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Our law firm Navas & Cusí with offices in Madrid and Barcelona has a multidisciplinary character and with an international vocation (based in Brussels), specializes in banking, financial and commercial law.
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Shared and sole custody: European approach

The European Union recognizes two main forms of custody: joint and sole. When parents divorce or separate, they can opt for shared custody, where the child lives alternately with both parents, or sole custody, where the child resides primarily with one parent, with visitation arrangements for the other parent.

Parental responsibility in the European context

Parental responsibility encompasses the rights and obligations towards the child and his or her estate. This includes the care of the child and the administration of the child’s property. In the EU, it applies uniformly to all children, whether they are the children of married or unmarried couples.

Determination of the competent jurisdiction

A key issue in international custody cases is the determination of the competent jurisdiction. According to Regulation (EU) 2019/1111, known as Brussels IIb, the competent jurisdiction is usually that of the country where the child habitually resides. This regulation is essential to avoid conflicting judgments in different EU member countries.

Recognition and enforcement of judgments

The EU facilitates the recognition and enforcement of judgments on custody and parental responsibility in other Member States. This is crucial to maintain the relationship between the child and his or her parents, even when they reside in different EU countries.

Mediation as a resolution tool

When there are disagreements, mediation plays an essential role. At Navas & Cusi, we promote mediation to reach amicable agreements, always considering the best interests of the child. Mediation offers families a faster, cheaper and less conflictive alternative to litigation, allowing to find personalized solutions that meet the needs of all parties involved.

Judicial cooperation and legal assistance

Cooperation between judicial authorities and legal assistance are essential in international custody cases. The EU promotes cooperation between member countries to ensure the efficient exchange of information and the necessary legal assistance, ensuring that judicial decisions are effectively enforced and the rights of all involved, especially those of the child, are protected.

Protection of the rights of the minor

The protection of children’s rights is a priority in all international custody cases. The EU promotes measures to ensure the best interests of the child in all judicial and administrative decisions relating to custody and parental responsibility. This includes ensuring the child’s right to maintain meaningful relationships with both parents and to be heard in court proceedings, in accordance with his or her age and maturity.


For those facing legal challenges in cross-border custody contexts, expert advice is crucial. At Navas & Cusí, with main offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Brussels, we are EU law lawyers, ready to guide you through the complex European legal landscape. We are committed to protecting your interests and ensuring your child’s welfare at every stage of the legal process. With our help, you can navigate these challenges with confidence and efficiency.

Navas & Cusí Abogados
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