Child Custody in Spain

Family Law Client Testimonials

Client reviews of our family law services, as uploaded by clients directly to the Wufoo survey platform:

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    Holly, Lanzarote
    Friday, February 23, 2018
    The divorce process could have been explained more clearly and accurately so that a more realistic time for completion can be attained.
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    Tamara Malcolm, Mallorca
    Tuesday, February 20, 2018
    Rosa was and is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Her advice was excellent and i will definitely be using her expertise again in the future.
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    Eric Van Der Straeten, Belgium
    Friday, November 17, 2017
    Mr. Sempere Gelardo was a pleasure to work with. This lawyer has an understanding of difficult matters that surpasses most of his colleagues.

    He replied to my demand the next day and in fluent Engl...ish assisted me in the case I presented to him.

    His professionalism, together with a lot of empathy, gave me a feeling of security. The results were of the same high standard.

    I can only thank him and would recommend him to anybody who is in need of legal assistance in the region of Alicante.
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    S Smith, Estepona
    Tuesday, September 12, 2017
    Being English in Spain and fighting a child custody and divorce case here is extremely difficult.

    I originally had an only Spanish speaking lawyer and after 2 years of everything taking ages inclu...ding just responses from my lawyer plus with the language barrier I decided to make the difficult decision to change my lawyer to Alvaro.

    Immediately and quickly Alvaro got an understanding of the case and was able to advise me. I was now able to understand myself what was going on and he worked to a new pace that had previously been lacking and that was needed to win the case.

    Communication and response from Alvaro was always immediate and his recommendations were always correct. He is very professional and approachable person, and a very good lawyer. With his help and guidance I won the case and without any hesitation I would highly recommend Alvaro as a lawyer to anyone.
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    Aaron L, Oregon
    Wednesday, August 02, 2017
    Very satisfied with the service provided. Helen was knowledgeable, helpful and responsive to communication. Will definitely use again.
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    Maya M, Canada
    Monday, July 31, 2017
    My overall experience with Rosa was a positive one.

    Value for the money? Yes.

    In my opinion, Rosa is a very knowledgeable and professional lawyer, who is able to not only understand the situat...ion at hand, but also suggest different approaches and customized solutions for unique, non-standard situations, which was the case with me.

    And for that I am really happy and grateful to have worked with Rosa, and wish her the very best in the future.
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    N. Gardiner, Mijas
    Friday, June 16, 2017
    Rosa was value for money, really easy to deal and very efficient. Highly recommend.
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    D slocombe, Spain
    Friday, May 19, 2017
    Jose is very friendly and understanding. I am very satisfied and I would you use the same lawyer again in the future.
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    KSC, Ireland
    Tuesday, October 18, 2016
    She was very helpful, always happy to assist. I was very satisfied with the service.
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    Elena, Australia
    Tuesday, June 14, 2016
    Rosa was straightforward, friendly, polite and cheap. I was very satisfied and I definitely would use the same lawyer again in the future.
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    Kate Godbehere, Granada
    Thursday, February 25, 2016
    From the outset, Rosa was extremely professional, approachable, efficient and competent. Her level of English is extraordinary, something very much appreciated as it made life easier for me during an ...inherently difficult time.

    Her correspondence was always relevant, detailed, simply and clearly explained and expressed. Rosa was kindly, matter of fact, calm, patient and always reassuring.
    Her pro-active, intelligent, thoughtful and knowledgeable advice helped very much during a particularly delicate and worrying stage of the process.
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    Peter Gural, La Linea
    Thursday, October 08, 2015
    What I liked about this service: Value for money.

    The level of professionalism and excellence in service was not compromised in the reasonably low fee charged for the service.

    All details were... explained in a simple format that an ordinary citizen could understand, sparing the bureaucratic procedure that only lawyers can understand.
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    Elena Todd, Almoradi
    Friday, July 18, 2014
    Our lawyer was very understanding of our situation, and took a lot of time to strategise for the best possible outcome.

    Her passionate performance in court exhibited a heartfelt commitment to our ...case.

    Her fees were very reasonable and she was willing to consider payment terms at difficult times.

    I strongly recommend her and will use her again in the future.
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    Christine B., Spain
    Thursday, July 03, 2014
    Very fast and comprehensive responses to all my queries.

    Always available via email and telephone.

    Very reasonable fees.Extremely helpful and thorough. Polite, perfect English. Absolutely prof...essional.

 

The law in Spain states that, following the end of a marriage, custody of the children may be awarded to either parent.

Although there have been recent developments that suggest the judiciary is beginning to apply more weight to the role of the father in the upbringing of the children, in approximately 95% of cases, custody is awarded to the mother of the children.

In Spain, in order for the custody of younger children to be taken from the mother, it would be necessary to demonstrate some type of incapacity on her part to look after them.

However, once the children are 13 years of age (or less if they demonstrate sufficient maturity) they will be heard by the court before any judgment is made that will personally affect them.

It may be the case of course that the spouses come to an agreement between themselves that sets out the custody of the children including the visitation rights of the spouse who does not take custody. This would have to appear in the divorce agreement.

Assuming that the agreement does not put any child at risk in any way the judge will ratify such an agreement.

 

Factors Relevant to the Court

In the absence of an agreement the court will take the following factors into account:

  • Brothers and sisters should not be split-up
  • The emotional requirements of the children
  • The closeness of other relatives to the children (grandparents etc)
  • The ability of one or other of the parents to better look after the children
  • Whether either of the parents has an addiction or other psychological condition

But the factor that tends to carry most weight is the dedication of each parent towards the children before the breakdown of the marriage. It is for this reason that the courts almost always award custody to the mother.

 

Visitation Rights

Once custody has been established it becomes necessary to determine the visitation rights that the non-custodial parent may enjoy.

The typical arrangement in this regard is for the children to spend alternate weekends with the non-custodial parent and 50% of the holiday periods. However this is also in the process of changing and more and more often mid-week visits are also arranged.

The age of the child is taken into consideration when determining the appropriateness of overnight stays with the noncustodial parent, and typically very young children and infants would not do so.

 

Additional Rights

While the non-custodial parent has the right to enjoy the visitation rights agreed with the other spouse or as decided by the judge, there are other ancillary rights that they enjoy:

  • Be informed of any important incidents involving the children
  •  Continue having the right to make decisions with regard to the upbringing of the children
  • Have recourse to the judge should there be a failure to complete the terms of the visitation schedule

Once the children reach 13 years of age they may have their opinion taken into account with regard to establishing the timetable and dates of visits with the non-custodial parent.

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