A couple from Pontevedra, she is 66 years old and he is 71, has achieved “exceptional custody” of their two youngest grandchildren, after facing a judicial process full of unknowns. For the first time, without previously requesting the withdrawal of parental authority from the parents, a court has recognized that these grandparents were already exercising it de facto after the separation of the parents in 2016, who ignored the children when they were two years and a half and five months old and, since then, they assumed their care and support: “They are fighters and I wish other children could have the same family environment that these have,” proclaims lawyer Manuela Blanco, who values the interpretation that has made a ruling in the first section of the Pontevedra Court to resolve the case, in which the best interests of the minors have taken precedence.
Custody of the children was exercised by the mother after the couple separated in 2016, a breakup that plunged her into a deep depression. Then, she moved to live in another city, while her father only saw the little ones sporadically, with a stipulated visitation regime. Although in 2021 the couple had signed a public notarial deed, in which they recognized that the maternal grandparents were the caregivers of the children, the document did not grant them legal powers to decide multiple issues, some essential and others everyday, such as opening a bank account for them. , demand alimony from the father, give consent for a possible surgical intervention or a simple school trip.
But, above all, the grandparents feared that, one day, they would lose their grandchildren, and they did not want all these inconveniences to cause friction with their daughter, who at any moment could take them away without them being able to stop her. “They did not want confrontations, but at the same time they feared losing the children; a possibility that caused them enormous anguish and concern,” explains the lawyer from the MBJ firm in Santiago who handled the case.
The first attempt to obtain custody was inadmissible, so the court did not get to the bottom of the matter. It was a complex case because they wanted to avoid the process of requesting the withdrawal of parental authority from the parents and the requirement of abandonment of the minors was not met because they were not cared for, due to the death of the spouses, nor due to illness, serious drug addiction or because they were serving a prison sentence. “The appeal was raised on the basis of unexercised custody, with absolute compliance on the part of the grandparents, and, most importantly, the best interest of the minors, recognized by all international conventions, took precedence,” says Blanco. .
A week after the trial, the court published its verdict: “This custody is exceptional, and should be granted to those who provide the minors with a stable and positive environment, and this situation has been found in these maternal grandparents,” the ruling maintains. of the Pontevedra Court, in a ruling published on September 26 that opens the door to other families in similar situations, cutting procedural steps by ignoring the withdrawal of parental rights from the biological parents.
Although the sentence is not final and the parents could appeal it, the lawyer believes that it will not be raised, since the parents’ disinterest was evident because they did not appear at the trial and were declared in default. In this context, the court concludes that “this family unit is very beneficial for the minors and is their main reference,” and adds that the parents ignored the care and support of their children for five years.
The ruling also establishes a visitation regime for parents and they are obliged to pay monthly alimony to their children proportional to their salaries: 300 euros for the father and 200 for the mother. Due to her profession in the hospitality sector, she will be able to see them on the day off she has each week, while he is assigned alternate Saturdays and full-time. On vacation, children will be able to be with their parents for 15 days, always under the discretion of the grandparents so that their extracurricular or additional activities to their education and social relationships are not interrupted. The ruling also regulates telephone communications between parents and children, and although it does not set limits on frequency, it requires that they be carried out between six and eight in the afternoon.
“It is the solution most in line with the best interests of minors, it is the one that best allows the satisfaction of their basic needs, both material, physical and educational, as well as emotional and affective, which allows their life and development to take place in a adequate family environment, maintaining their family relationships, and even in contact with their parents,” the court concludes.
#court #grants #exceptional #custody #children #grandparents #parents #separation