Child Custody after Divorce in Spain
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Spanish Law states that after the dissolution of a marriage, custody of the underage children may be given to either parent.

Even though, there have been a recent development which shows that judges are starting recognize the role of the father in the upbringing of the children, in most cases, custody is granted to the mother. It is necessary to demonstrate she has some type of incapacity to look after the children in order to take away the custody to a mother.

Nonetheless, once the children are 13 years of age or less if they show enough maturity, they will be heard by the court before any decision is made,  that will affect them directly .

The spouses can also reach into an agreement which sets out the custody of the children including the visitation rights of the parent who does not have the custody. These terms need to be stated in the divorce agreement.

After reviewing the agreement and adjust it if required, in case that the  agreement incurs in a risk for the child. On the contrary if the agreement means no risks for the children, the judge will ratify such agreement. The court will always take into account the best interest of the children. The judge may award custody to one of the parents, or to both,  by issuing a joint custody order.

Even though in most regions of Spain the judges grant custody to the mother, in some regions it is now established by law that the court must consider granting joint custody to the parents.

If there is no agreement on the child custody,  the court will take the following circumstances into account:

–          Siblings should not be separated

–          The children´s emotional needs

–          The proximity of other relatives to the children, such as grandparents.

–          Which parent has better ability to look after the children

–          The existence of addictions in either of the parents or any other psychological condition.

The court gives importance to the dedication of each parent towards the children prior to the divorce, in order to keep the lifestyle of the children as  similar as it was before the separation of the spouses.

Visitation Rights

Once the custody has been awarded it is necessary to establish the visitation rights for the parent who was not granted custody.

The children´s age is taken into consideration when establishing the convenience of overnight stays with the parent who has visitation rights, and normally very Young children  and infants would not do so.

Once the children´s custody has been determined,  it is necessary to establish the visitation rights for the parent who was not granted custody.

The children´s age is taken into consideration when establishing the convenience of overnight stays with the parent who has visitation rights, and normally,  children of young age  and infants, would not do so.

The usual agreement for visitation rights of the other parent, is to enjoy every alternate weekend with the children and half of the holiday periods. But this trend is changing and there is an increase in the visits arranged during mid-week.

Nonetheless, the parent without the custody has certain rights such as:

-To be informed of any major incident related to the children

-Making decision regarding the upbringing of the children

-Can turn to the court if there is a failure to comply the terms of the visitation Schedule

After the age of 13 the children´s opinion can be taken into consideration,  when it comes to setting the timetable and dates of visits with the non-custodial parent.

Should you need legal assistance related to Child Custody or Visitation Rights, you can contact us and talk to one of our attorneys.

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