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Austria

Country information

Austria

1. International Family Mediation

Family mediation is provided free of charge for persons settled in Austria. The Civil Law Mediation Act 2004 provides mediation guidelines for conflicts that fall under the jurisdiction of ordinary civil courts. A mediator is a qualified expert who uses recognised methods under the Act.

There is no structure specialised on international family mediation in Austria, but the Network of Cross-border Family Mediators has created a global database which identifies expert family mediators who specialise in cross-border family conflict.

1) Austria is a Party to the 1980 Hague Convention.

The 1980 Hague Convention: a multilateral treaty which provides procedural guidelines on the return of children and their protection in cases of international parental child abduction.

Contact the Central Authority established in Austria for cases of child abduction (operational languages: German, English and French).

If you find that your case falls under child abduction, please see a checklist for child abduction cases in German provided by the Austrian Ministry of Justice. Additionally, you can find here a Form for Request of Return and a Form for Request of Arrangements regarding Rights of Access in different languages.  

2) Austria is a Party to the 1996 Hague Convention.

The 1996 Hague Convention: a multilateral treaty which determines jurisdiction, applicable law, co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and access rights, as well as civil and public measures for the protection or care of children. 

Contact the same Central Authority established in Austria for cases of dispute concerning cross-border parental responsibilities and rights of contact with children (operational languages: German, English and French).

3) Austria is a Party to the Brussels IIA Regulation.

Brussels IIA: a legal instrument of the European Union to help resolve family disputes involving more than one country, over divorce, all parental responsibilities and, in particular, the custody of children. Brussels IIA is a regulation applicable to all European Union Member states (except Denmark). The regulation prevails over the 1996 Hague Convention in cases where the child’s habitual residence is within a European Union Member state (except Denmark). Please be aware that if a decision on access and/or custody rights is taken by a court from the European Union, the regulation foresees that a State Party to the 1996 Hague Convention must recognise the court decision.

Contact the Central Authority established in Austria designated under the 1996 Hague Convention for cases of dispute concerning cross-border parental responsibilities and rights of contact with children (operational languages: German, English and French).

You can determine whether countries relevant to your case are Parties, or not, to the 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, the 1996 Hague Convention on Child Protection and/or Brussels IIA (except Denmark) in order to locate the appropriate central authority. As for the 1980 Hague Convention, you can check whether the Convention is in force between two specific States in the Spreadsheet showing acceptances of accessions to the Child Abduction Convention.

International Social Service Austria (ISS Austria) supports individuals in difficult cross-border situations. ISS Austria provides support and counselling in different fields such as child protection, child abduction, search of origin and contact with parents, etc.

Diakonie Austria supports people in difficult life situations – in sickness, social emergencies, natural disasters (website is in German). Diakonie Austria promotes the inclusion of disabled people, accompanies those needing care, especially elders, supports refugees and invests in educational opportunities for children and teenagers. You can find support in social crises (particularly homelessness, psycho-social distress) and help people with disabilities in your region (website is in German).

Caritas Austria provides disaster relief aid, homecare for the disabled, shelters for the homeless and single mothers, occupational projects for the unemployed, financial coverage of energy costs for the elderly and home search for abandon children. Please find your regional family support (website is in German). 

Hilfswerk Austria is a non-profit organisation that provides social and health care services, child care and support for families in Austria (website is in German). You can find Hilfswerk of your region on the top of the page by clicking on the map icon.

Volkshilfe Austria is a non-profit organisation that provides social support to families, elder persons, migrants and children. Please find your regional Volkshilfe here (website is in German).

4. Child Welfare Services

Child welfare is provided at the regional level in Austria. You can find family public services here for all regions of Austria that provide family support, the protection of children and adolescents as well as comprehensive consulting services (website is in German).

The Therapeutic Communities is a non-profit association working with children at risk as well as with children on the move. The association has offices in Vienna, Ebenfurth, Sitzendorf and Neufeld. You can contact them directly here.

Diakonie Austria supports people in difficult life situations – in sickness, social emergencies, natural disasters (website is in German). Diakonie Austria promotes the inclusion of disabled people, accompanies those needing care, especially elders, supports refugees and invests in educational opportunities for children and teenagers. You can find child and youth services in your region (website is in German).

SOS Children's Villages in Austria works directly with families and communities to empower them to effectively care for their children. They provide counselling and workshops for parents and young people, therapy for children with special psychological problems, and accommodation for refugees (website is in German).

Hilfswerk Austria is a non-profit organisation that provides social and health care services, child care and support for families in Austria (website is in German). You can find Hilfswerk of your region on the top of the page by clicking on the map icon.

Caritas Austria provides disaster relief aid, homecare for the disabled, shelters for the homeless and single mothers, occupational projects for the unemployed, financial coverage of energy costs for the elderly and home search for abandon children. Please find children and youth support in your region (website is in German). 

5. Support to Bi-national Couples, Cross-cultural and Migrant Families

International Social Service Austria (ISS Austria) supports individuals in difficult cross-border situations. ISS Austria provides information for binational couples on subjects like the legal situation of non-citizens of Austria, the residence and right to work in Austria, raising children or dispute between partners, etc.

Verein Fibel is an association that provides intercultural mediation service to binational and bicultural couples and families (website is in German). They also provide counselling service for divorce cases, separation and family recomposition, domestic violence, children's education, (between different religions), moving abroad, general financial questions and on work and accommodation searching. You can contact them directly here (operational languages: German, English, Slovak, Czech, Italian and Farsi).

Asyl in Not provides specific legal and social assistance on an individual case basis to refugees whose human rights were violated by authorities (website is in German). Legal advice and representation are provided free of charge in different languages: German, English, French, Russian, Farsi and Arabic.

The Marriage without Borders (Ehe ohne Grenzen - EOG) initiative has the main objective of equal rights for bi-national couples - married or living in a joint household. The initiative provides an exchange platform for bi-national families and partnerships; they offer legal advice and individual counselling.

Diakonie Refugee Service (Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst) provides counselling, care and support, housing and accommodation, education and training, integration and medical and psychotherapeutic treatment for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. You can find your applicable regional service here choosing its type on the left (website is in German).

Caritas Austria provides disaster relief aid, homecare for the disabled, shelters for the homeless and single mothers, occupational projects for the unemployed, financial coverage of energy costs for the elderly and home search for abandon children. Please find refugees and migrants support in your region (website is in German).

Volkshilfe Austria is a non-profit organisation that provides social support to families, elderly individuals, migrants and children. Pease find your regional Volkshilfe here (website is in German).

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