Child’s Visiting Rights
When the parents live separately, the child has a right to be in contact with and visit the parent he/she does not live with. Both parents are responsible for ensuring the visiting rights of the child. Whether the parent is the child’s guardian or not does not affect the child’s right to visit the parent. Visiting rights can only be confirmed between a child and a parent.
In addition to normal weekly routines, the visiting agreement can include holidays and vacations. In visiting agreements it is good to consider the child’s age, school, day care, hobbies, and the distance between the homes of both parents, among other things. The agreement about visiting rights can be made gradual for different periods of life, or it can be temporary, after which the situation is analyzed again.
Monitored and supported visits and monitored exchanges
Meetings of a child and the parent living separately or the exchange of the child between parents can, for a justifiable reason, be ordered or agreed to be monitored or supported. The operations are meant to ensure the safety of the child during visits and to strengthen the child’s right to visit the parent who lives separately.
In monitored changes the overseer makes sure the child transfers from one parent to the other. In supported visits the overseer is available during the visit. In monitored visits the overseer can see and hear the child and the parent at all times during the visit. The implementation of the visits requires a court decision or a visiting agreement verified by a Child Welfare Officer.
In Turku the service is provided by Ensi- ja turvakoti's Tapaamispaikka Tenavatupa. The service is free of charge to all children resident in Turku.
Alternating residence means that the child lives half or nearly half the time with each of his/her parent in turn. However, the child must be officially living with one of the parents.