During or after a divorce, the right to contact or visit between couples with children together must be regulated. The right of access states that both parents and children have the right to contact each other.
Can my ex-wife deny the right to contact? How often is the right to visit and what rights do I have as a father? Can I sue the right of access? What is the right of contact during the holidays? In the following article you will find all the answers to important questions about visiting and access rights.
The most important thing about contact law:
According to visiting rights, the child has the right to deal with both parents, provided that this does not endanger the child’s best interests. If the right of access is denied, the affected parent can sue the right of contact. If a parent’s visits are problematic, an attendant can be arranged at the court’s request. It is not advisable to refuse visiting and contact rights if the father does not pay child support (see also child support and custody). The parent who is liable for maintenance is entitled to a say if the caring parent plans a vacation with the child. Parents can make individual agreements within the framework of access rights during the holidays. The person liable for maintenance can go on vacation with the child for 2 weeks a year.
Contact right: right to deal and contact
No court fee is required for requests for personal contact submitted after June 30, 2015.
In order to ensure that the parent who initially refused to contact the child’s best interests, the meetings take place under supervision. Becomes the best interests of the child however, the lawmaker can restrict or revoke the right of access. This could be due to general living conditions or violence against the child.
If a parent’s visits turn out to be problematic, an attendant can be arranged at the request of the court or ex officio. This also applies to parents who decide to do so under a private agreement. The attendant is a technically suitable, neutral and objective person who looks after the child’s visit. The Federal Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection promotes escort visits. In addition, the family judicial assistance can be used as a "visiting agent".
Contact law in Austria: informal or formal?
should that Contact law in Austria informal or formal be managed? Basically, the right of access, formerly called the right to visit, should be agreed between the two parents.
If the parents are unable to agree, the court will determine a regulation at the request of the child or the parents. When determining the visiting times, the times of leisure and childcare should be taken into account as far as possible.
At the same time, the age, needs and wishes of the child and the previous relationship with the respective parent should also be taken into account. Agreements on the contact law regulations must be deposited with the court or youth welfare office.
If important dates are not kept, this usually has consequences for the parent without primary care. In contrast, the parent who has primary care usually has little or no consequences.
Good conduct clause
Each parent must refrain from any act or behavior that impairs or complicates the child’s relationship with the other parent. The legal basis for this is Good conduct clause.
Insults, incitement of the child against the other parent or negative statements about the parent must be avoided. If the good conduct clause is not observed, this has legal consequences. One consequence could be the restriction or a temporary withdrawal of the right to visit.
In this regard, the basis of the decision is always the child’s best interests. In addition, the caring parent is encouraged to maintain contact between the child and the non-caring parent. Likewise, he must not negatively influence this contact and must encourage it.
Visiting rights – How often can I see my children?
What rights do I have as a father and how often do my children have access rights? Basically, the parents have the duty to enable contact with the other parent and must tolerate it. This is the so-called parents’ duty of good conduct.
Likewise, it is not advisable to insult one another or to make one wrong, since this is not conducive to the relationship with the child. After the divorce, the father not only has the right to contact his child, but even the obligation to do so. But how often does he have access rights?
There is no minimum contact time, since it is based on the needs of the child. If no agreement can be found between the parents on how often there is a right of access, the judge will orientate himself according to fixed benchmarks.
Accordingly, contact should be made at least once a week the child occur. With a 14-day weekend visit right, an additional contact day during the week is therefore recommended. The age of the child is important to determine how often access rights should exist.
Ultimately, there are no exact ones legal guidelines of access rights, i.e. there is no definition of how often the non-caring parent has to see the child or how long the visits should last. It is up to the parents to decide how often and how long the visits should take place. Basically, this differs from case to case and depends on the child’s relationship with the respective parent.
Nevertheless, the two-week rule has established itself in society, although it should be emphasized again that this is only a guideline. The specific decision depends on many individual factors. However, case law offers the following guidelines for parents to follow:
● Infants up to 2 years old should see the non-caring parent every 2 weeks for a few hours or a day. The caring parent can be present.
● Children from 3 to 6 years should see the parent not caring for a full day every 2 weeks.
● Children over 6 years should see the parent not caring for a weekend every 2 weeks and be able to spend two weeks of vacation with him each year.
