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Intervention of the psychosocial team assigned by a court in a divorce process in Spain

In contentious divorce proceedings in which there are minor children or disabled, any of the parties in litigation or even the judge can request the practice of an expert test known as a Psychosocial Report.

The Psychosocial Report is an expert test carried out by a psychologist and a social worker, who are in charge of examining the living conditions and the relationships between the spouses in the process of divorcing and their children, in order to help the judge to take the decision on aspects of vital importance such as the attribution of guardianship and custody to one or both parents, the establishment of the visitation regime and even the deprivation of parental authority to both parents if deemed necessary.

The experts assigned to the courts have existed in Spain since 1983 and at first their activity was limited to cases of psychoclinical pathologies and cases of social marginalization or serious disintegration that justified the intervention of the Public Administration within a family relationship.

With the reform of the Civil Code in 2005 and the changes in the divorce process, psychosocial teams acquire greater importance within divorce processes. Despite this, today there is still no standard with the rank of law that regulates the configuration of these teams and their way of acting.

The usual way to proceed is that an interview is carried out with the parents and the children and that a follow-up is made taking into account the daily circumstances of the minors: school environment, relationship between the parents, etc.

As in the rest of the expert evidence, the judge is not bound by the provisions of the report in any case, being able to adopt the resolution that she/he deems most appropriate for the interest of the minors, even if it is contrary to the one proposed by the report.

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