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Domstolens riskbedömning vid vårdnads-, boende- och umgängestvister

Ardenvik, Carina Ann-Sofi LU (2012) JURM02 20121
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Sammanfattning

Uppsatsen är en studie med huvudsyfte att undersöka domstolens riskbedömning vid vårdnads-, boende- och umgängestvister när ett barn riskerar att fara illa. Min uppsats innefattar även en tvärvetenskaplig utblick för att ytterligare förstå vilka konsekvenser det innebär om inte myndigheter och domstol gör tillförlitliga riskbedömningar. Fysiska, psykiska och medicinska konsekvenser för barn som på olika sätt far illa följer som en röd tråd genom min uppsats och belyses även i rättsfallen jag har valt. Något som har uppmärksammats de senaste åren är hur vi ser på de allra minsta, det vill säga barnen i samhället. Barn är inte längre några ägodelar som kan agas och styras utan istället enskilda individer som ska behandlas... (More)
Sammanfattning

Uppsatsen är en studie med huvudsyfte att undersöka domstolens riskbedömning vid vårdnads-, boende- och umgängestvister när ett barn riskerar att fara illa. Min uppsats innefattar även en tvärvetenskaplig utblick för att ytterligare förstå vilka konsekvenser det innebär om inte myndigheter och domstol gör tillförlitliga riskbedömningar. Fysiska, psykiska och medicinska konsekvenser för barn som på olika sätt far illa följer som en röd tråd genom min uppsats och belyses även i rättsfallen jag har valt. Något som har uppmärksammats de senaste åren är hur vi ser på de allra minsta, det vill säga barnen i samhället. Barn är inte längre några ägodelar som kan agas och styras utan istället enskilda individer som ska behandlas med aktning och respekt. Det är också lätt att inse hur utsatta barn egentligen är i relation till vuxna människor. Det är avgörande vem våra föräldrar är och vilka konsekvenser det kan få om barnet inte ges den grundtrygghet och kärlek som vi förutsätter att barn ska få uppleva.


Jag insåg snart att mitt ämnesområde är komplext. Det beror på hur barn riskerar att fara illa behandlas av olika myndigheter, för att den slutliga riskbedömning som sker i domstolen ska leda till en rättssäker situation för dessa barn. Trots allt har Socialstyrelsen lagt stort fokus de senaste åren på socialnämndens utredningar och vikten av riskbedömningar såväl i domstolen. Kritik har genom åren varit omfattande mot de utredningar som sker inom socialtjänsten. Domstolens riskbedömning har även kritiserats. Genom min granskning av rättsfall kan jag konstatera att det fortfarande finns grund för sagda kritik. Det är ytterst ovanligt att domstolen gör en adekvat riskbedömningsanalys när det görs gällande att ett barn riskerar att fara illa. Uppsatsen visar också att domstolarna i flera fall - brister avsevärt när det gäller att gör tillförlitliga riskbedömningar. Jag kan se att fokus istället hamnar på föräldrarnas tvist och att barnets bästa kommer i bakgrunden trots att barnets bästa i varje vårdnads-, boende- och umgängesärende ska komma främst. Min enkätundersökning till landets domstolar visar också att flera av de rådmän som besvarat undersökningen anser att ett offentligt biträde hade lyft fokus från föräldrarnas tvist till barnets bästa. Jag anser därför att så länge som vi inte i tillräcklig omfattning betraktar barnet som part i målet med eget offentligt biträde, finns det stor risk att barnets rättstrygghet står på spel och att betydelsen av barnets bästa inte blir den som var lagstiftarens intention. Fortfarande så kommer barnet betraktas som ett bihang till sina föräldrar och barnet som en enskild individ förringas. Det är inte bara inom vårdnadstvister som detta gör sig gällande utan även där barn bevittnar våld i hemmet. Barn synliggörs alltså inte i den omfattning som var lagstiftarens intention. Det är ytterst anmärkningsvärt att inte barn som bevittnar familjevåldet ses som direkta brottsoffer och därmed tilldelas ett målsägande biträde vilket även skulle kunna följa barnet vid eventuell vårdnadstvist. Barnets bästa är en vag benämning som behöver problematiseras. Hur konstrueras barn i samhället – som självständiga aktörer eller som bihang till sina föräldrar? Så länge som vi inte tilldelar barn egna offentliga biträde i vårdnads-, boende- och umgängestvister, kan vi omöjligt se barnet som en enskild individ, som garanteras rättstrygghet. I flera fall hamnar fokus på den förälder som gör gällande missförhållanden för barnet. I flertalet fall så diskuterar domstolen om det är barnets egna ord och vilja som kommer till uttryck, eller om det är förälderns oro som gör sig gällande. Riskbedömningar är ytterst komplexa; och ofta svårbedömda. Även rådmännen i min enkätundersökning påtalar detta. Jag har kritiskt granskat flera av domstolens riskbedömningar och anser det oacceptabelt att en riskbedömning utan analys accepteras; där både konsekvenser och en framtidsprognos av barnets bästa helt uteslutits. Landets domstolar gör likväl gällande brister i socialtjänstens vårdnads-boende- och umgängesutredningar. Bristerna innehåller fortfarande samma problematik med svårtolkade slutsatser och ibland omformuleringar av barnets röst. Slutligen är det trots allt domstolen som har det yttersta ansvaret att barnets bästa utreds på ett adekvat tillvägagångssätt och fortfarande så har domstolen en skyldighet att begära in kompletteringar eller expertutlåtande då något får anses osäkert. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Summary
This thesis is a study which primary objective is to examine the court´s risk assessment in legal custody, and contact disputes when a child is at risk of being harmed. My thesis also includes an interdisciplinary perspective to give a more detailed understanding of the process – of which consequences it entails if authorities and courts don´t make reliable risk assessments. Physical, psychological and medical consequences for children who are maltreated is the line of argument through my thesis and is also illustrated in the court cases I have chosen. Something that has been noted during the past years is our view on the youngest, that is the children in society. Children are no longer possessions that can be battered and... (More)
Summary
This thesis is a study which primary objective is to examine the court´s risk assessment in legal custody, and contact disputes when a child is at risk of being harmed. My thesis also includes an interdisciplinary perspective to give a more detailed understanding of the process – of which consequences it entails if authorities and courts don´t make reliable risk assessments. Physical, psychological and medical consequences for children who are maltreated is the line of argument through my thesis and is also illustrated in the court cases I have chosen. Something that has been noted during the past years is our view on the youngest, that is the children in society. Children are no longer possessions that can be battered and controlled, but instead are individuals who should be treated with dignity and respect. It is also easy to realize how vulnerable children are in relation to adults. It is critical who our parents are and which consequences can occur if the child is not given the basic security that we assume that children should experience.

