If your parents don’t live together, then it is unlikely that you will be able to see them both equally often. You probably live mostly either with your mother or with your father. And you visit the other parent at the weekend, for example. The time you spend with the other parent is called visiting time.
If your parents separate or divorce, one of the most important questions to ask is: Who will you mostly live with in the future? How the visiting hours of the other parent are arranged is just as important. For example, it must be decided:
- How often will you visit the other parent?
- How will the holidays be divided?
- Who will you spend Christmas with?
Families deal with these questions in many different ways. But whatever the way, it is vital that you also have your say. After all, at the end of the day it’s about you.
If your parents still get along well, you can find a solution all together. If you are unable to find a solution, the court or KESB (Child and Adult Protection Service) will make a decision for you.
Both you and your parents have visiting rights. Meaning that you have the right to visit your parents, and your parents have the right for you to visit them. This means that you may sometimes have to visit them when you don’t feel like it or when you would rather do something else.
Sometimes there is tension or conflict, or after a certain time the arrangements for visits are no longer suitable. In such cases, the KESB can decide on a new arrangement. Or they can appoint a social worker, who can support you with the visiting rights (Besuchsrechtsbeistand).
Accompanied visiting rights: Perhaps the situation is very difficult between you and the parent you are visiting. Perhaps you have experienced violence in the past, or you haven’t seen each other for many years. In such cases, the KESB can order accompanied visiting. This means that you will not be alone when you meet your mother or father. There is always someone with you who can support you.