Meaning of parental authority

What is parental authority:

Parental authority is understood as the set of obligations, rights and duties that the law stipulates for those parents who have non-emancipated children, in order to protect and guarantee their sustainability and education, as stipulated in the Civil Code.

It was from Roman law that the term parental authority began to be used. In its beginnings, in ancient Rome, the power of children was conferred on the father.

However, currently the parental authority of the children is held equally by both the mother and the father and, if the parents of the minors are not alive or cannot take care of them, the power falls on the grandparents or on who is suggested by a judge through a trial.

Characteristics of parental authority

Parental authority has a set of characteristics that define its importance as a legal term and whose knowledge and understanding is important for all those who have non-emancipated children.

  • Parental authority must be exercised by parents in order to ensure the well-being of their children, who do not lack food, education, protection and affection.
  • Both the father and the mother have the same obligations, rights and duties with their children.
  • The origin of the term, parental authority, has had a patriarchal function that has been modified over time and is currently exercised by both parents equally.
  • Parental authority rests on all children who are had, whether in marriage or not, and even on adopted children.
  • Parental authority is based on the nature of having children, own or adopted, that is, on their recognition, therefore it does not arise from marriage or from any other document that evidences a marital or de facto relationship.
  • Parental authority can be limited or revoked in cases whose non-emancipated children are in a situation of abandonment, mistreatment or whose physical and mental well-being are not guaranteed.

See also the meaning of Emancipation.

Loss of parental authority

Parental authority can only be exercised by the parents or representatives of underage minors who have not been emancipated for a period of time, that is, it is a right and duty with limited durability to be exercised and that may vary for different reasons.

  • When the children come of age.
  • Parental authority is lost when the father or mother fails to comply with their duties and obligations of food, security, health, education and affection.
  • In the event that the father or mother must face a conviction or court sentence for having incurred a serious crime.
  • In case of facing a divorce and the judge rules that only one of the parents can have the custody of their children.
  • In the event that one of the parents or children dies.
  • When the child or children reach their emancipation and independence.

Parental authority and custody guard

Parental authority should not be confused with custodial guardianship. Parental authority refers to the rights and obligations that both the mother and the father have with their children, natural or adoptive, born within or out of wedlock.

On the other hand, the custody guard refers to the daily coexistence with the children. In the case of a divorce or separation, the children live with one of their parents, mother or father, as determined by legal agreements. For this reason, the children share the same home and live daily with one of their parents.

Parental custody may be shared as established during divorce or separation agreements. However, the responsibilities and obligations of the custodial fatherland remain equally in both parents until the emancipation of their children.

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