In order to counteract alienation, however, weekly contact with the parent who is not caring for is recommended. The goal of access rights is to maintain a viable parent-child relationship.
On the other hand, regular contact with the non-caring parent can relieve the caring parent. As a result, he can also be integrated into the child’s upbringing and assume part of the parental responsibility.
Right of access between grandparents and grandchildren
Basically there is also Right of access between grandparents and grandchildren. However, there is a subordinate priority in this regard and is only available to the grandparents if the relationship between the parents and the child is not impaired.
Nevertheless, the grandparents also have the right to appeal to the court for their right to visit. In addition to the grandparents, third parties also have the right to personal contact if they are important caregivers.
Contact right also for other caregivers
Furthermore, there is Contact right also for other caregivers, the priority of which depends on the child’s relationship with the caregiver. If there is a close relationship with a caregiver, the person concerned also has a right to contact.
In individual cases, these can also be unrelated people from the circle of acquaintances. Included are, for example, godparents, relatives, step-parents, half-siblings and ex-partners who already had close contact with the child before the separation. If the child is emotionally attached to a caregiver, the child has access rights.
How often the child should have contact with the caregiver after the separation or divorce depends on the intensity of the contact before the divorce or separation.
The implementation of visiting rights is difficult in practice
However, it is Implementation of visiting rights is difficult in practice, if the caring parent does not support contact with the child. Therefore, the right to visit is not always easy to handle if one parent does not comply with the agreements made or if both parents cannot work out an acceptable solution.
Another reason for the failure of access rights can be the resentment or frustration of a caring parent who wants to prevent personal contact with the child from being maintained.
As a result, the caring parent often denies the right to visit or deliberately creates difficult conditions. In addition, the caring parent can apply to the court at any time to receive sole custody.
This makes the other parent easy to blackmail and often feels that they have the right to visit disadvantaged. In addition, the caring parent also has the right to determine the child’s whereabouts and also determines the right to visit during the holidays. In the worst case, this makes it difficult for the non-caring parent to deal with the child.
Deny visiting rights
Visiting rights can only be denied to a parent under certain conditions. To do this, there must be a risk to the child’s best interests in order to take legal action. Basically, a parent should not do that arbitrarily and without reason Deny visiting rights, as this can otherwise have legal consequences.
It is strongly advised not to arbitrarily deny the father the right to visit, provided there are no concerns that the child’s best interests are at risk. This is mainly due to the right of access, which grants the child the right to personal contact.
Nevertheless, there may be certain reasons to restrict or deny visiting rights in Austria. There is always good reason to completely refuse the right of the non-caring parent to contact if the child’s best interests are endangered.
In particular, a willingness to use violence or certain living conditions make quick action necessary to protect the child. If you want to deny the father the right to visit in order to protect your child from possible or existing dangers, you should discuss this step with a legal expert in advance.
Right of access without alimony?
The father does not pay the maintenance. Does he still have access rights? Under no circumstances should you deny the father the right of access if he pays partial payments, irregularly or not at all. This can have consequences for you. It is strictly not advisable to deny the father the right of access. You can read more about the topic in the article "Custody and child support".
Right of access for father without custody
Can the right of access be denied if the father does not pay maintenance? No! It is strictly not advisable to deny the father the right of access if he does not pay the child support. You can read more about this topic in the article "Custody and child support". But what about the right of access for a father without custody?
The right of access does not necessarily require custody. However, if custody is withdrawn, this can also lead to the withdrawal of access rights. In principle, however, the separation itself has no influence on the custody that remains with both parents after a divorce.
Right of access and vacation
In principle, the parent who is liable for maintenance is entitled to a say if the parent who is not caring for is planning a vacation together with the child. In this regard, the caring parent can raise objections and concerns when choosing the country of vacation. In particular, if the child’s best interests in the respective country are endangered, it is advisable to contact a lawyer for family law in Vienna, Linz, Graz, Salzburg or these places in Austria.
Furthermore, the child’s passport is generally in the care of the custodial parent. However, as part of a holiday together, the parent who is not caring for the child is required to properly carry the child’s passport with them. If there is a holiday interest of several caregivers, both parents always have priority over other interested parties.
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