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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it absolutely necessary to regulate the right to contact through a court decision?

In the event there are no disagreements between the parents regarding the contact with the child, there is no need for the court to decide on the contact. In the case it is required by the interest in the child’s upbringing and the situation in the family, the court shall decide on the exercise of the right to contact with the child.

Which court has jurisdiction to decide on the petition seeking the initiation of the proceedings on the contact or modifying the exercise of the right to contact in the event that the child resides in the Czech Republic?

In the event that the parent to whom the custody of the child has been granted is unable to agree on the contact with the other parent or possibly prevents the other parent from contact with the child, it is possible to initiate proceedings on contact with the court in the place of the child’s habitual residence. The proceedings are not subject to court fees.

Which court has jurisdiction to decide on the petition seeking the initiation of the proceedings on the contact or modifying the exercise of the right to contact in the event that the child resides abroad?

In the event that the parent to whom the custody has been granted stays abroad for a longer period of time and prevents the other parent from contact with the child, the petition initiating the proceedings on modifying or exercising the right to contact must be filed in the country where the child resides. The Office may assist the parent when initiating the proceedings in the foreign country through the relevant Central Authority. This assistance is provided free of charge.

In the case that the period since the parent moved with the child to another EU Member State (except Denmark) has not exceeded 3 months, the jurisdiction remains in the competent Czech court pursuant to the Brussels II bis Regulation. However, relocating must take place in a lawful manner, i.e. with the consent of the other parent or the court.

In the event that the child has resided abroad for more than 3 months or in an non-member state of the European Union (or Denmark), it is necessary to file the petition seeking the modification of the right to contact with court of the country which has become the child’s habitual residence.

What to do if the court has issued a decision on the contact with the child?

In the event that there has been a final and enforceable judicial decision on the contact issued in the foreign country, you may turn to the Office, which in cooperation with the Central Authority of the relevant EU Member State (except Denmark), will proceed pursuant to the Brussels II bis Regulation.

In non-members of the European Union and in Denmark, it is possible to proceed in the matter on the basis of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or on the basis of bilateral treaties concluded between the Czech Republic and the relevant country.

What to do if the court has not issued a decision on the contact with the child?

You may also turn to the Office in the event that no judicial decision on the contact of the parent with the child has been issued. In cooperation with the Central Authority of the relevant country, the Office will proceed pursuant to the Brussels II bis Regulation and the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

In the case that your child resides in a non-member state of the European Union but in the State Party to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, please contact the Office, which will provide you with assistance in modifying or exercising the right to contact under Article 21 of the Convention.

In the event that the child reside in a country which not a member state of the European Union or the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, please contact the Office, which will assess possible further steps in the matter.

On the grounds of what documents is it possible to ensure exercising the right to contact within the European Union?

After the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union, it is possible, under certain circumstances in the Member States (except Denmark), to petition for the enforcement of the decision on contact with the child, following the Brussels II bis Regulation.

In the event that there has been a final judicial decision on the contact with the child residing abroad, which may be enforced in a foreign country, it is possible to petition for the enforcement of the decision directly with the competent court in the country of the child’s habitual residence (in the case of the EU Member State), or you may contact the Office, which will provide you with assistance through the Central Authority in the relevant country.

On the grounds of what documents is it possible to ensure exercising the right to contact outside the European Union?

When dealing with the issues of contact in non-member states of the European Union on and in Denmark, it is possible to proceed under Article 21 of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or on the basis of bilateral treaties concluded between the Czech Republic and the relevant country.

Who is going to bear the costs of the contact with the child and the court proceedings in the foreign country?

Within the European Union and in relation to some other countries, it is possibly to apply for free legal aid. In order to be eligible for the free legal aid, the petitioner must be in an unfavourable economic situation (in particular, if they receive social benefits or if their income is very low). If the free legal aid is granted, the petitioner will be represented by the local attorney, with all the costs of the proceedings being reimbursed. The Office will inform you about the ways how to obtain legal aid abroad on the basis of the specific circumstances of the case. In the event that the petitioner has not been granted the free legal aid, the petitioner must bear in mind that they will have to pay the court fees and in most cases, they will also have to bear the costs of legal representation.

The costs of contact with the child (travel costs, costs of accommodation, interpretation, etc.) are to be borne by the parents and it is at the discretion of the court whether it will decide on them. If the decision only determines where and when the parent who is supposed to be in contact with the child will meet the child, it is this parent who is to bear the related cost of exercising the right to contact with the child.

 

Contact

Office for International Legal Protection of Children

Silingrovo namesti 3/4
602 00 Brno, Czech Republic

tel.: 00420 542 215 522

> The contact details

 

Office hours

Office hours for consultations

Wed9:00 - 17:00

Other hours for individual consultations can be arranged with prior telephone agreement with competent lawyer.

Office hours

Mon8:00 - 17:00
Tue8:00 - 16:00
Wed8:00 - 17:00
Thur8:00 - 16:00
Fri8:00 - 12:00
 

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