Agreements on Care of Child and Parental Visiting Rights

Whenever parents live apart or are in a process of separation, they may agree on care of their child/children and on visiting rights. The parents may reach the decision amongst themselves, or at a child supervisor’s office. Living arrangements (with the father/mother) agreed on and verified at a child supervisor’s office are filed in the population information system. The child’s interests must always be the basis for any parental agreements on the child’s living arrangements and visiting rights. The child can only have one official address, that is, with one of the parents. Whenever the parents apply for housing allowance and child allowance, the child is acknowledged as a member of one household only. If the parents are unable to reach a mutual agreement on the child’s living arrangements, they can also take the matter to a district court. It is completely voluntary to make the agreements at a child supervisor’s office.

The child has the right to meet and have contact with the parent who does not live with the child. The parents may agree on the visits amongst themselves. Alternatively, an agreement on the visits can be made at a child supervisor’s office, or the matter can be taken to a district court for a decision.

The child supervisor will draw up a visiting agreement i cooperation with the parents in such detail as desired by the parents. Usually, the parents agree on visits on weekdays and weekends, Sundays and holidays, school holidays, and visits on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The visiting agreement can also have a fixed-term duration, and it can be adjusted when necessary as the child becomes older.

Do the following

Please contact the Eastern Uusimaa region Family rights unit, either by phone during our telephone hours, or by email.

To whom and on what terms

If the visiting parent is not capable of taking care of the child during the visits, an agreement can be made to organize supported or supervised contacts.

If the parents are struggling to find a common view on issues concerning the child, Family Reconciliation Service may be of help to sort out the differences of opinion.

If a parent is not allowed to see the child, it is possible to apply for an enforcement of the decision on right of access. An application for the enforcement of a decision may be filed with a decision verified by either a child supervisor or a court, or with a court order. A parent’s fear is not enough to justify denial of the other parent’s right to meet the child. Instead, meetings can be legally inhibited only on very strong grounds of declarable value. The parents are to agree on the rights of access. However, once the child reaches the age of 12, or earlier according to circumstances, they may also state their own opinion on the matter of visiting rights. Enforcement of visiting rights is not carried out against the child’s wishes whenever the child has turned 12, or earlier if a younger child is deemed mature enough to state their own opinion in a reliable way.

Payment details

Basic information and legislation

In the event of divorce or separation, parents may agree on the child's custody, residence and access rights. Before making decisions about the child's future, the parents shall discuss the matter with the child, if this is possible considering the age and stage of development of the child. The views and wishes of the child shall be taken into consideration. The municipal child welfare supervisor will give you more information about the options. You will also get help to prepare the agreement. The agreement on the child's custody, residence and access rights must be made in writing and must be confirmed by the child welfare supervisor of the child's municipality of residence. If no consensus is reached, the matter will be settled in court.

If the parents have joint custody, they shall make decisions together on matters that are of great significance for the child, such as the child’s place of residence, healthcare services, day care or school. In some situations, the custodians may agree on mutual division of responsibilities. If one parent has sole custody of the child, the parent decides on the child’s matters alone.

If the child resides with only one of the parents, the child has the right to meet the other parent and stay in contact with them in a manner agreed upon by the parents. The parents may also agree that the child resides alternately with each of the parents as specified in the agreement.