New shared parenting reform

A new shared parenting reform focusing on children, higher quality and shared parenting has started on April 1st 2019 in Denmark. The opening was done by the Children and Social Minister of Denmark, but all political parties in Parliament voted in favour of the new reform. 

The new shared parenting reform should be seen as step 2 of 3 steps. It is not perfect, but one of the best political shared parenting initiatives we have seen. The reform is in line with the Council of Europe Resolution 2079 on October 2nd 2015 towards children and fathers in shared parenting and work-life balance. 

There is 5 main aspects of the new reform:

1. New Family Court House and Family Court

Until now, the families has used the state administration, if there was disagreement, but the state administration has been replaced by a modern family court house. Here, the families are screened, so that the children and parents get the correct and best case processeing related to time and quality. 

The Family Court House will mediate and negotiated an agreement for the child, if the parents disagree. It is the hope that the Family Court House can prevent family cases being dragged on and create better and more positive long standing solutions for the child and parents.

2. Children get a permanent contact person

A new children unit will facilitate that the children is heard. The children are often the big losers if shared parenting is not enabled positively with good contact for the child to both parents. Therefore a children's unit has been set up and all children receive a contact person if the parents does not agree on a settlement. Also the children's unit facilitate children groups where children can speak to other children about the family cases. 

3. Green, yellow or red 

All family cases will be visitated into a green, yellow or red category. The green category will be the largest with parents making there own agreements eg. about double living address for the child. 

If the parents dont agree the family court house will provide the family with advice on children and mediation.  The red category are the cases that need imidiate attention or is very complex, where there is required and secured a multi-diciplinary teamwork by the children experts, judges, social workers and in some cases the police. The red cases are handle by a new family court 

4. Three month double residens for all children or more

The quick one-day seperation for those with children under 18 have ended in all family forms. Until now, families who agreed to divorce were able to do it in minutes online.

But for families who have children under the age of 18, the fast seperation has ended and a so-called reflection period of three months is now introduced. The period must give the parents time for reflection and to get advice. In the reflection period there will be double residence for all child at both parents and the parents can choose to keep the double residence.

As something new, parents who want to divorce from marriage during the three-month reflection period must take a test and a digital course. If the course is not completed, the couple cannot be divorced. The test should ensure that the parents know how best to handle the children's reactions to the news that their parents should be divorced.

Not married couples has the same opportunities as a free choice to participate in the test and digital course that are useful for all parents.

5. Mother and father are equal 

The new family law makes parents more equal. As something new, the new law will make both parents more equal on a number of parameters.

This means that children of parents that is not living together in future will be able to live officially with both parents, as opposed to earlier, where the children could only have a residence at a single address.

In addition, a bill proposing that parents with joint custody using shared parenting in the future will be able to share the child and youth benefit equally. The double residence

For more information view the presentations here: