What is the difference between guardianship and custody and parental authority?


The legal concept of Parental Authority ("Patria Potestad") differs from Guardianship and Custody ("Guardia y Custodia"). In this sense, according to article 154 of the Spanish Civil Code, Parental Authority includes the following duties and powers:


  • Watch over the children, keep them in their company, feed them, educate them and provide them with comprehensive training.

  • Representation and administration of their assets.


As stated above, Parental Authority refers to the general representation of children, while Guardianship and Custody focuses on habitual or daily coexistence with them. For this reason, when there is a break between the parents, it is normal for both to maintain Parental Authority, which does not usually happen with Guardianship and Custody since, as a general rule, only one of them maintains it, except in cases of Shared Custody.

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