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In the Danish "family-law" or "paternal responsibility law" there is a phrase concerning parents with shared custody, the parent with the registered address has a veto right regaring "dangerous extra-curricular activities". The interpretation by the lawyer in the Danish authority is apparently that it only concerns activities that they are enrolled to.

With that interpretation, as long as they do it "privately" and not as a part of a social club, there is nothing you can do at all. This sounds so wrong to me, as an irresponsible parent could just go mountain climbing/paragliding/horseback riding without the guidance of the instructors there would be in a proper setting.

I am amazed at this interpretation, and my question is

  1. Is this kind of interpretation normal all over the world?
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  • Note that without that interpretation an overprotective parent could veto essentially any activity of the kid with the other parent on grounds of personally judging it to be a 'dangerous extracurricular activity'.
    – quarague
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 10:56

2 Answers 2

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tl;dr: In Germany, the need for enrollment is not relevant.


In Germany, there is no specific rule for dangerous activities. Instead, the general rule for decision for separated parents applies (BGB §1687):

  • small or every-day decisions ("Angelegenheiten der tatsächlichen Betreuung") may be decided by the parent the child is currently with
  • big decisions ("Angelegenheiten... von erheblicher Bedeutung", "matters of considerable importance"*) must be made by both parents

The distinction is tricky in practice, but there are some court judgements to go by:

  • Decisions without long-term consequences can be taken by one parent alone, such as whether to enroll the child in a sports club, which friends they may visit or what they eat.
  • Decisions requiring both parents are for example what day care facility or school the child is enrolled in and major medical procedures.

Following that rule, activities would need the consent of both parents if they are "more dangerous than usual". Again, there is no precise definition, usually this would only cover activites with significantly elevated risk - such as diving or horse riding.

However, whether or not an enrollment is required is not relevant to decide who may give permission.

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In Canada, there is no necessary "veto" right given to either parent. The legislative scheme differs by province, but for one example, in British Columbia, parenting responsibilities are shared or divided among the child's guardians either by agreement or by court order. Two of the expressly listed parenting responsibilities in the Family Law Act are:

  • making day-to-day decisions affecting the child and having day-to-day care, control and supervision of the child; and
  • making decisions respecting the child's education and participation in extracurricular activities, including the nature, extent and location.

The agreement or order could specify that these responsibilities are exclusively that of one guardian or the other, or shared between the guardians equally, or many variations of those. The agreement or order can also specify mechanisms for resolving disagreements, often under what is known as a "Joyce model." One of the typical terms is that "in the event that guardians cannot reach agreement on a significant decision despite their best efforts, the guardian with the majority of parenting time with the child will be entitled to make those decisions and the other guardian(s) will have the right to apply for directions on any decision the guardian(s) consider(s) contrary to the best interests of the child."

There is no special significance given to the difference between an activity that requires enrollment and an activity that does not.

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