Situation: Women residing in Spain (but different EU national) gave birth in Spain. Father of the child, who is a UK national is legally known and present on the birth certificate, was present at the birth and the kid took his name as well as the mother's: [name][fathers surname][mothers surname]. Mother and father are not a couple and the father is currently living in England. They currently both wish for the mother to take care of the kid, with the father only visiting on occasion.

Are there any dangers involving the father that the mother should be aware of? For example, does this situation pose any danger for the woman's custody rights over the kid under Spain or EU law? Would it be safe to travel to the UK (or any other country) with the kid, if for instance the father decided to keep the kid in the UK.

Thank you for any advice, and let me know if I should split this into multiple questions.

  • Under Spanish law, a parent cannot renounce his/her rights and obligations towards sons/daughters (the patria potestad) but the couple can agree (or a judge can decide) for one parent to renounce the exercise of the rights in favor of the other parent. Get a lawyer to draft an agreement specifying the rights and duties of every partner.
    – SJuan76
    Aug 31, 2018 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


does this situation pose any danger for woman custody rights over kid under Spain or EU law? Would it be safe to travel to GB (or any other country) with the kid, if for instance father decide to keep the kid in GB.

Please note that I am not knowledgeable about (and have never litigated) child custody. My answer is based on my vague recollection of the lengthy, unfortunate matter of Maria José Carrascosa.

You may want to research the Hague Convention's Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, T.I.A.S. No. 11670 (Nov. 7, 1988) and/or the Hague International Child Abduction Convention, 51 Fed.Reg. 10,498 (March 26, 1986). These two authorities/regulations are cited multiple times in Carrascosa v. McGuire, 520 F.3d 249 (2008) and in Innes v. Carrascosa, 391 N.J. Super. 453; 918 A.2d 686 (2007).

Although the aforementioned cases involve an American (not UK) father, the New Jersey/U.S. court's discussion of international law will surely be enlightening, regardless of whether or not the courts acted with impartiality.

(I know from personal experience that courts in the US, and definitely in Michigan, blatantly distort the evidenced facts so that the judges can force an unlawful outcome. In the matter of Carrascosa, I have no knowledge of the facts whatsoever so as to either confirm or refute the fairness of the judicial decisions made there).

My vague recollection from reading these or related [judicial] opinions of the Carrascosa matter is that, according to the Hague Convention, the country where the child habitually resides constitutes "precedent" that cannot be unilaterally altered by one of the parents.

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