Welcome to parental mediation!
On this page, you will find information about the meeting to which you have been summoned. Please read before you meet.
The office is located in the center of Oslo, one block from Egertorget, Stortinget and Karl Johans gate. The address is Akersgata 45. This is a triangular building that points towards the Grensen / Akersgaten junction. The entrance is from Grensen. It is located between Kaffebrenneriet and Plantasjen.
When arriving, press the door bell marked "MEGLINGSSENTERET". We are located on the 6th floor.
Metro/T-bane: From the Stortinget station, you can choose the exit marked Grensen (not Lille Grensen). Then you will exit just across the street from our entrance.
Tram: There are several tram routes passing at Stortorvet station. From there you go up Grensen on the left side, over the top of the hill where Akersgaten crosses Grensen, and then a few meters down again, where our entrance is located.
Car: The city center is a difficult place to drive and there is little parking in the streets. We recommend Sentrum P-hus (OnePark), which you may reach via Ring 2. From there, it is a short walk to our office.
The mediation scheme
We cooperate with the Family Prevention Offices in Oslo and the surrounding area. We mediate according to the public scheme that provides the parents with a mediation certificate ("Meglingsattest"). You receive the mediation certificate when you leave from the first meeting.
The scheme applies to parents who have children together under the age of 16. In the mediation you discuss how your children should be looked after in the future, with the help of the mediator. Mediation is mandatory
- when the parents are married and are to be separated,
- when cohabitants move apart, and
- if discussion arise about children from previous relationships, and are not being solved directly between the parents.
Gøsta Thommesen is an authorized parental mediator at the Mediation Center / Meglingssenteret.The mediation is free of charge.The first meeting is for the parents only. In some mediations we invite the children to subsequent meetings.
You may also read the Children's and Family Agency's information on this mediation scheme (in Norwegian).
What is going on in the meeting?
The main topic of the mediation is how you, in the best possible way, may take care of your child(ren) for the future and how you can work together on this. The mediator will not decide anything for you. He will help you talk together in a constructive way and help you find out what you think is important for the child and for yourself.
It is not necessarily easy to sit down and talk to your ex-partner. A part of the mediator's job is to help you do just that, listen to both of you, and help you get something fruitful out of the conversation. This is an informal meeting, and the mediator will keep all that is said confidential. You may speak freely!
The mediator may give you advice and examples of good solutions for the child, and will know about laws and regulations that apply. The mediator can help you draft a written and signed agreement, which is almost always wise to have.
- Day-to-day arrangements - where is the child during the day and at night
- Holidays and special occasions - where will the child be
- The cooperation and dialogue between the parents
- Who will make the major decisions regarding the everyday life of the child
- See further down on this page for a more detailed overview
Please set aside a couple of hours for the first meeting, so you're not too busy. The topics you will discuss are important.
The mediation may consist of one meeting or several meetings, depending on the needs. In any case, the mediation certificate ("Meglingsattest") will be handed out before you leave from the first meeting. Only the first meeting is mandatory.
The child may come and talk to the mediator as part of the mediation, from ages 7-8 and up. This can benefit both the child and the parents. Talking to a neutral person about how she or he is doing during a divorce or during a conflict between parents can often be easier than talking to mom and dad. Children appreciate being heard and listened to, being able to tell how they feel, and being able to tell what they want for the future. The opportunity to let the child talk to the mediator is discussed in the first meeting, if relevant.
Taking care of a child when the parents live apart
What are the best arrangements for the child? You decide together how this should be. Here are topics to give some thought. Some of them are always wise to have a clear agreement on. Some you might talk about later. Some minor topics are of a kind that you most likely will sort out on a day-to-day basis. The mediator may give you advice to take along, can help you find good solutions, and may help you draft a written agreement.
WHERE SHOULD THE CHILD SLEEP?
What is best for the child? Most parents make a fixed plan, for example:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 - sleeps with:
Week 1 - sleeps with:
For the smallest children, special considerations apply with regards to accommodation.
WHERE SHOULD THE CHILD BE DURING DAYTIME?
Together with whom will the child be in the afternoons during the week? During the day in weekends? What is best for the child?
An agreement may include days where the child stays durin the afternoon / during daytime with one parent and goes to bed with the other. As an example, this may be wise when the child lives many days in a row with one parent. Then especially young children can miss the other too much if you do not make any contact along the way, i.e. by making a daytime visit.
Winter holidays - Easter holidays - May 17 - Summer holidays - Autumn holidays - Christmas holidays - Eid - Others?
