Custody and visiting Arrangements after in the State of Alarm

Both the Courts of Orihuela and Torrevieja have unified their criteria, adopting agreements that inform parents how to proceed.

The state of alarm decreed by the Government has meant a very significant impact on the rights and duties of citizens, among which should be included those recognized in court decisions and, more specifically, those regulating family relationships as a result of the cessation of coexistence of parents and minor children or disabled with parental authority.

Thus, the Courts have differentiated between two types of situations, those regulated by a shared custody agreement, and those in which there is a custodial parent and a visitation regime for the non-custodial parent.

Joint custody:

Those parents who have a shared custody regime may continue to comply with it, since it has been considered that these displacements are permitted by article 7.1.d) of R.D. 463/2020, circulation through public roads, for the return to the place of habitual residence.
Exchanges must be made on the corresponding dates and times, in accordance with the resolution in force, respecting the recommendations and obligations issued by the health authorities.
If the exchange takes place at the school and the place and time have not been foreseen in case of a non-school day, the exchange must take place at the home of the parent who ends the custody, on the same day and time initially foreseen.

However, the parents may temporarily modify, by mutual agreement and for the benefit of their minor children, the current regime of shared custody and care, to transform it into a regime of exclusive custody in favour of one of the parents, when there are special family circumstances of risk, which justify it, or when they prefer to avoid repeated transfers of their children, in order to avoid any risk to their health.
Similarly, the parents may temporarily modify, by mutual agreement and for the benefit of their minor children, the custody regime, in order to modify the custody times of each parent, in view of the special work circumstances that one or both parents have at the moment or in order to reduce the number of trips to be made by their children.
The judicial resolution that includes the regime of shared custody must be taken to the Police or the Civil Guard, in case of control.

Regimes of visits.

The declaration of the state of alarm does suspend the regimes of visits of minors and disabled people, as their circulation is not allowed on public roads, in accordance with art. 7.1 of R.D. 463/2020.

The reason for allowing transfers in the case of shared custody is because it has been considered that in these cases less repeated trips are generated in the time that the visits are carried out, with long stays (generally one week, and in some cases a fortnight or a month).

In any case, the right of communication of the minors with the parent with whom they are not living should be guaranteed, by telephone or telematic means. It is advisable to agree on an increase in such communication, especially in cases of exclusive custody, given the lack of face-to-face contact between the minors and their non-custodial parent, encouraging contacts that allow the other parent to be seen (video call through Whatsapp, video FaceTime between IPones, Skype, etc).

From Lopez Morueco Lawyers, we hope this article helps to understand the custody exchages in  the extraordinary situation we are all living.