Kristel Siimula-Saar

Head Specialist, Legal Information Department of the Supreme Court



  • Disputes between Parents in Determining Right of Custody and Right of Contact – Who Are the Winners and the Losers?

    Parents have equal rights and obligations regarding their children, unless otherwise provided by law. The most important part of the legal relationship between a parent and a child is the custody right of the parent. The parent’s right of custody means that a parent has the obligation and the right to take care of his or her underage child. The right of custody may be granted to a parent or not granted to a parent, and the right of custody may also be granted to a parent only partially. A thorough revision of the ownership of custody rights may turn out to be inevitable first of all in the cases when the parents start to live separately and it becomes necessary to decide to what extent and in what way both parents will participate in the life of their child. It is generally thought that it is usually in the best interests of the child whose parents are living separately to have two parents with custody rights after the breakup of the marriage or the cohabitation relationship of its parents.