Can my spouse keep me from seeing my child?

Hi Lawline.

Me and my wife have been married for more than 10 years and have one child together. We have had problems for a long time since our son was born. Approximately a month ago, our disagreement gets to its high point when my wife told me that she has destroyed our son's passport (can she do that?). She was shouting profanities and insults when I asked her why. It made me realise that we are going to fight the whole day again. So I told her that I will go for a vacation for some time and intend to take our son with me (I had two weeks of vacation left). Our son has a Swedish passport which she kept hidden from me. I asked her to hand me the passport so that we could have a couple of weeks vacation, she refuses and says she will call the police if I go ahead and leave. I was very angry that I bought a last-minute ticket and left Sweden for a couple of weeks.

When I get back, I learned that my wife has moved out of our apartment. She also told my friends that she called the police because I physically assaulted her (which is not true). I have no way of knowing if this is true since I did not get a letter from the police. I am now worried and miss my son. What do I need to do to see my son? If it comes to a custody hearing, will it be a problem for me because I did not ask my wife to see my son? Does my wife have the right to keep me from seeing my son?

Lawline svarar

Hi! Thank you for reaching out to Lawline with your question.

As I understand your question, you're wondering weather it's possible for your wife to keep you from seeing your son, and what you need to do to get to see him.

Since you've been married for 10 years, I assume that you have shared custody over your son. If that is the case, then you have just as much right to see your son as your wife has. If she does not let you see your son, she makes herself guilty of child abduction, which is swedish is called "egenmäktighet med barn" (7 kap. 4§ brottsbalken). I recommend that you reach out to your wife and ask to see your child, and if she does not let you see the child then you have the opportunity to file a police report.

If you do not have shared custody, and she is the only one with custody over the child, you have no right to see the child until the court says otherwise.

If you and your wife are going through/are about to go through a divorse, the matter regarding the custody of the child will be discussed. If you cannot agree with your wife regarding when times your son should be with you, and what time he should be with her, then the court will make a decision based on whats best for the child.

I wish you best of luck!
Kind regards

Lena FamulakRådgivare
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