It didn´t take me long to realize that my topic is complex. It depends on how children are at risk of taking harm are treated by different authorities, so that the final risk assessment that takes place in court will lead to a safe situation for these children. After all social services has the past few years focused on investigations conducted by the social welfare boards and the importance of risk assessment in court as well. Critique towards the investigations that takes place at social services has through the years been extensive. The court´s risk assessments has also been criticized. Through my review of court cases I note that there still are grounds for mentioned critique. It is very rare that the courts make an adequate risk assessment when it is stated that a child is at risk of being harmed. The thesis also shows that the courts multiple times show significant shortcomings in its risk assessments. Focus is instead on the parent´s disagreements and the child´s best interest comes second, even though the child´s best interest is supposed to be prioritized in every dispute on legal custody, residence and contact. My survey at the courts in Sweden also shows that many of the judges answering the survey believes that a public counsel would have shifted focus from the parent´s disagreements to the child´s best interests. I therefore believe that as long as we don’t´ give sufficient notice to the child as a party in the court case with its own public counsel, there is a significant risk that the child´s security is at stake and that the meaning of “the child´s best interests” fails to satisfy the legislator´s intention. The child will still be regarded as an accessory to the parents and the child as an individual is neglected. It is not only in custody disputes that this occurs but also when children are witnesses to domestic violence. This children are not noticed to the extent that the legislator intended. It is remarkable that children who are witnesses of domestic violence are not seen as victims of crime and as a consequence are assigned a public counsel which also would follow the child in case of a following custody dispute. “The child´s best interests “is a vague term that needs to be problematized. How are children shaped in society- as independent actors or as accessories to their parents? As long as we don´t assign public counsels to children in dispute on legal custody, residence and contact we can´t possibly regard the child as an individual who is guaranteed safe. In multiple cases focus is on the parent who creates disproportionate circumstances for the child. In multiple cases the court discusses whether it is the child´s own and will that is being expressed, or if it is the parent´s worries that is being considered. Risk assessments are very complex; and often difficult to assess. The judges in my survey also pointed this out. I have made a critical review of many of the court´s risk assessments and I find it unacceptable that a risk assessment without analysis is accepted; where both consequences and a forecast of the future best interests of the child are being excluded. The courts in Sweden also highlight shortcomings in social services in dispute on legal, custody, residence and contacts investigations. The shortcomings still consist of the same problems with conclusions that are difficult to interpret and sometimes reformulations of the child´s opinions. After all it is the court that has the ultimate responsibility that the child´s best interest is being adequately assessed and the court still has an obligation to request additional information or expert opinions when something is considered doubtful. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ardenvik, Carina Ann-Sofi LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The court´s risk assessment in legal custody and contact disputes
course
JURM02 20121
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Riskbedömning, vårdnadstvister
language
Swedish
id
3054967
date added to LUP
2012-11-01 11:12:05
date last changed
2017-01-27 15:52:18
@misc{3054967,
  abstract     = {Summary
This thesis is a study which primary objective is to examine the court´s risk assessment in legal custody, and contact disputes when a child is at risk of being harmed. My thesis also includes an interdisciplinary perspective to give a more detailed understanding of the process – of which consequences it entails if authorities and courts don´t make reliable risk assessments. Physical, psychological and medical consequences for children who are maltreated is the line of argument through my thesis and is also illustrated in the court cases I have chosen. Something that has been noted during the past years is our view on the youngest, that is the children in society. Children are no longer possessions that can be battered and controlled, but instead are individuals who should be treated with dignity and respect. It is also easy to realize how vulnerable children are in relation to adults. It is critical who our parents are and which consequences can occur if the child is not given the basic security that we assume that children should experience.

