My parents are separating, and I don’t know who I’ll be with or what will happen - Kids EN UMPOD
Every child has the right to be brought up by both parents, and has the right to say who they wish to live with and how.
- Are your parents separating and arguing, and you don’t know who you are going to live with?
- Are you unsure whether to live with your mum or dad or take turns with them?
- Will you have to move to another country or do a lot of travelling?
Will there be a court hearing about whom you are going to live with, and you don’t know what will happen there?
Do you have any of these questions?
Then we might help. Every case is different, so we’d like to know more about you and your family.
Contact us and we will write back and tell you what we can do for you.
Max´s story, 11 years old
Max is 11 years old and is a fifth-grader. Until now he has been living in Prague with his mum, who is Austrian, and his dad, who is Czech. The parents have been arguing a lot over the last two years. A month ago, they told him they were separating and they would no longer live together as a family.
Max’s dad moved out, but he still wants to take care of Max. He would like to have Max stay with him for two weeks out of every month, and have the other two weeks with his mum. He would also like the family to live in Prague. But Mum wants to take Max back to Austria, to be closer to Max’s grandmother. She thinks it would be better for Max come to see Dad occasionally, on weekends and holidays. Umpod became Max’s guardian ad litem, and Max received a letter from us that there would be a court hearing. At the same time, Umpod offered a mediation service to the parents, to help them come to an agreement. Our psychologist met Max to find out what he wanted. Max doesn’t like when his parents argue. He would like to stay in Prague because he has friends there and he wants to stay at the same school. In the mediation session, the parents talked about everything, but they still had different ideas about how to take care of Max. No agreement was made. That is why it is now up to the court to decide.
Why are Umpod and the courts involved?
When parents break up, they have to agree on how they will continue to take care of their children.
Sometimes Mum and Dad have different opinions on what would be best. Then someone else or a court must help the family decide.
Solution by mediation
Umpod first suggests that the parents take part in mediation. This means one or more sessions where everyone may present his/her opinion, and they all try to agree without the necessity of a court hearing.
Children aged 6 years or older take part in the mediation. They can come to the session with their parents and say what they wish, or they can say everything to the psychologist, who will speak for them during the mediation. Every child has his own guide (psychologist or social worker) in the mediation, helping them cope with the session.
If the parents can come to an agreement during the mediation, that’s great. The court will usually confirm their agreement. If they disagree, then it is up to the judge to decide about the children.
For more information about mediations at Umpod
What happens at the court?
The judge will find out what Mum and Dad want and will also find out what the children want. So that the judge can find out what the children want, he may invite them directly to the court or will ask a social worker or us (Umpod) to do so.
The judge can also ask an independent adult – a guardian ad litem – what would be best for the child. The guardian ad litem is either Umpod or a social worker. If we (Umpod) act as the guardian, we try not to take sides with Mum or Dad, but instead try to find a solution which would be the best for the child. We then submit our opinion to the court.
The judge will think through all the options and finally decide. He or she will determine where and with whom the child will live, as well as how the child will see the other parent.
If Mum or Dad doesn’t like the judge’s decision, they can appeal. It may take a long time, but another court will examine everything once again, and determine whether the first court decision was all right or whether it needs to change. If the parents do not appeal, the decision stands.
Every case is a bit different. If you’re wondering what might happen in your case, the best thing to do is to contact us directly.
For more about court hearings,