Shared Custody of Children, Movement Between Parental Homes

This question has been raised several times and it is surprising that it has taken this long to get some further guidance.

A report by the diario 27th April outlines a case where a mother taking her child from one house to the other was stopped by the Police and told she was not able to do so. The diario report states she was arrested. The police said that the child had to stay in the domicile they happened to be in at the start of the state of Alarm.

The state prosecutor for Ibiza has responded by saying that this is not correct and that parents are able to continue shared custody arrangements including taking their child from one home to another. All protocols should be followed when transporting children on foot or in private and public transport vehicles.

Furthermore the courts are sympathetic to any short term informal changes to custody arrangements.

Two examples given were:-

  • an agreement to reduce the frequency of changeover during the crisis, so for example changing every 2 days becomes changing every week to reduce the need to transport the child(ren)
  • a change in bias of the childcare as one home or another is more comfortable or practical for the child, for example a child living between 2 homes, one a house with a garden and the other a small apartment, would stay in the house a greater proportion of time than normal.

It was stressed that a written variation should be prepared and signed by both parents. 

These variations could only be made with both parents´consent. Any disputes or unilateral variation should be reported to the courts in the normal manner. 

It is accepted that whatever the prosecutor determines, it is reliant on the police on the ground being aware of this regulation among the many, many, situations they encounter. 

Any parents facing difficulty may wish to refer to this comprehensive report in the diario.