Sovittelu perhe- ja lapsioikeudellisissa asioissa — kuinka lapsen etu toteutuu?
In Finland 13 000–14 000 marriages end in divorce each year. In the majority of cases, parents reach an agreement on their children’s custody, the living arrangements, the right of access and maintenance. When this fails, these issues are solved in custody trials that affect negatively the children, the parents and the society. Mediation is an alternative way of dispute resolution aimed to solve these conflicts without the harmful side effects.
This article analyzes the state of mediation in custody disputes in Finland from the perspective of the best interests of the child. What is the role of the child in mediation – and what should it be? The article discusses the findings of recent studies in the field and highlights some points to be taken into account in future legislative improvements. The article is particularly topical, as the Act on Child Custody and Right of Access will be reformed in the coming years. Similarly, the Finnish government is set out to enhance divorce-related services.