Child Custody Spain

Going through a divorce or legal separation can be difficult for a couple, but when the couple has children, whether adopted or born within marriage, such divorce can turn into a more complicated matter. Our Lawyers always advice you on trying to reach a mutual agreement with your spouse to avoid extra proceedings in Court and hurt children’s feelings. However, if no agreement is settled, then we will be ready to help you going through a Children’s legal custody or guardianship trial.  Our Law Firm counts with a quality team of attorneys who have wide experience assessing clients, whether nationals or foreigners, when it comes to Civil and Family Law related matters.


You must consider first that each country has their own ruling legislation in relation to legal custody of children and maintenance. If both parents are leaving in the same territory when the legal separation is being granted, then the corresponding legislation of such country is the one who will be applied. However, some problems may arise when the parties are not leaving in the same country when legal proceeding for dissolution of marriage is taking place. The European Union legislation may be entitled to help both parties deciding under which jurisdiction the divorce must be proceed and therefore which laws will be governing the visitation rights and legal custody of children. In any of these cases, our lawyers have the necessary knowledge and experience to represent your interests and rights in Court. Please note that if parents are not married, the Judge will render judgment based on the applicable law.


Legal Custody

Spanish Law foresees that legal custody of underage children can be granted to any of the parties. However, it is really common that the legal guardianship of minors is being granted to the mother. Fathers are likely to be granted full custody of children if they manage to demonstrate or the judge realizes that the mother is unable to look after them properly.


While one of the parents will get the legal guardianship of the children, the other, the non-custodial parent, will be given visitation and communications rights. Normally, he or she will often be charged with a monthly alimony to cover his/her children expenses. Also, the non-custodial parent has the right and duty to:

  • Keep contact with his/her children and have his/her visitation rights respected as agreed.
  • Guarantee the correct education, safety and health care of his/her children.
  • Be notified of relevant events in relation to his/her children’s life.
  • Participate in the decision making process regarding his/her children’s future.


You must remember as well, that you may go to Court if any of the parties, whether the legal guardian or non-custodial parent, isn’t fully complying with the conditions established in the legal custody and maintenance arrangement.


Remember that the Judge will consider the following facts when making a decision in connection thereof:

  • Brothers and sisters should not be split-up
  • The environment where the children may grow, and the emotional connection to other relatives (grandparents, cousins, etc.)
  • The personal information of each party (economic situation, jobs, psychological condition, etc.), and their aptitude to look after them.

The law also foresees that children should remain in the family home, thus the party who gets the guardianship is likely to be permitted to keep the house.


Joint Custody

In this case, both parties are given the shared custody and guardianship of their children. Both parents will participate of their children’s main decisions and maintenance. They will have them the same amount of time. In such case, the children may reside with one parent for a period of time and then with the other for an equal period, unless the Judge considers this to be inappropriate for the children.


Our attorneys can assess you as well regarding child abduction, kidnap or Hague Convention cases, which outlines the actions to be held to return to his/her home a child who was “internationally abducted” by a parent from country to another.


Remember that it is important to reach an agreement where both parties are fully satisfied and children are safe and happy for this agreement will rule their life for a long time. Contact us, and one of our attorneys will guide properly your case.