siblings. In such matters it is only the social services that can take the matter to the district court.

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