• Sweden's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Sweden publishes global custody battle manual

TT/The Local/at · 9 May 2014, 17:32

Published: 09 May 2014 17:32 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The number of children who are taken without permission and who are kept in another country... has increased in recent years," the Swedish government said on Friday.

Global custody battles can be notoriously fraught, with a parent at times forced to abandon their life in Sweden to fight for the child in the other country. But that can also pose problems at home in Sweden, as one Helsingborg woman found out.

Earlier this year she won a case in Sweden against the local government, which had withdrawn benefits that helped pay for her flat. The home had been empty because the woman has spent more than a year in Lebanon fighting to regain custody. The municipality was ordered in February to revise the case.

"God I'm so happy," the woman told local newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad in February. "The fact that the municipality withdrew (the money) meant that I, my sister, and my mother have had to go into debt to keep the apartment."

While the new government guide went into some detail about the financial aspects of fighting to have a child returned, it mainly focused on domestic and international laws. Swedish parents who were married when the child was born automatically have shared custody, the pamphlet noted. Shared custody means that both parents have to give consent before the child travels abroad.

If a parent has been granted full custody by a Swedish court, however, that parent has the right to take the child abroad without consulting the other parent.

The guide underscored that the Swedish foreign ministry would not act as a parent's legal representative, but that it could offer guidance if a child was taken abroad.

Ninety countries have signed the Hague Convention that dictates if a person can take and keep a child abroad, the Swedish government noted. For a parent to claim the legal right to have the child returned to Sweden, he or she must have had full or shared custody of the child, who should be younger than 16. 

"In the cases where the Hague Convention applies there is a relatively big chance to have the child returned," the guide noted. "On average, 85 percent of cases are resolved."

A parent should contact the foreign ministry, which will provide the parent with a form to fill out. 
 
In countries that haven't signed the convention, however, a parent would be forced to abide by national legislation governing custody and to enlist a local lawyer. 
 
"Sweden cannot meddle in other countries' laws and legal processes, just like other countries cannot meddle in such a way in Sweden," the guide noted, before offering concrete tips to parents who feared their child or children would be taken away - such as photographing the child often, to have a photo at hand, but also to keep note of the former partner's passport details.
 
Prevention could be the best way forward, the guide said.
 
"In a situation where you fear that your child will be taken out of the country imminently, we recommend that you contact the border police at the airport in question," the guide stated. "Inform them of the situation." 
 

TT/The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish festive ad pulled following racist abuse of child
File photo of Swedish Lucia celebrations. Photo: Jack Mikrut/TT

Department store Åhléns announced on Monday that it was removing an online ad after the child in the picture was targeted by racist trolls.

Swedish nationalists sack MP accused of anti-Semitic slur
The Sweden Democrats have removed Anna Hagwall from the party. Photo: Roger Vikström/TT

Anna Hagwall has been slammed in Sweden for what was perceived to be an anti-Semitic attack on one of the country's media groups.

The Local Guide
What was that noise? There's no need to freak out, Sweden
Hi Fredrik, why are you so hoarse? Photo: Daniel Zdolsek/TT

Don't be alarmed if you heard a long, deafening siren on a Monday afternoon in Sweden. This is what it was.

Man detained for Malmö arson attack claimed by Isis
The building that was smoke damaged in the arson attack. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

The attack which caused smoke damage to a community centre in Malmö was claimed by Isis in a publication run by the extremist group.

Nobel Prizes
Bob Dylan writes speech for Nobel Prize ceremony
Bob Dylan. Photo: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

And one of Bob Dylan's songs will be performed at the awards ceremony, but not by the literature laureate himself.

The Local List
Six weird Swedish Christmas foods to try if you're brave
Yup, that's a pig's head with 'Merry Christmas' written on it. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

From fish treated in acid to 'egg cheese', The Local looks at some of the weirder Swedish Christmas foods on offer.

In pictures: Tour this unusal Swedish home at Christmas
This Swedish family have their own unique take on Christmas. Photo: www.adddesign.se Karlsborg

Houzz.se's Amanda Strömberg looks inside a Swedish family's unconventional take on Christmas at their farm.

Presented by the University of Gothenburg
8 fascinating programmes at the University of Gothenburg
Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

Did you know the University of Gothenburg offers 60 master's programmes in English? And some of them may surprise you.

No fire, but: Gävle's baby yule goat run over by car
The tiny goat before the attack. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Not a great Christmas tradition, guys.

Swedes give low marks to pupils' performance
A classroom in Sweden. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Less than a fourth believe that Swedish pupils learn what they need to in school, a new poll suggests.

Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of New York
National
No, that loud noise wasn't someone strangling an elephant...
Sponsored Article
18 Stockholm innovations to keep an eye on
Gallery
People-watching: December 2nd-4th
National
Final proof that Sweden has NOT banned Christmas lights
Blog updates

14 November

Hello darkness, my old friend (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I started thinking about November’s blog for The Local at the end of October, as the…" READ »

 

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
Travel
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's new myth-busting Viking museum
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so much talent from abroad
The Local Voices
Job market matchmaker hooks up 1,300 newcomers and Swedes
Gallery
People-watching: November 30th
National
This is how cold it's going to get in Sweden this week
Sponsored Article
Sweden to Hong Kong: The Local guide
Gallery
Property of the week: Skellefteå
Sponsored Article
We visited 5 'murder spots' in Malmö
National
Inside Sweden's perilous Sami reindeer pilgrimage
The Local Voices
'My name is Sami and I am a proud Swede - it hurts when people say I'm not Swedish'
Sponsored Article
Programmers' bootcamp: Change your life in 12 weeks
National
Swedish Advent 'less popular than Christmas Eve'
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm startups are teaching kids to program
Gallery
People-watching: November 25th-27th
Swedish city to put all workers through LGBT course
Sponsored Article
Smart songwriters: Sweden's next big music export?
National
The five weirdest attacks on Sweden's giant straw yule goat
Sponsored Article
'Learning to trade gave me the life I wanted'
Gallery
People-watching: November 23rd
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: leading the way in clean energy innovation
The Local Voices
'Swedes are stylish: you need to dress well if you want to fit in'
Sponsored Article
Michael Björklund: 'Being a chef is crazy work'
National
Critics slam Swedish paper's Donald Trump cartoon as anti-Semitic
Sponsored Article
HIV in Sweden today is not like it was yesterday
National
Men call Sweden's mansplaining hotline for mansplaining tips
Sponsored Article
Mette Helbæk: ‘We have a basic human need to connect'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Terje Håkonsen: 'I try to make everything count'
Gallery
People-watching: November 18th-20th
Sponsored Article
Lina Thomsgård: 'I try to break down barriers every day'
Culture
Shooting starts on The Bridge 4
Sponsored Article
'We wanted to turn ideas into action'
Travel
Sweden's ten most beautiful places
The Local Voices
Having a Swedish girlfriend didn't help this Egyptian evade culture shock
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
Culture
What the world of Harry Potter would look like... set in Sweden
The Local Voices
This new book by a Syrian writer gives refugee children their own hero
3,493
jobs available