The summer holidays are being split by most parents so that the child gets time with both parents. The other, shorter vacations can also be split, or the child may alternate by being with each parent every second time. Many parents create a fixed system so that they can make long term plans. Some parents make individual agreements for each holiday.
For the smallest children, special considerations apply to vacations.
THE CONTACT BETWEEN THE PARENTS
At what times are you going to talk?
How should you get in touch? How are you going to talk to each other?
What should you inform each other about regarding the child?
How should you exchange information and how often should you do it?
THE CONTACT WITH THE CHILD
How should you take into account the child's opinions about his/her own everyday lives?
How can you shield the child from adult discussions and conflicts?
How are you going to talk about each other with the child?
Ad hoc needs to change a visitation day - how do you handle this?
The child's desire for contact with the other parent outside of the schedule - what should apply here?
If one of you wants to move to another place - how is it best to co-operate?
PICK-UP AND DELIVERY
How you behave and what you talk about during handovers
Who picks up and delivers
Responsibility for travel expenses
SICKNESS AND ABSENCE - WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
Sick days - Medical visits - Planning days - Parental illness
Whom of your family, friends, etc. can you ask for help with childcare?Do you always ask each other first?
Child's birthdays - Parents' birthdays - Family and friends' birthdays
The child's baptism or confirmation
Ceremonies with family or friends, such as weddings, funerals, etc.
A parent's change of job, maybe with new working hours
PURCHASES AND EXPENSES - WHO IS RESPONSIBILE
Clothing and equipment - Leisure activities - Health expenses
RIGHTS TO DECIDE
DECIDING IMPORTANT DAILY MATTERS FOR THE CHILD ("FAST BOSTED")
Another Norwegian term for this, which was used more often earlier, is "Daglig omsorg" (Daily Care).
This is primarily about who makes the major decisions in a child's daily life. The typical example of this is the choice of leisure activities. Violin or football? Brass band or martial arts? Should the child attend camps or school tours? SFO or not SFO? For children under school age, the choice of kindergarten is included here.
This deciding right may either be with one parent or be shared between the two of you.Where a child sleeps all or almost all nights with one parent, it is most common to leave this with that parent. That parent then has the final say in discussions about these slightly larger decisions of everyday life, in the event that you disagree.When the child does not sleep most of the time with one parent, it is more common that the parents share this deciding right, even in the case that the child sleeps somewhat more with one parent than the other. So then you decide just as much, and you have to agree on these slightly larger decisions in daily life.
When this deciding right is shared, an important factor is included: None of the parents are then allowed to move with the child inside of Norway without the consent of the other. (Changing address in the local area / in the same city does however not need consent).
Accordingly, when this deciding right resides with one parent, that parent has the right to move with the child inside of Norway. The parent is then required by law to notify the other at least three months in advance. If the other parent does not agree that moving is beneficial for the child, then the parents have an obligation to go to mediation. If the mediation does not solve the matter, then the parent who disagrees with the move may go to trial. The single question in a court case will be where it is best for the child to live. If the judge thinks it's best for the child to stay and not move, then so be it. If the judge thinks the best thing for the child is to follow the parent who is moving, then so be it.Letting one parent having the deciding rights alone can be a good solution where the parents cooperate very poorly. Then it is sometimes simplest and least conflicting that one of you decide, and that you have fewer discussions. You may very well agree on this even if the child lives equally much or almost as much with each of you.
LEGAL CUSTODY ("FORELDREANSVAR"/"FORELDREMYNDIGHET")
This is the legal responsibility for and authority over the child. The parent who has legal custody signs the passport applications for the child, may give consent for medical treatment, chooses school for the child and takes care of some other formal matters.
In Norway, the main rule is that parents living apart have legal custody together / shared. Therefore, it is not often the parents need to discuss this. Who has legal custody is registered in the National Register ("Folkeregisteret").
When legal custody is shared, one parent cannot move abroad with the child without the consent of the other. However, parents may travel on regular vacations abroad with the child without the other's permission, i.e. up to approx. one month at a time.
Sometimes it seems right to let one parent have the legal custody alone. It may be that the other parent is ill, or lives overseas, so it becomes impractical to obtain signatures on formal papers. It may be that one parent does not participate rationally and promptly when making decisions. Or it may be that the level of conflict between the parents is so high that cooperation about these mattes does not work. In these cases, it may be best for one of you to be responsible. You can transfer the legal custody to one by signing a form and submitting it to the National Register. If you do not agree on where the legal custody should lie, it is possible to go to trial on this.