Having to deal with a custody battle is certainly not easy for anyone in the family. So it’s important to make sure that you have a good support system, both among your loved ones and within the lawyer you hire to help you at the district court. In the very best case scenario, you and your ex-partner will come to an agreement on your own about how you to divide custody of your children. Maybe there’s a natural solution to the situation? Maybe your children are old enough to choose which parent to live with?
However, if you can’t agree among the two of you, you’ll have to get help to come to a solution that works for your children. Since March 1, 2022, all parents who want to take a custody battle to court have to participate in an informational interview with the municipality first. In the interview, you’ll get help to resolve the conflict and come to a joint decision about how to divide custody of the children between you. If you still can’t agree, you’ll receive a certificate of having participated in the intervew and your case will be handed over to the court.
What can be decided in a custody battle?
In a custody battle, you decide how you want to divide custody of your children, where the children will live and how you intend to resolve your visitation rights with the children. In Sweden, the best interests of the child are always top priority, and the court takes that into account when making their decisions. In order for the district court to take your case, one of you have to file a subpoena. If you already have a divorce case that’s being handled by the district court, you can ask to settle custody of the children directly in that case.
The district court can ask for information and investigations from the social welfare board and the family court to see what’s best for the children. A social worker will then often meet with both you and the children to gather information about your new living situation, your finances and the children’s needs and wishes.
There are a number of factors that can influence the district court’s decision. For example, the childrens ages and the relationship between the children and the parents can play a role. It’s also important how well each of you as parents can meet the needs of your children. This applies to both financial needs and other needs that the district court deems important.
What happens at the district court?
Often times, the custody process begins with district court calling the parents to a hearing. During the hearing, you tell a judge what you think is best for the children. In some cases, you may need to have several hearings if it’s particularly difficult to come to a good solution. And if you still can’t manage to agree, the district court can decide to hold a main hearing. Then the district court can call in other witnesses and use written evidence to help them make a decision. After the main hearing, the district court decides on your case and you can choose to accept the verdict or appeal it.
In some cases, the district court can decide to grant joint custody, meaning that you share responsibility for your children. The district court can also decide that one of you gets sole custody. Even if one parent gets sole custody, the other parent still has the right to visit the children. In very extreme cases, the court can decide that a parent shouldn’t be granted visitation rights. But then it’s because the child is at risk of being harmed by that parent.