Access and custody
A person who has custody of a child is responsible for the child’s personal and legal affairs. The custodial parent thus has the right and obligation to decide on various matters affecting the child, for example, where the child is to be registered in the Population Register, whether a passport application is to be submitted, etc. The custodial parent must, however, take into consideration the points of view and wishes of the other parent. The parents may have joint custody or one of them may have sole custody. The main rule is for both parents to have joint custody. This rule may be departed from in special circumstances.
If a parent has sole custody, the main rule is that the child should live with that parent. When parents, who do not live together, have joint custody but cannot agree where the child should live, a court can decide on the parent with whom the child is to live. The court must then take the child’s best interests into consideration. The parents can also agree on a voluntary contract as to whom the child is to live with. To be valid, this contract must be in writing and have been approved by the social welfare committee.
A child has the right to access with the parent with whom he or she does not live. Access can take place by the child and parent meeting one another or by having other contact. The child’s best interest must be taken into account in decisions on access as well.
Child support/maintenance support
The parent with whom the child lives can apply to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, Försäkringskassan, for maintenance support for his or her child. Maintenance support is paid up to a maximum of 1,273 Swedish kronor (SEK 1,273) per month. Child support can be set at a higher amount than that paid by Försäkringskassan in maintenance support. Parents can make their own agreement about how much is to be paid in child support. If they are unable to reach agreement, a lawyer can assist them to calculate the amount of child support. It is not unusual for a contact with a lawyer to lead to child support being considered by a district court, which will eventually enter a judgment stipulating the amount of child support to be paid by the child support debtor. If child support has not previously been set in an agreement or by a judgment, it is also possible for child support to be obtained retroactively for the past three years.
Formulas are used to calculate how much the respective parent is able to pay for his or her child. If the parents have an equally good financial situation, they should pay the same amount for the child. The child’s needs can be calculated with the aid of standard amounts for what children cost at different ages.
It is also possible to obtain child support if the child support debtor lives abroad. If a district court has established the child support amount in a judgment, Försäkringskassan can assist in collection of the child support.
Division of marital property
Division of marital property on divorce. Division of property on the decease of one spouse. Division of marital property in the course of a marriage.
This often involves difficult questions about which spouse owns what, whether the property is subject to the right of marital property or separate property. Personal property is not included in the division of marital property although a decision has to be made about what is personal property.
The right to remain in the matrimonial home
The right to remain in the matrimonial home means in a divorce that one of the spouses has the right to continue to live in the former matrimonial home.
Spouses or prospective spouses can make an agreement, referred to as a pre-nuptial agreement or marriage settlement, to decide that all or particular items of property shall belong to one of them as their separate property. Separate property is not included in a future division of marital property. It is also possible to decide through a new marriage settlement that the property shall instead be marital property in which case it is included in the division of marital property.