Parental Authority


When a couple marries and decides to have children, parental authority becomes important. All the commitments that parents have, their rights and the obligations that have been previously stipulated by law are part of parental authority. This term is very important as it is the way in which children can enjoy their rights and feel protected until they reach the age of majority.

What is parental authority?

The parental authority is a group of obligations , duties and rights which are determined by the law for all parents of children who have not yet emancipated in order to ensure the sustainability and education thereof.

  • Meaning
  • Characteristics of parental authority
  • Source
  • Elements
  • Rights
  • Homework
  • Obligations of the children
  • How it is exercised
  • Requirements to request parental authority
  • How to gain parental authority over a child
  • Yield parental authority
  • Loss of parental authority
  • Deprivation
  • Resignation
  • Extension
  • How it differs from custody
  • Parental authority by country
  • Importance


Parental authority is a type of social function that refers to the group of rights and obligations that parents acquire when they have children who are not yet capable of supporting themselves or when they suffer from some type of disability , which makes them dependent on care. This term is also applied in the case of adopted children .


Characteristics of parental authority

The main characteristics of parental authority are mentioned below:

  • It is exercised by parents in order to achieve the well – being of their children.
  • It guarantees food , education and protection for children.
  • In custody, the mother and father have the same duties and rights .
  • It is also applied in the case of adopted children .
  • It can be eliminated in the event that the child suffers from abandonment , abuse or any situation that could put their mental and physical well-being at risk.
  • It is mandatory in nature unless parents are prohibited by law from exercising it.
  • It is a personal duty and it is also non-transferable .


The origin of parental authority has its origins in Roman law where it was exercised absolutely, immediately and in perpetuity. It was known as “ pater families ” and little by little it evolved until it reached what is now known as parental authority.


The elements included within parental authority are the following:

  • Watch over the children.
  • Give education , love , food and comprehensive training .
  • Correct administration of the children’s assets .
  • Representation of the children.


In parental authority, parents have the right to be able to participate actively and fully in all activities carried out by their children, whether recreational or related to their education and upbringing . Likewise, parents will also have the right to instill in them their own beliefs and religious aspects that they consider important. They also have rights to make decisions about the welfare of their children, they have the ability to allow or prevent minors from taking actions that may threaten their integrityphysical or emotional .


Among the main duties of parents with their children we can mention the obligation they have to be present in their lives, to give them protection and care , to ensure that they do not lack food , give them education and find different mechanisms and means to be able to give them an comprehensive type training . In addition, they will be the legal representatives and will be responsible for the administration of the assets .

Obligations of the children

  • Obedience : in this case the children must obey their parents while they remain under their parental authority. Failure to comply may incur correction by the parents.
  • Respect : children are obliged to respect their parents even after parental authority has ended.
  • Contribute to family responsibilities : if it is within the means of the children, they should help their parents.

How it is exercised

Parental authority must be exercised at all times for the benefit of the children, it must be done jointly between both parents and, in the event of a divorce or separation, it will be necessary to go to a judicial authority so that agreements can be reached that benefit the children. Parents will have to exercise their duty of nutrition, education and protection of their children.

Requirements to request parental authority

The necessary requirements that must be presented to request parental authority are the following:

  • Fill out the application form.
  • Keep the identity document up to date as well as the passport.
  • Have all the documents proving the ownership of custody of the child, for example, the birth certificate.
  • Data of the minor or minors.
  • Exact information about the address of the address where the minor will live.
  • Documents that prove and indicate the amount of money provided for support charges .

How to gain parental authority over a child

Parental authority of a child can earn when they can prove that the other party does not comply with the characteristics necessary to ensure the well – being both physical and emotional children. If any of the parents has legal problems , is unemployed or sick , parental authority will be won by the father who has the necessary conditions to properly care for the children.

Yield parental authority

If any of the parents do not have the necessary conditions to be able to face this responsibility without putting the health and integrity of the minors at risk, they can assign parental authority to the father who does have the capacity.

Loss of parental authority

There are several reasons why parental authority may be lost, these are known by the name of grounds and are the following:

  • Once the children have come of age.
  • When one of the parents of the child fails to comply with their duties and obligations .
  • If either of the parents is facing a legal situation that implies a conviction or sentence for having committed a serious crime .
  • When there is a divorce and the judge determines that only one of the parents will be responsible for the parental authority of the children.
  • When the death of some of the parents occurs .
  • At the moment in which the children manage to become independent and support themselves.
  • Problems of drug addiction , alcoholism or mental disorders of one of the parents.


The deprivation can be done in whole or in part and limited to the powers that one of the parents can grant, for example, educational or medical expenses. To request it, you must request a modification in the measures requesting deprivation or a voluntary jurisdiction procedure can also be used .


It can only be waived for serious reasons that put the interest of minors at risk, otherwise, a waiver of parental authority cannot be accepted. When couples disagree with any aspect related to parental authority, only the judicial authority will decide the steps to follow.


The extension of parental authority can be given for children who have reached the age of majority but who are legally incapacitated due to some illness or physical or mental deficiency that does not allow them to develop normally. It also includes older children who are disabled.

How it differs from custody

These two terms should not be confused. The parental authority refers to all the duties and rights that have both parents with children regardless of whether they are natural or adoptive , or if they are born outside marriage or within a set. The custody guard is a term that refers mainly to the coexistence we have with the children every day, for example, when it is given divorce , children usually live with one parent according to what is established by law, this coexistence is what is known as custodial guard.

Another important difference is that in the case of custody, the parents may share the care of the children depending on what has been established by law but in the case of parental authority, the responsibilities and obligations will always be for both. parents until the children can afford and support themselves.

Parental authority by country


In Spain it is seen as the rights, duties and attributions of parents towards children who are not yet emancipated and is based on paternal-child relationships.


Here it corresponds to a right of father and mother towards the children of the marriage as long as they are not separated or divorced.


It is based on the Federal Civil Code specifically on article 113 where it is said that parental authority will be exercised over the person and over the assets that the children have.


Parental authority is paramount because it is the means by which the guarantees being physical , psychological , emotional , of health and education of all minor children and those who despite having complied adulthood, not they can meet your needs due to illness or disability . It is the way in which it can be ensured that parents fulfill all their obligations.

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