Disputes concerning a child

Disputes concerning the contact with the extended family

Children have the right to communicate with their relatives if such communication does not harm the interests of the child. It should be noted that the legislation provides special measures for resolving disputes between parents and relatives of a child only in cases where the dispute involves close relatives. Close relatives are the grandparents and siblings of the child. The parents of the child have the duty to ensure communication of the child with close relatives. If the parents refuse to enable the child to communicate with the close relatives, then the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service and court, two institutions stipulated in the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, can oblige the parents to enable the child to communicate with the close relatives.

The obligation of parents from the territorial division of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service to enable the child to communicate with the close relatives

If the parents of the child refuse to enable the child to communicate with the close relatives, then the territorial division of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service can oblige the parents of the child to enable the close relatives to communicate with the child. The territorial division of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service may refuse to oblige the parents of the child to enable the close relatives to communicate with the child if it has the reason to believe that such communication would be contrary to the child's best interests.

The obligation of parents from the court to enable the child to communicate with the close relatives

If the parents of the child ignore the obligation of the territorial division of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service to enable the close relatives to communicate with the child or the close relatives disagree with the decision of the territorial division of the State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service whereby the territorial division refuses to oblige the parents to enable the close relatives to communicate with their child, then the close relatives may plead in court. The court shall oblige the parents to enable the child to communicate with the close relatives if such communication is not contrary to the child's best interests.

In deciding whether communication with close relatives is in the best interest of the child the court assesses:
• maturity of the children
• the current situation and conduct of the close relatives
• the lifestyle of the close relatives

• other specific circumstances.
In obliging the parents of the child to enable the close relatives to communicate with the child the court must specify the specific conditions of communication: to meet at a certain time and communicate directly, to have phone conversation, to send and receive letters, etc. 

The right of the close relatives of the child to communicate with the grandchildren is an independent right and cannot be associated with the right of the child‘s father or mother of access to the children. If, for example, parental authority of the child‘s father or mother towards the child is restricted or they have the right of minimum access to the child, this does not imply that the grandparents of the child from the side of such father or mother shall have only the minimum right of communication with the grandchild. The procedure of communication between the grandparents and the grandchild shall be established separately from the procedure of access of the child‘s father or mother to the child. 

The child‘s right to see the close relatives if the child lives abroad

Before moving to another country with the child it is very important to anticipate how the child will be guaranteed his or her right to communicate with his or her close relatives in Lithuania – father or mother, grandparents, siblings.

 

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