Judges will be able to decide alternate residence for children in cases of divorce

in News · 01-10-2020 17:27:00 · 0 Comments

Family court judges may determine the alternating residence of children in the event of the divorce of their parents, where this is in the best interests of the child and irrespective of the mutual agreement of the parents.

The amendment to the Civil Code will be voted on and should be approved on 2 October in Parliament, as it is a single text replacing the Socialist Party (PS), Social Democrat Party (PSD), People-Nature Party (PAN), Left Block (BE) and CDS-Popular Party bills.

The amendment, which will have guaranteed approval, defines "the conditions under which the court may determine the alternate residence of the child in the event of divorce, judicial separation of persons and property, a declaration of nullity or annulment of the parents' marriage, by amending the Civil Code".

To this end, it adds two points to Article 1906 of the Civil Code, which establishes the exercise of parental responsibilities, defining that "when it is in the best interests of the child and all relevant circumstances are taken into account, the court may determine the alternating residence of the child with each parent, independently of mutual agreement to this effect and without prejudice to the determination of maintenance".

This Article succeeds another which provides that the court shall determine the child's residence and visiting rights in accordance with the child's best interests, "taking into account all relevant circumstances, including the possible agreement of the parents and the willingness of each of them to promote the child's habitual relations with the other".

In addition, the legislative amendment adds an article stating that "the court shall hear the child in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the General Rules on Civil Procedure".

The legislative alteration counted on the opinions of the Portuguese Bar Association, the Superior Council of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Superior Council of the Judiciary, in addition to requesting contributions from the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV), the Portuguese Association of Criminology, the Association of Women Against Violence, the National Commission for the Promotion of Rights and Protection of Children and Young People, Unicef Portugal, the Portuguese Platform for Women's Rights, in addition to experts in the field.


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