Parental authority – Spanish Lawyers

What is the parental authority?

The parental authority corresponds to a series of rights and duties executed by the parents on their minor children. Those duties are to protect and raise their children in every moment, and for that it is necessary to have the parental authority on the children. It is a power given by law to the parents on their children, power that is always exercised for the benefit of the children.


The parental authority has its definition in the article 154 of the Spanish Civil Code. The parents have personal and patrimonial rights and duties on their children with the parental authority, according to their personality. This parental authority is usually exercised jointly by both parents.


How and when move away or suspend the parental authority?

It can be moved away in different ways such as by the child’s emancipation, one parent’s death, the child’s death, adoption or, also, by court ruling.

The parental authority as a function to protect the child, if this function is not achieved, it is possible to move it away from the father or the mother. However, it is necessary to have an enough serious reason for that. Nowadays, Spanish judges usually do not move it away completely, so the Spanish lawyers use to ask for its suspension until the children emancipate themselves.

It is possible to ask for the parental authority’s suspension for various reasons such as : alcoholism, drug addiction, abuses, the failure to fulfill the duty to feed their children, a criminal condemnation…

Once the parental authority suspended, it is possible to ask for the judment’s modification, for instance if the situation has changed or disappeared.


The visitation regime

When a couple that has children gets divorced or separated, with exceptions, a visitation regime has to be established. This visitation regime exists when only one of the parents has the custody. If the said custody is joint custody, then it is not necessary to establish a visitation visit, the days will be shared between parents and both of them has the shared custody.

There exist two types of visitation regimes: the arranged one and the non-arranged one. The first one is the most spread, because the parent that does not have custody, generally, has the right to keep their child every alternate weekend, with one afternoon each week and the half of the holidays. This visitation regime has multiple different possibilities, for example: a complete day each week instead just the afternoon, two days each week, more weekends, etc. It depends on the specific circumstances, the agreement between the parents, etc.

The non-arranged visitation regime depends on a lot of things such as the distance between the parents’ residences, the child’s young age, the child’s or parents’ illness…

In short, it must be borne in mind that in family law the special circumstances of each case are very important, and it is important to explain to the family lawyer all the details of the relationship and life of each parent as well as that of the children, since they could determine a custody system or a different one and visits or others very different.


Barcelona’s judments

Currently, Barcelona’s courts use to sentence joint custody system when possible.


Would you like some more information? You can read these articles:

Click on: Child custody

Click on: Alimony

Click on: Division of Assets

Click on: Divorce by mutual agreement

Click on: Divorce in Spain 

Disclaimer: This information in this article is not definitive, for up to date legal advice which is relevant to your case please contact our lawyers.


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