If after a separation the parents are unable to reach an agreement on custody and contact rights in the best interests of the child or their joint offspring and also to adhere to this agreement in everyday life, the court may order them to undergo family, parent or child upbringing counselling in accordance with § 107 Subsection 3 (1) of the Non-Contentious Proceedings Act.
The court may order such family, parent or child upbringing counselling in cases where:
- arrangements for custody and contact rights do not work
- there is disagreement between parents on the structure of parenting
- communication between parents breaks down and there is a lack of cooperation
- the developmental needs of the child are negated
- conflicts between the parents have become highly-escalated (high conflict)
- there are concerns regarding the parenting ability of the parents or of one parent
The court determines how many hours of counselling must be taken. During counselling the parents have the possibility to discuss the needs of their children outside the court setting. Ideally therefore, both parents will take part in the counselling so that joint solutions can be worked out.
– The list of recognised family, parent or child upbringing counsellors https://www.trennungundscheidung.at/familien-eltern-oder-erziehungsberatung/berater/ is intended to provide guidance for those seeking a suitable counsellor. Judges have the right to recognise child upbringing counselling pursuant to Section 107 Subsection 3 (1) AußStrG carried out by other counsellors as suitable.
– The costs of the child upbringing counselling ordered by the court are to be borne by the parents. As a guide, fees range from 70 – 120 euro (excl. VAT) per hour. – If the judge considers that the proceedings concerning custody and contact rights are putting the child under a great deal of strain, he/she may appoint a child advocate to provide support. https://www.trennungundscheidung.at/kinderbeistand/