To divorce when you have children

Charlie Taylor

To separate means that you share what you bought together, e.g. the bed and the home, but if you have children, you also have these to "share". But I can not divide the children into two parts, but here the parents must find solutions, even if they think that the other party has behaved stupidly. It is extremely important to put your own interests aside and try to do what is best for the children.

There is help available

It is extremely difficult to make rational decisions about what is best for the children in the middle of a divisive divorce, but a counterpart who you think is behaving stupidly. In that situation, you can request cooperation talks via the municipality. You then get to talk to an educated person who helps to wash out what is really important to the children and helps to remove what is actually between the parents. The conversation leader tells how the courts usually rule and comes up with tips and advice on solutions. Sometimes the parents are able to find agreements, temporary or for a longer period of time with this help and then you can also get help to write down these solutions and get them approved by the social welfare board so that they get the same legal force as a judgment from the district court.

If it is not possible to agree

Then you as a parent can hire a representative. It is important that you try to find a representative who is interested in, and knowledge about, custody cases. A lawyer or assistant lawyer at a law firm has a long education and if the person is also interested in this type of question, it usually goes well. But first book an hour of initial counseling so that you can really meet the person and go through the case and so that you can feel that the personal chemistry is correct. You and your representative will have a lot to do with each other so it is important that you trust each other and that you have a good ability to understand each other and to communicate.
Often the parents' representatives try to find solutions, but if they do not succeed, you can ask the district court to help with solutions. A process in the district court is not a quick solution, and it usually takes at least a year from the lawsuit until the verdict in the case and the verdict can then be appealed to the next instance, the court of appeal.

It costs both time and money to process

To run a process in the district court costs first and foremost an application fee if at present. SEK 900, after which it costs an hourly rate to your lawyer. The main rule is that each party pays its own legal costs, but it can still be expensive. Many home insurance policies have a waiting period that is calculated from the day of the divorce and within 1-2 years thereafter, they do not reimburse the costs for the lawyer in proceedings concerning custody, housing and contact. Then you as a parent are referred to try to get legal aid, which only those who earn less than SEK 260,000 per year (some exceptions exist, but this is the main rule), which means that most parents earn too much to get legal aid and are either forced be without a representative or pay completely out of your own pocket.

This is how it works

When you have submitted an application for a summons to the district court, the court checks that everything needed is included and that the fee has been paid, after which an injunction is sent to the other party that he must submit a reply.
When the answer has been received, a preparatory hearing is usually booked in the district court and the family court is instructed to provide a quick change.
In the preparatory hearing, there are usually quite a few facts and a lot of opinion, and the opinion from the family court is therefore of great importance, especially if a child is old enough to be heard by the family court. The district court works for the parties to agree, but if this is not possible, it is the district court's task to decide how it should be until the verdict comes, this is called an interim decision.
The district court also decides what will happen in the future, e.g. that a custody, housing and access rights investigation is to be carried out, or that the parties are to meet with a mediator. As a rule, the district court also decides when each party is to submit its final piece of evidence and when the major trial is to take place. It happens that the parties with the help of the court come to a temporary solution that they want to evaluate and then the court books a meeting for this evaluation.
When the investigation has arrived and the parties have submitted their evidence, the district court informs the witnesses about what day there should be a trial, if it should be 1 or 2 days and what time the witnesses should come to court.
At the trial day, the parties must present their evidence and let the witnesses tell and of course the parties must also tell themselves how they see the situation, their own merits and shortcomings of the other party and what the children want if they are old enough to have an opinion.
After several days in court, the district court will deliberate and then the verdict will come after about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, it rarely makes the parties happy and what many do not think about is that the parties must continue to be parents to the children for many years to come, no matter what the verdict looks like. It is difficult to cooperate with someone who has said nasty things about you as a parent in court, but that is actually what you have to do after a judgment in court.
The children usually benefit a lot from the parents finding solutions instead of arguing, but sometimes the positions are so locked that you have to get help from the district court. But then think about bringing with you a lawyer or assistant lawyer at a law firm who can advise you, who you can play ball with and who can help you see what will be the best solution, so that you can hopefully, somewhere along the way, find solutions that still get slightly better than arguing all the way to a major lawsuit. It is not easy to divorce when you have children, but with the right help and support it will be a little easier.

// Lawyer Eva Johansson

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