have been a lot of stories about the increase in child abduction cases between
countries where parents live in different countries or have to leave the
country they are living in for economic reasons.
the issue of child custody and visits is one that arises in the summer holidays
when the parents don´t have an agreement and are living apart. Spanish courts
are very strong in protecting the rights of a parent to spend time with their
children. Judges generally award every other weekend to the parent who doesn´t
live with the child and 4 weeks in the summer, with alternate Christmas and
Easter holidays. When advising parents we always stress that while it is
preferable to reach agreement privately, if it is necessary to go to court you
must expect this type of order to be given.
the majority of parents fully appreciate the need for their children to have
time with each parent and also understand that for children routine helps to
create stability and reduces the stress of a breakdown in the parent’s
relationship. All lawyers now encourage a dialogue between the couple and
professional advice and help with reaching a settlement can remove some of the
barriers to an a private agreement so there is no need for a contentious court
agreement should be formalised in the country where the children are living and
will deal with maintenance and future arrangements. It is often advisable to
put in a clause about the possibility of one of the parents moving to another
country and have an agreement to revise the visiting arrangements if that does
happen. For example if one parent returns to their home country they may want
to have long weekends every month and more time during the holiday period.
children may be expressing strong views about the future arrangements and the
Judges will listen to these views in some cases. However it is very important
that the children are not made to feel they must choose between the parents so
again it is better to reach agreement rather than putting any pressure on them
to make decisions.
a good understanding of what is likely to happen in court if the parents can´t
reach agreement often helps a couple to settle things between them. Judges do
focus on the needs and interests of the children and will be prepared to intervene
if they think these are not being met equally. There have now been some
decisions on joint custody in Spain and it seems likely this will be extended
in the future.
more information about Family Law including divorce, child custody and
visitation, or to book a private consultation please contact De Cotta Law.
Head Office Spain (Mijas-Costa/Calahonda):
Centro Comercial Valdepinos 1 y 3ª
29649 Mijas Costa (Málaga)
Tel.: +34 952 931 781
Fax: +34 952 933 547
Monday to Thursday 09.30 – 17.30 – no siesta
09.30 – 14.30 Fridays