This dissertation regards the best interests of the child, the reasons for the legal development of custody, the scope of custody and the transfer of custody. The legislation considered is primarily Chapter 6 Code on Parenthood, regarding custody in relation to parents and children, and 2 § Special Provisions of the Young Act (1990:52). The public law element is explained by the fact that placement of children under compulsory care leads to a reduction in the custodian's responsibilities comparable to transfer of custody.
The best interests of the child are divided into an active and a passive sense. The best interests of the child in an active sense aims to give children rights which adults do not have to the same extent. The best interests of the child in a passive sense grants children protection in relation to mistreatments, e.g. severe neglect and battery.
Custody has a de facto and a de lege side. If a parent shares a part in the legal custody, he has all the rights of a custodian, regardless of contact with the child. It is here proposed that the significance of de facto custody is increased. It is also proposed that guardianship should be included in custody. It is further argued that the child's human rights should be brought in to better agreement with the custodians rights.
The reasons for legislation on custody are essentially valuebased. The law aims to change the attitudes held by legal subjects, not to be an instrument for the courts application. Court decisions on custody are based on far reaching discretionary assessments. It is here suggested that discretionary assessments should be limited in favour of the principle of the least possible change.
Stockholm: Norstedts juridik , 1997. , 399 p.