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Agreement between the parents

If you are afraid that your child will be abducted, you can seek to enter into an agreement with the other party to try and prevent the child from actually being abducted.

If you are afraid that your child will be abducted, you can seek to enter into an agreement with the other party to try and prevent the child from actually being abducted. 

In all child abduction cases, the children are the innocent victims. If the parents, despite a very difficult situation, manage to put their own feelings aside and focus on what is best for the child, this will lay the best foundation for the future life of all those involved. Unless it is absolutely clear that the child would be at risk with the other parent, or the other parent is clearly unfit to have access, the parents should do their utmost to reach an agreement.

Should the situation be so acute that it is not possible for the parents to reach an agreement on their own, they should try to reach an agreement with the help of a lawyer, or if necessary, their own respective lawyers. Remember that in possible legal proceedings, the court will usually place emphasis on arguments from the parent who is willing to cooperate and who tries to find solutions that take best interests of the child into account.

It is important to remember that the child loves both parents and that both parents love their child, and also that the child is entitled to spend time with both of its parents.

The next step is to find out the best way to organise the child’s future. An agreement should clarify all the aspects that could be expected to cause problems in the future. In general, an agreement should be more detailed, the more distrust and lack of cooperation there is between the parents. 

Proposed points in the agreement

An agreement should include the following points – this list will not be exhaustive for all cases. (In some agreements, certain points may be omitted, while others will require additional points):

  1. Who the agreement concerns (parents and child)
  2. Intention (which is intended to regulate the children’s future for the children’s best, e.g. when talking about the other parent, do not influence the children negatively, do not pressurise or negotiate via the children) 
  3. Parental responsibility (joint or only one of the parents)
  4. Residence (with which parent and what should / will happen when moving within Norway and internationally)
  5. Right of access (visitation plan and any cost sharing – annual planning procedure)
  6. Child maintenance (if relevant and desirable)
  7. Kindergarten/ school (who is responsible for decisions in connection with kindergarten / school and who will cover the expenses)
  8. Contact (contact between the child and the non-custodial parent via telephone / mail / Skype, etc. – frequency or limitations)
  9. Information (what should the custodial parent inform the non-custodial parent about and how. Should it be possible for the non-custodial parent to have direct contact with the school / kindergarten?)
  10. Cost sharing (if relevant; doctor / dentist / sports equipment / family gatherings etc.)
  11. Duration of agreement
  12. Sanctions (what happens if the agreement is broken)

NB! We would like to point out that an agreement on its own is not enough to prevent a possible child abduction / retention. An agreement entered into in Norway could not automatically be used in another country. However, it may be a step in the right direction as regards making the parties aware of where they stand and what they have to work on.