Children can legally have two homes

20.04.2021 - 09:40
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Alþingi
Children will be able to have two legal addresses after Alþingi last week passed a bill from the justice minister aiming to address problems faced by some children and their parents who do not live together.

The bill was passed with 59 votes in favour and four abstentions and includes several innovative changes to children’s law, including the ability to negotiate the division of children's residence, the statutory preconditions for parental agreements on custody, residence and access in relevant legal provisions, a new provision on conversation initiated by a child, clearer provisions on the child's right to express themselves and amendment to the provisions on maintenance and child support, with an emphasis on increased parental freedom of contract.

“For a long time, the system has pushed inequality between parents who raise children in perfect harmony and therefore supports a division that does not need to exist, whereby one parent is in a much better position when it comes to information on their child, access to various things, and in some cases not even being registered as the child’s parent. With this, we are changing it so that legal residence can be registered in two places. The system needs to be there for all types of families and must not complain when a decision has been taken by both parties to share the responsibility for upbringing,” said justice minister Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir. 

Alþinigi also passed a bill on public funding and support to innovation which will see the Icelandic Innovation Centre close down and its 69 staff offered jobs at Rannís, Ríkiskaup, the housing and infrastructure agency, and the Ministry of Education and Culture. 

A new technology centre will be set up in the form of an independent private company in state ownership. The bill argued that innovation and start-up support is best-served by a dedicated, independent body working as a private enterprise rather than by a likely-less-nimble state-run institution answerable to a government ministry and its minister. That bill was passed by 32 votes against 25, with four abstentions and two absentees. 

Examples of independent private companies in state ownership (ohf.) include Landsnet, Isavia, RÚV, airport duty-free stores, Rarik and Iceland Post, among others.

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