As lawyers specializing in family law, want to discuss parental authority in this post. First of all, we should clarify that even if one parent has sole custody of the children, the other parent’s parental authority remains intact. But can it be “lost”? We’ll answer that question in the following lines.
The Spanish Constitution, specifically article 39.3, states that “parents must provide their children, whether born within or outside wedlock, with assistance of every kind while they are still under age and in other circumstances in which the law so establishes”. This is known as parental authority. In other words, these are parents’ rights and duties to their underage non-emancipated children, such as caring for them, educating them, feeding them, protecting them and managing their assets. At ICN LEGAL, as lawyers who are former judges, we can inform you that parental authority can be terminated, but it is a measure reserved for very extreme cases. Generally, if the duties derived from parental authority are breached, it is provisionally suspended prior to full termination.
As you can imagine, since this is a very serious measure, the judge is the one who has the authority to terminate the parental authority of one or both parents when the aforementioned duties have been breached. However, as we’ve noted, the initial step is a temporary suspension of parental authority.
Extension of parental authority
Parental authority can be terminated, suspended or extended (if the child’s disability is declared, even when they are of legal age). This responsibility is terminated upon the death of the parents, and is then passed on to a legal guardian.
Grounds for suspension and termination of parental authority
According to the Spanish Civil Code, it may be terminated due to:
1. The death or declaration of death of the parents.
3. Adoption of the child.
Termination of parental authority
As we said, the judge’s decision can affect one or both parents. Possible grounds include mistreatment of the child or when one of the parents has died at the hands of the other. Other reasons may include emotional neglect and addictions that jeopardize the child’s safety.
The ruling may determine the partial or total suspension of parental authority, always ensuring that this measure will be the most beneficial for the minor, since the welfare of the child or adolescent always comes first.