It didn´t take me long to realize that my topic is complex. It depends on how children are at risk of taking harm are treated by different authorities, so that the final risk assessment that takes place in court will lead to a safe situation for these children. After all social services has the past few years focused on investigations conducted by the social welfare boards and the importance of risk assessment in court as well. Critique towards the investigations that takes place at social services has through the years been extensive. The court´s risk assessments has also been criticized. Through my review of court cases I note that there still are grounds for mentioned critique. It is very rare that the courts make an adequate risk assessment when it is stated that a child is at risk of being harmed. The thesis also shows that the courts multiple times show significant shortcomings in its risk assessments. Focus is instead on the parent´s disagreements and the child´s best interest comes second, even though the child´s best interest is supposed to be prioritized in every dispute on legal custody, residence and contact. My survey at the courts in Sweden also shows that many of the judges answering the survey believes that a public counsel would have shifted focus from the parent´s disagreements to the child´s best interests. I therefore believe that as long as we don’t´ give sufficient notice to the child as a party in the court case with its own public counsel, there is a significant risk that the child´s security is at stake and that the meaning of “the child´s best interests” fails to satisfy the legislator´s intention. The child will still be regarded as an accessory to the parents and the child as an individual is neglected. It is not only in custody disputes that this occurs but also when children are witnesses to domestic violence. This children are not noticed to the extent that the legislator intended. It is remarkable that children who are witnesses of domestic violence are not seen as victims of crime and as a consequence are assigned a public counsel which also would follow the child in case of a following custody dispute. “The child´s best interests “is a vague term that needs to be problematized. How are children shaped in society- as independent actors or as accessories to their parents? As long as we don´t assign public counsels to children in dispute on legal custody, residence and contact we can´t possibly regard the child as an individual who is guaranteed safe. In multiple cases focus is on the parent who creates disproportionate circumstances for the child. In multiple cases the court discusses whether it is the child´s own and will that is being expressed, or if it is the parent´s worries that is being considered. Risk assessments are very complex; and often difficult to assess. The judges in my survey also pointed this out. I have made a critical review of many of the court´s risk assessments and I find it unacceptable that a risk assessment without analysis is accepted; where both consequences and a forecast of the future best interests of the child are being excluded. The courts in Sweden also highlight shortcomings in social services in dispute on legal, custody, residence and contacts investigations. The shortcomings still consist of the same problems with conclusions that are difficult to interpret and sometimes reformulations of the child´s opinions. After all it is the court that has the ultimate responsibility that the child´s best interest is being adequately assessed and the court still has an obligation to request additional information or expert opinions when something is considered doubtful.},
  author       = {Ardenvik, Carina Ann-Sofi},
  keyword      = {Riskbedömning,vårdnadstvister},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Domstolens riskbedömning vid vårdnads-, boende- och umgängestvister},
  year         = {2012},
}