Understanding Child Custody Laws for Illegitimate and Legitimate Children
Illegitimate children are those conceived and born outside of a valid marriage. The laws surrounding parental custody and authority for these children are more straightforward – custody generally falls to the mother. This rule applies regardless of whether the child is a minor or not. However, the father retains visitation rights, a topic we will delve into later.
Shared Parental Custody over Legitimate Children
When it comes to legitimate children, parental authority and custody are typically shared between both parents. The Family Code decrees that both the father and mother have a mutual responsibility to exercise parental authority over their shared offspring.
If the parents separate, the court designates which parent will have authority. This decision takes into account various factors, with a key emphasis on the preference of a child over seven years of age, unless the selected parent is unfit. For children under seven, the mother generally retains custody unless the court finds compelling reasons for an alternate arrangement.
Custody Laws for Minor Children
As stated earlier, the law generally favors keeping a child under seven with their mother, unless there are significant reasons to rule otherwise. In any disputes about minor children’s custody, the primary consideration is always the child’s physical, educational, social, and moral welfare. The resources and moral situations of the contending parents are also taken into account.
Impact of Parental Disagreement, Death, or Absence on Child Custody
In scenarios where the parents disagree, the father’s decision usually prevails unless there’s a judicial order stating otherwise. If one parent is absent or deceased, the present or surviving parent continues exercising parental authority. In the event that both parents are absent, deceased, or unfit, substitute parental authority is given to the surviving grandparent.
Suspension and Termination of Parental Authority
Parental authority can be automatically suspended if a parent is convicted of a crime that entails a civil interdiction penalty. The authority can also be suspended by the court if the parent has been found to be excessively harsh, gives corrupting counsel, compels the child to beg, or subjects the child to lascivious acts.
Parental authority can be terminated permanently by court order in the event of the parents’ or child’s death, the child’s emancipation, or if a person exercising parental authority subjects the child to sexual abuse.
Visitation Rights of Non-custodial Parents
Visitation rights in family law refer to the legal privilege granted to a parent or relative who doesn’t have custody of a child to spend time with them on a regular schedule. The court determines the specifics of these rights. In certain cases, such as those involving violence against women and children, the father may be deprived of visitation rights.
Keep in mind that child custody laws can vary, so it’s crucial to consult with a family law professional to understand the specifics for your situation.