Decisions concerning a child should always be made based on what is best for the child. This applies, for example, in decisions on who will be the guardian of the child and where the child will live.

Custody of a child is about who has the right to make certain decisions in a child's life. It involves questions about passports, school choice, health care etc. As guardian you have the right to access information about the child from schools, preschools, health care and other places.

The assumption is that joint custody between both parents is what is best for the child. If the parents are married, they both automatically become guardians of the child when the child is born. If the parents are not married they must acknowledge paternity (faderskap) at the social services (socialtjänsten) and sign a separate document stating that they want joint custody. If this is not done, the child's mother get sole custody.

Sometimes it is not good for a child that the parents have joint custody responsibilities. This may be due to serious management problems and that one guardian may be considered inappropriate. If the parents' cooperation is so flawed that the parents can not decide on custody issues, a court may award sole custody to one parent. A guardian's unfitness to be a guardian have to affect the child for it to be the basis for a transfer of custody.

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