Parental authority, the rights and duties of parents regarding minor children

Parental authority, what is it ?

Parental authority is a set of rights and duties that the Law grants to parents vis-à-vis their minor children. These rights and obligations are reflected in various ways : to ensure that on the child, his health, his education, his heritage…

The parental authority, which exercises ?

In principle, the two parents exercise parental authority jointly (C. civ., art. 372 (1).

By exception, parental authority is exercised by one of the parents where the child has only been recognized to the state civil by one of the parents or that the other has not acknowledged the child prior to the expiry of a period of one year after his birth (C. civ., art. 372 (2).

It is also exercised by one parent when the other parent is deprived of parental authority or in case of death of one of the parents (C. civ., art. 373 and 373-1) (see withdrawal below).

Parental authority, what about the parents separated ?

In all cases, when a parent is only to perform the customary acts of parental authority, it is presumed that he does so with the agreement of the other (C. civ., item 372-2).

The separation does not deprive the parents of their parental authority, each remains, therefore, a holder of rights and obligations towards the child (C. civ., part 373-2).

Parents in a divorce must go before the judge for family affairs in order to obtain a decision on parental authority and its organization vis-à-vis the child.

The parent who changes his place of residence, amending the procedures for the exercise of parental authority, must notify the other, and in case of disagreement, the family judge shall be entered (C. civ., part 373-2 (3).

Attention, in case of conflict between the parents, the family judge may decide, if the interest of the infant to the command, to entrust parental authority to only one parent (C. civ., item 373-2-1).

The parental authority, can it entrust it to a third party ?

The delegation allows the transfer of a portion or all of the parental authority to a third party (C. civ. art. 376 s.). The consent of parents is required in the case of division of authority between the(s) parent(s) and the third party.

The delegation may occur only by a court judgment (C. civ., item 376) ; it will then be for the judge to decide on the modalities of sharing of parental authority. Similarly, the delegation cannot be terminated by judgment.

The parental authority, can we lose it ?

The withdrawal, which may be total or partial, is a sanction imposed by the judge because of the serious mistakes made by the parents towards the child.

This sanction may be pronounced by the penal judge who will evaluate the appropriateness of the measure in relation to the interest of the child (C. civ., art. 378 (1).

It can also be pronounced by the judge of family affairs in cases of danger to the child or lack of interest of the parents or when the child is a witness of pressures or violence, whether physical or psychological, conducted by one of the parents on the person of the other (C. civ., item 378-1, mod. L. no. 2016-297 march 14, 2016).

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